As you may know, last week was self-care week at Her Campus Exeter. Reading through those articles made me realise that if the last few weeks of writing this series has taught me anything, it’s that taking some time for yourself every week – even if it’s just getting coffee with a friend – does wonders for your mental health. I’ve really noticed that taking the time to completely detach from whatever it is that may be stressing me out not only refreshes me mentally, but also helps me tackle whatever I need to do a lot better.
So, with that in mind, this week Jess and I decided to revisit an old favourite spot of ours – The Exploding Bakery. While I had been here before a couple of times in first year, I hadn’t been back at all since, so I was curious to see if it was as good as I remember.
My first impressions from walking in to The Exploding Bakery is how minimalist it is. The tables and chairs are bare wood, and there’s hanging baskets of greenery dangling in front of the windows that scream ‘hipster’. They’ve rearranged since I had last been in, having moved the counter to the side and opened up the cafe to fit more seats in – which is great as it’s quite a small place and finding a table usually came with a stroke of luck. We sat down near the door and went up to order. I chose a pot of breakfast tea (loose leaf!) and a salted caramel brownie, while Jess had a latte and a bakewell slice.
When this was brought over to us, I was slightly surprised to see that my tea came in a vase. A VASE. I have to say, I kind of loved the extravagance of it and I actually felt a bit fancy. However, there seemed to be a bit of a practical error in that glass gets super hot, so pouring my tea came with a side effect of slightly burnt fingers. It didn’t stop there though, as Jess’s latte was also delivered to us in a glass, and while I appreciate the visual effect, is there actually anything wrong with a mug? Nonetheless, the drinks were great, and honestly the only thing that beats a cup of tea is a cup of loose-leaf tea, so I was very happy about that. The cakes we had were good too, they were dense in a kind of fudgy and filling way, which I personally don’t think is a bad thing at all.
Price: The prices at The Exploding Bakery are not unreasonable. We paid £3 for a (very nice) pot of tea, £2.80 for a latte and £2.50 each for the cakes. Mind you, the cakes are quite small slices, so maybe if you’re looking for something more for your money you might want to try some of their savoury bits instead.
Range: For such a tiny café, I was shocked by just how much there was to choose from. If you’re looking for a light lunch, The Exploding Bakery offers toasties and soups, and – of course – plenty of cakes and bakes. It was nice to see that not only did they provide a great range of flavours, but there were bits that were different to your standard coffee shop, and were actually quite creative (Ginger Dick anyone?).
Location: The Exploding Bakery is located on Queen’s Street, which is perfect for anyone who may be walking past to or from town via New North Road or towards St David’s area. It’s also right outside Exeter Central Station, and could be perfect for stocking up on caffeine and snacks before any long journeys. However, it may just be that little bit too far away from the High Street that you would think to go there in passing, as besides the station and the Co-op opposite, there isn’t a lot else up that far in Queen Street that you might be looking to go to.
Well, the cake at The Exploding Bakery is definitely as good as I remember it being in first year, and despite some mildly burnt fingertips, they really do make an excellent brew. For me, the biggest downside for The Exploding Bakery is the lack in its surroundings, as I really don’t have any other reason to head that way across town. For some this might be an advantage, as its being slightly more out of the way might mean it’s that little bit quieter, although its popularity can quite often make finding space a bit of a challenge. Nonetheless, that salted caramel brownie was to die for, and you’ll definitely catch me eating on one of those again soon.
Check Out The Exploding Bakery: