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Beer of the Week (w/e 7th August 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

Mill on the Exe, Exeter

Bonhay Road
Phone: 01392214464

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

Pub SignMan left this review about Mill on the Exe

This is a rather fancy food-led, multi-room pub and hotel with prime riverside location that lends itself to family dining but is also a reasonable place to enjoy a few drinks. You enter into a bare boarded conservatory style space with a few rugs on the floor to dampen down the noise, and lots of good table and chair seating options, mainly set up for those wanting to eat. Doors at far end lead out to a cracking riverside seating area with fine views and plenty of comfy garden furniture. Turning left from the entrance, allows you to move through to the quarry stone floored bar area with the servery along the far left side wall. The bar has a rather bland counter front and marginally more interesting bar back with a nice bit of exposed brick wall to one side. More mixed seating is available in a small space opposite, under gastro grey walls decorated with various bits of tat passing as contemporary decor. A brick archway takes you through to a rear seating area - by far the nicest spot in the pub for drinkers - with tables and chairs occupying another bare boarded area, which also boasts a comfy leather sofa in front of a large fireplace with a big hood and some oars above. Neutral shaded walls with a few bits of tongue and groove panelling, have been decorated with a great many photos and paintings, all under some impressive beams that criss-cross the room. Stairs here down to an unexplored basement room that sounded packed. A dull easy listening soundtrack that turned up the occasional welcome surprise chugged away in the background and there was a decent crowd in the rear room, although the conservatory, garden and bar areas were only sparsely populated.
On the bar, four handpulls offered St Austell Tribute and Proper Job plus Bath Gem, with Bath Prophecy having just been taken off. I ordered a pint of Proper Job and was given a cloudy short measure by the dithering barman, although his colleague seemed a lot more with it and topped my pint up without me having to ask.
This is the sort of pub I don’t mind coming to with friends or family who aren’t big pub-goers, as its location gives it a bit of ‘wow’ factor, but as somewhere to just come for a quick pint or two, I didn’t feel it really worked all that well, with the modern decor and food-led feel acting at odds with the desire for a comfy spot to enjoy some well-kept beer. I’m glad I stopped by here, but can’t imagine a return without taking advantage of the food or garden.

On 16th April 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

Ian Mapp left this review about Mill on the Exe

Decent St Austells Inn on the River Exe, just out of town. Four real ales on, including an unexpected Hicks ESB.

Mainly setup for dining but the beer was good and the staff all had jaunty, nautical striped uniforms on.

On 22nd November 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 988 recommendations about 980 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Mill on the Exe

A very large pub spread across two levels in a pleasant spot alongside the river and overlooking the weir, it looks to be a fairly modern building, or if not then extensively renovated. The upper level consists includes a conservatory like extension to make the most of the views, although with light painted wood panelling on the roof so it doesn’t get to hot. The lower level leads out to a terraced area alongside the river and this looked to be a pleasant spot.

Décor wise, there is a wood strip floor and much exposed brickwork and elsewhere there is terracotta paintwork and some wood panelling. There was plenty of woodwork including beams on the ceiling, although this all looked to be fairly modern. There was a bread oven behind the bar, although again, whether this is an original feature or not, I wouldn’t like to say. A couple of snug type areas offer more relaxing seating with low sofa’s or armchairs, but overall you get the feeling that the pub concentrates on the dining market.

The menu offered a decent looking selection of pub grub dishes such as Fish & Chips, Scampi & Chips, Burger, etc., and these were mostly priced around the £10/£11 mark. There was also a specials board and many of these offered fish options. We went for the Cajun Chicken which came deep fried and was served with fries and a salad. It was a decent enough dish, but looked rather mass produced and came with a very runny barbecue sauce served in one of those small paper cups that collapse as soon as you try and move it. Less successful was a Butternut Squash Risotto which was a very small portion, really more of a starter size, and I thought quite bland, although that is of course a matter of personal taste. At £11 this was well overpriced. As it happened the guy who collected the plates was presumably one of the managers, asked what we thought and was very apologetic. It transpired that the dish should have been about double the size that it was and should also have come with parmesan crisps, which the kitchen had apparently run out of. He did a good job of redeeming the situation by refunding half the cost, and in light of that I would be happy to give them the benefit of the doubt and go back to try something else. But of course it shouldn’t really have come out like that in the first place, and had one of the young waitresses collected our dishes I suspect we may not have had such a satisfactory response.

Beers on tap were all from St. Austell with their Tribute, Proper Job, Liquid Sunshine and Dartmoor Best. Ciders were Strongbow and Cornish Rattler, of both the original and pear varieties.

On 4th August 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1814 recommendations about 1738 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Mill On The Exe

A St Austell pub, advertised inside as a winner of their ‘turnaround’ award. This is a converted mill as the name suggests. The two-level interior décor is wood and exposed brick, with a conservatory-style dining room upstairs which contains an open log fire in the centre. Dining is pushed quite heavily but there’s plenty of room for drinkers too. Star of the show is the outside balcony and landscaped gardens overlooking the river Exe and canal. Four pumps, three from the St Austell stable plus a guest from Dartmoor. The pair I tried were in good nick, though they do use sparklers which I think rather takes the edge off a bit. As mentioned elsewhere, it’s a bit corporate in feel. Not a bad stop, I imagine it’s an extremely good location for a good summer beer.

On 15th February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4422 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Mill On The Exe

Situated on the banks of where Exeter Canal meets the River Exe is the imaginatively named Mill on the Exe, a former mill where corn and paper was produced in times long gone. We learn that there has been a mill here since the middle of the 16th century and that wool, corn and then paper had been produced here at various times. The mill closed in July 1967 and was converted to a pub in 1983.

It's a large, rambling affair set over 2 floors with much exposed brickwork, wood floors and beams and what looks like an addition to the building in the form of a conservatory at the front. There's a landscaped garden / terrace at the front with different seating areas where you can watch the waters flow by, and a predictably large car park.

It's a family restaurant type of place with large A3 size folded menus and condiments on most tables. The usual range of starters, grills, sharing platters and children's menus is on offer along with teas, coffees, latte, cappuccino etc.

There's the inevitable chainy, impersonal feel that you would expect with staff dressed in corporate black shirts.

It's a St Austell's Brewery pub and beers on were Proper Job, IPA, and 2 pumps for Tribute. The Proper Job - £ 3.00p - was an excellent pint and I remember thinking at the time that it was the best pint of the holiday so far. A CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2009 sticker was spotted, but the pub is not in the 2010 edition.

I don't normally like places like this, but I have to say that my food arrived promptly, was well cooked and presented and did the business perfectly. The beer, as noted, was excellent and it was pleasant sitting outside afterwards ( on table number 506 ) watching the river go by.

I'd happily come here again, but probably not just for a drink.

On 5th October 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Matt Ryan left this review about The Mill On The Exe

Charming converted paper-mill, nestling on the banks of The River Exe.

Fine real ales, and excellent home-cooked traditional meals and fresh seafood.

Friendly service in a spacious yet initmate premises, with tranquil waterside gardens - all within a short walk of the city centre.

On 2nd June 2010 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]