Monday, 8 February 2016

A Week in Exeter

As some of you may know, I've recently started a new job and part of that means having to travel around the country when you're needed to! This past week, I've been staying down in Exeter so I thought I'd write a post wrapping up all the things that I did.

While I was there I stayed in the Jury's Inn right in the city centre. It was perfectly located, being about a 5 minute walk away from Princesshay, Exeter's shopping centre. As far as hotels go, I wasn't particularly blown away but nor do I have any complaints - it was pretty bog standard! My room had both a double and a twin bed which made me feel super spoiled being the only one staying in the room, and it had plenty of wardrobe space, a bath and tea/coffee making facilities. One nice touch that I did appreciate was opposite my room there was a water machine that also gave ice and as someone who pretty much only drinks cold water, I was grateful for it!

We had breakfast included as part of our room so I ate in the hotel restaurant every morning. It was a nice selection for a buffet and you could help yourself to as much as you wanted. As well as the standard fry-up staples, there was also a selection of croissants and breads, cereals, toast-making facilities and a variety of fruits. They had little mason jars with yoghurt and granola in which I thought was very Pinterest of them and had a display of little bottles and glasses of their milkshakes and smoothies of the day which were always yummy! There were lots of signs dotted about encouraging customers to ask if they wanted something cooked a specific way or anything like that and on my final morning, I found one saying they'd make a waffle if you asked to which of course I did and it was lovely - would recommend!

I wanted to avoid eating in the hotel in the evenings for fear of becoming a bit stir-crazy and there was one other guy from my work staying in the hotel so we went for dinner together most evenings.
On Monday, we tried the Jamie's Italian which I have never actually been to before - surprising since I'm a bit of a Jamie Oliver fan girl! I had a steak which was nice and for dessert there's the option to make your own sundae so I ended up with natural frozen yoghurt, mango sorbet and salted caramel ice cream with honeycomb bits and berry compote. It was a bit of a strange mix but it was all very yummy.

On the Tuesday we went to the cinema, as there was a Vue directly opposite our hotel so we thought it would be nice to do something different! We went to see The Big Short, which I thought was really good. I was only 11 when the credit crunch of 2008 happened so naturally I'm not too familiar with the causes of it, and I thought that this film explained it in a really accessible way to someone with no prior knowledge. However I would say it is quite long so I'd only recommend it if you think a film about some guys predicting that the US housing market would crash and how they could make money off that happening would be something that would interest you!

After the film, I was craving a burger so we decided to go to Byron Burger. The only time I've ever been to Byron before was actually in Exeter, when I went down there for a University Open Day a few years before. I remembered loving it the first time I went and it didn't disappoint this time either! I can't quite remember what I ordered but it was a beautiful burger with onion rings and barbecue sauce and bacon and cheese - what more could you want really!?

On the Wednesday I had decided that I was eating far too much and definitely not doing enough exercise so I decided to do my own thing in the evening and go to the gym and get some food after. At home, I'm a member of a chain of gyms and found out there was one about 10 minutes away from the hotel which I was chuffed about but then I couldn't find it anywhere! I honestly ended up walking around Exeter city centre in the dark for about half an hour trying to find this ruddy gym and still had no luck. In the end I gave up and went and got myself a Nando's as a reward for at least trying. One thing I would give you all as a tip is that if you order a Nando's takeaway and order a sauce as a side, you may interpret the low price tag for the sauce to mean that they'll give you a minimal amount like I did, and therefore buy three pots but oh no - they actually give you those little 125g glass jars you can buy from supermarkets! I think I have enough Nando's Garlic Sauce to last me for a lifetime now, oops!

On Thursday it was our final night so we decided to go for a good old fashioned Wagamama's to top off the week of eating all the junk food! Wagamama's is probably one of my favourite restaurants because of the people-watching opportunities. Oh and the food is spectacular.

All in all, I enjoyed my week away and it was lovely to get the chance to explore Exeter a little bit more!

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Maira Gall