Business

A KuPP half empty @KuPP_Exeter

London lifestyle and the choice of food outlets are the two factors which make the capital so vibrant.

What are customers attracted by? The vast menus and the layout/decor of stores – whether it is a business selling shoes, hats or a restaurant.

KuPP Paddington seems to have the winning formula. Great location, view, menu, interior design. Some people like to say “it is like eating in an IKEA store”. When you think that there are meat balls on the menu… what else can we ask for?!

The “Food Drink Coffee Store” concept is like everything under one roof if you are after that Scandinavian themed eaterie. It all goes from breakfast through lunch to dinner and cocktails if you fancy a bit of a social late night around a beer or homemade drink.

As there was a buzz about a second KuPP venue, we made our way down to Devon. Exeter Queen Street dining quarter is where things have been happening.

Various new restaurants have opened their doors: it is about pizzas, burgers, chicken, lebanese food and… KuPP Exeter.

We headed towards the newly developed Guildhall Shopping Centre. KuPP is encased between the back of GBK and WHSmith. There are no real views when sitting inside.

We arrived late morning and the place was quiet… a few people were having their morning coffees. Of course Devon is a bit more laid back than London…a different pace. A few members of staff were all standing around the bar, almost ignoring us. We still stepped in and asked whether the restaurant was open for service.

We were relieved to know that everything was fine and a table was given to the four of us as well as the lunch menus – the waiter made us aware that breakfast is served until Midday then lunch would start. We had a mini lunch menu (12pm to 5pm) as well as a bigger version (12pm to 10pm), with more dishes available.

Then a waitress came to see us asking if we were here for coffee or to eat!? A confusing question as we all had the lunch menu in our hands – after all she was just checking that we have been looked after.

Time was ticking (15 minutes) and no sign of our waiter. A team member, seemingly a supervisor, said “hello” and when we asked if someone could take our orders, he replied that he will oblige as the waiter was on his lunch break!

Not too sure that such timing is the best way to run a restaurant – aren’t waiters suppose to work when guests are arriving and break to be taken before or after peak times?! The first impression wasn’t exactly what we expected.

Anyway, food orders were taken and send to the open kitchen. Great to see professional chefs preparing your food. We had a second visit from the waitress (same person as mentioned above) who just stopped and apologized as she didn’t know if someone looked after us/took our orders.

At that point, no one was certain if the food we ordered would be served by a fourth member of staff. We could clearly see that the Fika corner was the focus point – as the barista was dealing with take-away hot beverages, fresh juices as well as serving cappuccinos to other guests sitting nearby.

We were excited and impatient to get our open sandwiches with Gravlax, crushed avocados and torn chicken… At least we could all share different flavours.

Eventually, an “army” of staff brought our lunches. It was a battle to determine which was which as the waitresses told us that they haven’t seen those dishes before…

Everything was rather tasty, beautiful to the eyes… the service was painful to watch and a certain lack of confidence was visible. We will certainly return to KuPP Exeter hoping that we won’t leave with the feeling of a KuPP half empty.

scandinavian design and cinnamon swirl

scandinavian design and cinnamon swirl

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Culture, Design

The English countryside is buzzing

A few weeks ago, we decided to head to Devon for our well deserved break from London.

It is true that a few Londoners like to go to the Southwest to enjoy peace and quiet around seafronts, long beaches and green Dartmoor.

This year, there was so much to do and see.

Last year we attended TLB Revival first edition and couldn’t wait for this year’s event.

We knew that it would be something special because more classic cars and bikes would fill Barnfield Crescent.

We were also anticipating the visit of Velo Vintage for their tea break. It was like a trip back in time. So close from the city centre, so far from the urban hustle & bustle.

Velo Vintage Exeter tea break

TLB Revival 2015 had more participants and the brilliant lawn received food and drink stalls as well as quality music from The Siren Sisters. What caught our eyes was the camera obscura from Sam White.

The fantastic meeting point couldn’t have been better. Beautiful blue sky, great architecture and the atmosphere was second to none. It is this kind of feeling when you meet someone once a year and can share things from previous meetups: a real sense of community despite the distance.

TLB Revival 2015 Exeter - jaguar

TLB Revival 2015 Exeter - motorbikes

TLB Revival 2015 Exeter - dashboard Chevrolet pickup truck

We mustn’t forget to mention the place where we stayed. This may surprise you but we opted for something slightly off the beaten tracks: Hazelwood Holiday Park.

On the outskirts of Exeter is Dawlish Warren – accessible by train, car, bus and bicycle too, thanks to the brilliant infrastructure that is Exe Trail, the newly developed cycle path.

Cyclists on the Exe Estuary Trail

The weather being rather summery we decided to commute on two wheels passing by the legendary Turf Locks Pub – a true destination pub. Walking, cycling and boating being the only ways to reach this unique green space surrounded by water! Fear not, if you don’t own a boat, there is a  local business Saddles & Paddles where it is possible to hire canoes and bikes. This shop welcomes dogs such as our holiday park – so we could take the pooch on the canoe and enjoy our daily discoveries and explorations.

Being in Devon just as Rugby World Cup 2015 kicked-off, we visited Exeter’s Fanzone and managed to get some tickets (thanks to Toby and Clarissa), to see the a live game at Sandy Park for Tonga Vs Namibia. Here again very friendly and Devonians know how to make you feel welcome instantly.

The short train journey from Exeter Central to the game venue only took a few minutes and there was a real party atmosphere between supporters and families whatever teams they were encouraging.

There are plenty of outdoors occupations in the English countryside, it is not just plain and boring. It is sometimes therapeutic to go away from your daily routine and enjoy what open spaces have to offer. Some prefer to actually go to a city in order to spend and purchase something special.

You just need to step back and realize that shopping can always be completed another day – nature doesn’t wait!

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Affairs

When Harry met @rwc2015exeter

On 7th October 2015, Prince Harry visited Exeter.

The coincidence is that we were in the county as well for our annual escapade.

Exeter has been buzzing for a while as three rugby matches took place at Sandy Park during the exciting Rugby World Cup 2015.

Here are a few pictures of “Harry” during his visit in the Westcountry ahead of Namibia Vs Georgia.

Prince Harry and Exeter Chiefs - Sandy Park 2015

Prince Harry and Exeter Chiefs – Sandy Park 2015

 

Prince Harry and RWC2015 in Exeter

Prince Harry and RWC2015 in Exeter

 

Prince Harry visiting Sandy Park Exeter

Prince Harry visiting Sandy Park Exeter

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