Congratulations! You’ve successfully (I hope?) made it to the end of term! While, unfortunately, there may be a few more library all-nighters to go before the end of the year, by the end of the week, we’ll be free from deadlines at least for a little while.
To quote the amazing Bryony Watts in her latest article, Everything I Know About Life at Twenty One, it’s important to ‘pace yourself and be kind to yourself’. Therefore, it’s definitely essential for everyone to take a breather before diving in to the next round of essays or exams. Unwind, destress and treat yourself. Of course, in my book, that means taking a little trip to a brand-new coffee shop.
This week, we took a walk down back down South Street to March Coffee, a place which I had never even heard of until Jess told me she wanted to go there.
My first impression of March Coffee was definitely a confusing one. The row of mirrors that line the back wall give the impression that the café is a lot bigger than it actually is, and once I figured out that there weren’t actually two lots of the same people sitting back to back, I realized that the inside is quite tiny. Not only that, but the fact that we went at lunch time on a Wednesday, meant that we ended up taking the last table in the whole café.
The inside of March Coffee resembles something in between a log cabin and the inside of a shed. Wooden slats line each of the walls, and there are potted plants and vines scattered around. The lack of any interior décor makes the whole place kind of seem a bit bare, although I did love the bright blue accents created by the matching chairs, plates and coffee cups.
After a very quick look at the menu – as there wasn’t loads of stuff to choose from – we ordered two hot drinks and two sweet treats. A hot chocolate and a vegan jam doughnut for me, and a flat white and a slice of banana and tonka bean bread for Jess (which we had to google because we had absolutely no idea what tonka bean was!).
When it was brought over, we quickly saw that this was another Exeter café with a strange liking for putting hot drinks in glasses, which is something I really don’t understand. Glass get hot guys! However, in spite of my once again slightly burnt fingertips, the vegan jam doughnut I had chosen was incredible. Out. Of. This. World. Super light and fluffy, but still crispy without being greasy at all. Yum.
Jess, however, was not as impressed with her choices, having to add a sugar to her coffee to take the edge off a little bit. The banana and tonka bean bread was quite unusual, very dense and moist but the tonka bean gave it a bit of a strange texture.
Price: March Coffee was no more expensive than any other café we’ve visited in Exeter so far. We paid £2.50 for each of the cakes, £2.70 for a flat white and £3 for a hot chocolate. However, the drinks were a little smaller than we expected, so maybe not the best value for money.
Range: For any vegan and gluten free readers out there, March Coffee may be a great place for you to try. Loads of their cakes and food were entirely vegan and gluten-free, and if the doughnuts were anything to go by, they’re seriously good quality too. However, there wasn’t as much to choose from overall as we’ve seen from some other places. Most of the offering in March Coffee was cakes and bakes, with a couple of lunch option like sandwiches. Much to my delight though, they also sell their doughnuts by the box, and 6 for £12 sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Location: March Coffee is another, ‘not quite in the high street, but not too far away’ type café. Situated towards the bottom of South Street, it’s not as central to the town as other places on the High Street but could be a great stop if you find yourself walking to or from the quay.
March Coffee was not my favourite stop so far. As it’s a bit on the smaller side, getting a table can be quite difficult, and it’s not really the kind of place a would feel comfortable spending a lot of time to sit and study. The drinks were a bit on the smaller side, and no better than anything else we’ve tried so far. That being said, however, I have absolutely no doubt that I could demolish an entire box of those doughnuts by myself, and quite honestly I think that’s a form of self-care I deserve at the end of term!
Check out March Coffee: