Two writers, James Garbett and Rowan Keith, were invited to brunch last Sunday at Ebdons Refreshments. Here’s what they made of it!
When Ebdons Refreshments opened on Sidwell Street last October, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Owned by Exeter-born Nigel and Poppy, the cafe has a beautiful traditional and vintage aesthetic to it, combined with an incredibly warm and welcoming atmosphere. The cafe has a real local, community feel to it, offering regular events that include a board games night, a quiz night and craft evenings. This local feel extends to the food, with it being primarily sourced from Westcountry suppliers. Although I’ve stopped in for a cup of tea before, this Sunday when I went for brunch was the first time I’ve been for food.
Poppy, one of the owners, was cooking our brunch herself and came out to say hi to us. I ordered the wild mushroom tart, poached egg, homemade baked beans with potato and rosemary toast, priced at £6.95. This was really great as it was a twist on a more traditional brunch dish so wasn’t something I had ever really had before. The rosemary and potato toast was surprisingly interesting and these small details really elevated the dish as a whole. The food was hearty and obviously lovingly homemade, but still really interesting and fresh.
On a side note, every time I’ve been in Ebdons the music has been great. I asked one of the barristas what playlist it was, and it turns out its her own on Spotify, which it turns out makes a fantastic study playlist. If you’re interested, I highly recommend a listen: https://tinyurl.com/y93legw2.
I do feel like the decor and atmosphere of Ebdons is one of its strongest elements, like there was certainly a homespun, unsophisticated air about the place and not a need to be overly quirky as a lot of new independent coffee places and delis are despite certainly having an interior character. I do feel like their exterior could have been a bit more eye catching considering I’ve walked past the establishment every day and haven’t even noticed it, but the inside was very charming. The staff were friendly and hospitable and it was really nice to see that it actually attracted quite a variety of demographics and even small details like the chalkboards and the way the prices were presented added to the uniqueness of the place.
I ordered the eggy bread, blueberries, maple syrup and smoked bacon, also priced at £6.95. The flavours have obviously been put together before and you can tell that they understand it’s a brunch menu that’s been perfected over time. The fact they’re sourced primarily by west country suppliers was especially important to me as the smoked bacon was delicious and I could easily tell from the first bite it wasn’t just from a supermarket value range. The eggy bread was also perfectly cooked, occupying what I like to term the Goldilocks zone. The americano that I had alongside was also fantastic. It was really rich and you could tell that the beans were really good quality.
Overall, the experience was really wonderful. The atmosphere was lovely, the staff were incredibly friendly and the food and drinks were very reasonably priced. I’m definitely wanting to go back in the evening, as the cafe also has a really interesting selection of beers and wines and the events sound really fun. This would be a great place to go with a big group of people but could also be a really nice place to sit alone with a coffee to get some work done. Ebdons is definitely a local business that is completely worth supporting.
Meal provided complimentary by Ebdons Refreshments