River Exe Cafe on the Exe Estuary getting ready to open again via @riverexecafe
16th March 2012
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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Devon’s only floating cafe re-opens April 1st for the coming season. Situated in the middle of the River Exe Estuary, (just off Starcross), this is a totally unique venue offering more than just a wonderful cafe and dining experience. The River Exe Cafe is fast becoming the most talked about venue to spend the summer of 2012.


The River Exe Cafe is a floating barge just off the Ski lane on the River Exe, and is in the heart of Exmouth’s water sports fraternity, wakeboarding, waterskiing, kayaking, sailing to name just a few, however it is also situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, protected by Natural England. The Exe Estuary is home to many rare birds and creatures including Avocets, Osprey and of course our friendly grey seal.

With the potential to take up to 60 people on board the Cafe has been designed very much like the “Ski in Ski out” wooden chalets found on the ski slopes of many ski resorts, but with the intention that the quality of food and service exceeds all expectations of the external look and feel. The barge has a covered outdoor space with heaters and indoor seating to relax well into the evening without suffering the cold. 

Customers to the barge really are of all ages and walks of life, ranging from the usual river users and water sports enthusiasts to bird watchers, artists and holiday makers. Special events such as birthday parties, anniversaries, stag & hen parties to corporate & team building days can be arranged. Private and exclusive use of the barge is also available.

What to expect when you reach the cafe:

Food & Drink:

The Cafe prides itself on its relaxed and local feel. Catering for the individual wanting just a fresh ground coffee and a locally baked cake, to the couple wanting to experience the best West Country food. The dining experience is all about taste and freshness, we will be able to name the diver who landed the scallops and the fishing boat that landed the fish. The mussels are that fresh and local we could probably name them individually. All our dishes are cooked in a simple and classic way that allows the food to speak for itself. This is not fine dining but relaxed dining in this dream location.

This year the cafe welcomes on board Gavin Athanasiou as our Head Chef. Gavin is establishing himself as one of the UK’s top Seafood Chefs and joins us from his position as Group Head Chef for the Mitch Tonks seafood chain of restaurants. An exciting prospect for both the Cafe and Gavin, he is looking forward to establishing the Cafe as one of the top seafood venues. 

The menu will change daily according to what is available from the market and local fishermen. There will be a daily specials board but we will always hope to include a choice from the following: Exmouth Mussels, Scallops, Crab, Mackerel, Plaice and of course the British favourite, Fish & Chips. As well as an extensive seafood and shellfish menu we will also serve meat and vegetarian dishes. Sample menus are available on our web page www.riverexecafe.com in keeping with the relaxed and quirky nature of this venue we will be using twitter @riverexecafe to inform customers of our daily menu and changes as they happen (Twitter Menu).

Local wines, beers, ciders and Luscombes soft drinks ensure perfect accompaniment to every dish, with a wide range of styles for every occasion, whether you are celebrating something special or simply enjoying an informal lunch or evening meal and relaxing in this unique location you won’t be disappointed

Opening Hours:

The River Exe Cafe is open April 1st to September 30th

The nature of the location is very weather dependent, and this can effect our opening hours, but we aim to open the following hours.

Holidays (Easter, Half Term & Summer) 10am – 10pm Every Day

Term Time – Monday – Thursday 11am – 5pm

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 10pm

If the weather is good during term time we may stay open later. We will be posting daily and hourly opening and closing times on our Twitter, Facebook and web pages so you are never disappointed, please sign up to them so you have instant updates and no wasted journeys. We also operate a Flag Raised = Open and Flag Lowered = Closed system, this can be viewed from the Brunel Tower, Starcross Fishing and Cruising  web cam www.starcross-fcc.com/webcam/

How to reach us:

Don’t worry if you don’t own or have access to a boat, the Water Taxi will leave Exmouth Marina on the half hour and takes roughly 20 minutes, each way, depending on tides and the wind, adding the bonus and thrill of a river trip to the whole Cafe experience, return trip costing £4 per head. 

Boat owners, whether sailing or motor, can tie alongside the café. We are introducing this year a Kayak pontoon to make it easier for those in Kayaks and Canoes to climb on board. 

It is also possible for larger groups to catch the ferry from Topsham, this would take approx 50 minutes to reach the Cafe but would need to be arranged and sorted direct with Topsham Turf Ferry Company.

Cycling – enjoy the new cycle path from Topsham to Exmouth, then head for the Marina and secure your bike at the harbour before catching the water taxi to the Cafe.

Train – Catch the train to Exmouth, the marina is a 10 minute walk from the station and once at the marina head for the Harbour Masters office where you can catch the Water Taxi.

Starcross – although closer to Starcross the ferry does not yet stop at the Café, the best way would be to catch the ferry across to Exmouth from Starcross and then catch the Water Taxi out to the Café.

Whichever way you choose to reach us it all adds to the quirky and unique experience of visiting the River Exe Cafe and will, we are sure, add to your enjoyment.

The River Exe Cafe are members of thebestof Exeter view their feature here

About the Author

Dave B

Member since: 3rd May 2012

I am the Membership Manager at thebestof Exeter. My role is to maintain good relationships with the best businesses in Exeter. I am also involved in organising our bi-monthly networking events and help...

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