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Exeter Arms, Derby

Exeter Place
Phone: 01332605323

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Pub Type

Tenanted (Marstons)
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Exeter Arms

Another fine pub - this time promoting the dancing duck brewery.

Decorated to a high standard. Very quiet on a Sunday night.

Visit blogged at

On 20th August 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 846 recommendations about 838 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Danny O'Revey left this review about Exeter Arms

Exceptional pub that has a bit of everything, not what you expect in the setting. Small front bar, various other seating snugs and crannies, subdued lighting & candles on the tables, various curios, decorations & settles. Lovely homely feel. Good choice of exceptionally kept ales, including the Dancing Duck beers

On 2nd December 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1287 recommendations about 1265 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Exeter Arms

My first visit since the Dancing Duck takeover of the lease. It’s fair to say that they’ve upped the interior a bit (burnt red shades, partitions, feminine style touches) and turned it into a fairly middle class place (the area behind the fireplace is now quite a posh foody area with candles on the tables). However the layout, cosiness and ambience remain in situ with nice décor, proper fire etc. Of special note was the Leaded and coloured Exeter Arms window, replete with a dancing duck. Also found a previously undiscovered ‘cottage’ section at the rear of the conservatory, two rustic bare brick/stone rooms. An old wind-powered organ sits in the conservatory, recently broken by an over-enthusiastic punter and sadly no plans to repair it as “it only cost £50”; let’s hope they never pick up a cheap Rembrandt from a jumble sale, eh? We visited at lunchtime and food was definitely the main seller. Place was packed and space at the was at a premium so we had to lean on the bar, however the staff were friendly and helpful. Four Dancing Duck brews on, with Marstons Pedigree and Shiny Abyss as extras. My DD Quack Addict was in impressive shape. Also noted two proper ciders. I still really like this place and would say it’s a must-do in central Derby - but timing your visit is key for maximum enjoyment. 8.5

September 2010
A wildcard on the crawl as the school-time local of our organiser. I was really impressed by this one in context of the other Derby pubs I did on the same day. It’s not exactly an ale hotbed, but nonetheless is a solid Marstons outlet, with four of their list our ales on over a myriad of pumps including the lesser-spotted 'Marstons mild' (it says here) which was in good shape. The pub is laid out over a number of well-maintained rooms and there was a really vibrant atmosphere within; I particularly enjoyed the well-appointed conservatory area. Décor is pretty traditional, with items of note being the old seaside postcards on display in the gents a collection of timepieces and some foreign bank notes pinned above the bar. I was charmed by this one and would happily return. Rated 8

On 22nd November 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Exeter Arms

The second pub for me on the PuG crawl but this was probably my pub of the day. An excellent traditional multi roomed pub with a roaring open fire in the tiled floor main bar which greets as you enter. And from here you can move out into either the Snug, the top office or The Stage with its stained glass panels. And then a visit to the toilets outback reveals the undercover patio area with its large settees, from which you can access ‘the Cottage’ a whole additional room area that can be hired for private functions.
It also benefits of being one of the two pubs in Derby, along with the New Zealand Arms, owned by the Dancing Duck brewery and there was four of their beers on the seven pumps available. These were Ay Up, Quack Addict, dcuk and the excellent Dark Drake.
Great pub, great beer, can’t say more than that.

On 22nd November 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1770 recommendations about 1714 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Exeter Arms

Fine old corner pub with a variety of different seating areas in a number of different rooms and spaces. Traditional furniture and decor. Friendly welcome. Six real ales on handpump - with four Dancing Duck (e.g. Dark Drake, £3.30) together with Pedigree and Shiny Abyss as guests - plus a cider. Well worth the walk out from the city centre to visit.

On 21st November 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6591 recommendations about 6591 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about Exeter Arms

A street corner local close to a major road system,owned by Dancing Duck and showcasing many of their ales with some guests.The interior is charming and retains the original seperate rooms layout (snug to the left of entrance) and make sure you walk along the corridor to the gents to find a hidden away back room and an airpowered organ,sadly not in working order.
The bar is to the right of the entrance with a welcoming fire opposite.Several of the interior tables had candles burning and this enhanced the atmosphere as did the discrete music.There was a very friendly welcome from behind the bar for the PuG crawlers,and we were told that the former whitewash was removed to reveal the traditional wooden finish to the walls.It's all very charming and relaxed.
The seven handpumps were drawing a real cider,Pedigree ,Shiny Abbys and Dancing Duck Dark Drake(spot on ),Ay Up,Quack Addict and dcuk.This is a must visit on any Derby crawl,I would happily settle in here for a long session and this pub was ,for me,one of the highlights of an extensive pub crawl around the city centre.

On 16th November 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2198 recommendations about 2198 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Exeter Arms

This purpose built street corner pub dates back to 1816 and takes its name from Exeter House - the former home of the Duke of Essex - which stood nearby before its eventual demolition. Amusingly, the pub's sign depicts the unrelated coat of arms of the city of Exeter. The pub was operated as a freehold, with its own on site brewery until being sold in 1970. It recently changed hands again, when the Dancing Duck Brewery took it over from Marstons. You enter through an etched glass front door into the main bar with a patterned tile floor and the servery running along the front wall to the right of the entrance. It's a fairly compact, dark wood servery with a lovely lit fireplace opposite creating a warm, cosy feel to the room. Some pew, bench and low stool seating has been arranged to the left, under a Dancing Duck Brewery window, an old hop lined portrait and some flying ducks. The window looks through into the snug, accessed by a door to the left of the entrance. This is a compact, tile floored room with pew and low stool seating and a little partitioning to create a bit of privacy. There is a nice old fireplace on the back wall and various black and white photos round out the décor. Over on the other side of the pub there is a raised stage with space for a couple of tables and two doorways opposite the bar lead through to the back room which has a mix of seating options, including some standard chairs on another raised platform and pews and low stools throughout the rest of the room. There are several pub clichés in this room, including an upright piano and some wall mounted antlers, as well as a huge candelabra and a TV screen which was turned off throughout my stay. A door leads out to a rear patio which has its own bar, named in honour of local philosopher Herbert Spencer. The pub was doing a brisk trade on my Saturday lunchtime visit, with almost everyone sat down eating, leaving most of the drinkers congregated around the bar.
The pub won the Derby CAMRA Pub of the Year award for 2013, so good beer was expected. On the hand pumps, Dancing Duck Dark Drake (£3.10), Abduction and Nice Weather were available alongside Marstons Pedigree, Dark Star Partridge, Liverpool Organic Cascade and a real cider. My pint of Dark Drake was excellent and wasn't surpassed during the rest of a long day of drinking around the city.
I liked the feel of this pub and whilst it did seem much more focussed on the food than drink, I arguably caught it at a bad time and I could imagine settling down for a decent session on a quieter day. This place will have wide appeal and I thought it was a great start to a crawl around Derby.

On 2nd March 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2620 recommendations about 2620 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about The Exeter Arms

This is Derby Camra's pub of the Year 2013, so I was interested to see what it was like. There are seven hand pumps, one with a cider, three with Dancing Duck beers, the others having Marstons Pedigree, Titannic Iceberg and a stout. I had the Dancing Duck Ay Up, which a punter at the bar described as "gorgeous" but I found to be too cold and lacking in both condition and flavour - my least impressive beer of the day, and I'd just come from the Bridge where I drank Bombardier!

It was quite busy here at the time of my early evening visit, with most customers either eating or waiting for their food. This is an interesting building and has been refurbished with sensitive use of recycled materials including partitions and glass screens to break up the spaces. Pictures include various incarnations of HMS Exeter, and other décor, at least one fellow reviewer will be distressed to learn, included random twigs perched precariously on a rather nice old wall clock. There's a yard and a conservatory at the back, though not what I would call a beer garden.

On 30th October 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2738 recommendations about 2578 pubs]

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Mark Davey left this review about The Exeter Arms

Used to frequent the Exeter a lot when it was a Marstons tied pub. dancing Duck have invested, cleaned, painted and sorted out the ramshackle lean to at the back. there is now also a (no longer) secret room off the conservatory that probably used to be some sort of store, that is now open to the public. Excellent choice of marstons and DD ales on the bar, I sampled a pint of 22 (two little ducks) on my recent visit and it was excellent. Will call again when I am in the city.

On 19th April 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Alan Winfield left this review about The Exeter Arms

The Exeter Arms has always been one of my favourite Derby pubs so i thought i would give it a go now that Dancing Duck are running things.
Once inside the pub seemed pretty much the same except for the conservatory to the rear.
The pub was packed om my late afternoon visit with mainly upmarket drinkers and diners who were eating meals off wood boards,why not use a plate,i was tempted to ask for some soup to see if this also came on a board,another annoying thing was the lit candles which were everywhere.
There was a good choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Dancing Duck Nice Weather which was ok but nothing special,like the weather on that day,the other beers were Dancing Duck Drake and Hay Up,4Ts PW Cheshire,Black Bee Rugbee and Pedigree.
I prefered the Old Exeter under Marstons ownership,this pub is a bit to upmarket for my liking.

Pub first visited 11/9/1982

Recent visit 9/3/2013

On 10th March 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

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