Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Exeter mini break at The Magdalen Chapter

As much as I love a summer holiday to the distant sunny shores I do still enjoy a city mini break, so last week I headed to my university town with fellow Exeter grad Maddie to make the most of the British summer. However, gone are the days of dingy uni halls and student digs as we saw the city in style staying at The Magdalen Chapter* - a super luxe hotel and spa in the heart of the Devonshire capital.

The former hospital building provides a grand entrance into a thoroughly modern hotel full of contemporary design but retains its heritage with a few well chosen historical touches.
On check in guests are provided with an iPad for their stay which gives a full low-down of all the information you could need about the hotel and surrounding area.  Our room was simple yet beautiful with the most comfortable beds, freestanding bath and wet room (filled with REN goodies), nespresso coffee machine and complementary mini bar (re-stocked daily) to make our stay even more enjoyable.

However, if you can be tempted out of your room there is plenty to explore in the rest of the hotel, ranging from the large lounge to more intimate library. On our first evening we headed to the bar for cocktails which we expertly created by the friendly barman prior to dinner at The Restaurant. We had such an enjoyable evening, having far too much fun using the wine list iPad and the food was gorgeous. My starter of cured ham with peach, pine nuts and mozzarella (£10.50) followed by roast monkfish with Romesco sauce and samphire (£25.00) was amazing (although Maddie's steak wasn't as tender as she had hoped) and our pudding choice of chocolate, salted caramel and vanilla ice cream with peanuts and chocolate sauce (£6.00) was bowl-scraping-ly-good.  However, if you're not feelingly quite so decadent there are 2-course and 3-course set menus (£13.95 and £16.95) to choose from.

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast followed by coffee on the deck chairs that scatter the garden area before chilling out by the (heated) pool in the sunshine. Sadly the REN spa was fully booked during our stay but we jealously watched robe clad guests heading across the lawn.

The Magdalen Chapter is a few minutes walk from the city center so parking is limited to the small driveway, however we were able to park relatively easily but the hotel does offer subsidised parking across the road. Being so close to town, on our second day we it the shops for some serious retail therapy, deciding our student loans were grateful that the huge shopping area hadn't existed when we studied there before heading back to the hotel to glam up before a evening enjoying the local pubs and bars - such as The Fire House and Monkey Suit.

There were a few little niggles, such as the light switch being on the wrong side of the door and limited range of fresh fruit at the breakfast buffet, however the staff really made our stay, they were so friendly, helpful and went out of their way to ensure we had a fantastic time and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending The Magdalen Chapter to anyone visiting this fabulous city.

*Press Trip

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