Sorry Sir, the City is Closed

Sunday 3/7/2005

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Diary and Notes

Today I have come back down South to try to get my PhD write up finished. I arrived on the train (via a very odd route taking in Reading and lasting 6 1/2 hours) around seven o'clock and my first thoughts were of food. What to eat, that's always the question.

My first idea was that seeing as I was in a hurry, it was getting late and I had things to do I should grab something quick from a chip shop. I've already had fish and chips, but I thought they'll have something on the menu that is new and was quite looking forewards to it, only the first chip shop I went to was closed.

"Closed?" I thought, "At half past seven, this is madness." I wondered how any chip shop could stay in business if it wasn't open at half seven. OK so it's a Sunday, but people still need chips on a Sunday, people need chips every day. "I know, I'll try another."

That was closed too.

I do not exagerrate when I say I tried four different chip shops and every one was closed. Things were not looking good. I phoned my friend Dave and asked him if he fancied joining me for a proper meal at a restaurant instead and a few of us headed into town to find food. Only that's not so easy.

The pub near where he lives serves food - but stops at 5.00 on Sundays.

So does the Ship, which claims to be the pub that Francis Drake loved best, also stops selling food at 5.00, I don't think old Drakey would have been very happy about this. In fact, every pub in Exeter that we tried had stopped selling food. There was no food to be had.

"Red Square." Thought I, the food there's good and it's a proper restaurant, they're bound to be open.

No they weren't.

Everything was dead and quiet. The centre of town was deserted, a ghost town. I was getting hungrier and hungrier and panic was setting in.

The only options left were to go for a curry (Indian restaurants are always open but I am running out of curry options and I wanted to avoid this) or a pizza/pasta place. We plumped for the latter and went to ASK on Cathedral Square.

Dinner was fine, though I was so hungry by the time I got it, I imagine almost anything (except KFC) would have hit the spot. A glass of Chinati calmed me down and life was feeling a little better. But why was everything else closed? Why don't even restaurants open on a Sunday in Exeter. It's bizarre, absolutely bizarre.

Can I go home now?

Cake Blog

Tart tatin - not exactly Italian, but still not bad.


  • Ciabata and Olive Oil
  • Grilled Chevre on Toast and Salad

  • Ravioli of Crayfish and Crab

  • Tart Tatin