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Picture of The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon)
Image posted by Quinno _
Submitted on Saturday, 27th July 2019
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The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon), Exeter

New North Road
Exeter
EX4 4AH
Phone: 01392434050
Correct details

Pub Type

J D Wetherspoon

Served areas

Reviews of The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon) (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon)

Set high up on a hill above Exeter St David’s station and handily located for the university, this is a large former hotel that is now operating as perhaps the finest branch of the Wetherspoons pub chain that I have thus far encountered. If, like me, you’re arriving from the station, you’ll need to negotiate a bit of a lung-busting climb, including following the old hotel driveway as it winds its way past the large front lawns with their ample picnic bench seating, eventually emerging into the modest sized car park, from where you can enter the pub through the main front doors. Once inside, you pass through a series of well appointed rooms that were presumably part of the hotel’s lobby area, now each made into smart lounge-like spaces with a mix of tables and chairs and a few comfier seating options. Each of these rooms has its own section of servery to the right, each quite dimly lit so that it didn’t detract too much from the grandeur of the rooms, which have all been tastefully decorated with appropriate period artwork and ornaments. Beyond these spaces, the pub opens out into a much larger space with a sizable seating area to the right and a stunning ‘orangery’ to the left. The main seating space is grand in scale, with some decorative flourishes, loads of tables and chairs and more of the same art on display. However, the pub’s centrepiece is the orangery area, replete with its curved metal girder supported vaulted ceiling and the incredible full height, semi-circular window at the far end of the room which looks stunning from both inside and out. The room is carpeted and split across a couple of levels, with a bar running down one side and some high tables and chairs opposite, before it drops down into the broad space in front of that window. There appeared to be a couple of dartboards in cases on the right-hand wall and the space directly under the end window was being used for a beer festival the pub had put on for the weekend, with around twenty casks on stillage and a small serving counter.
The twenty festival ales meant the actual bar was relatively low on ale options, with the three regular Spoon’s ales available alongside two or three guests. I headed straight for the festival bar, picked up a very well kept pint of Bays Savannah for £1.99, and sat at a table facing the end window, soaking up the view. The pub is unsurprisingly popular with students and my 13:00 Thursday afternoon visit saw about 25-30 blokes in fancy dress filling one of the rooms.
I loved this place and thought it was one of those great Wetherspoons conversions where you can settle down and forget that you’re actually in a Wetherspoons. For me, just about everything about this place worked - the superb orangery, the comfy lounge areas, the extensive gardens and of course, the enterprising beer festival and it’s top quality ale. No wonder Tim Martin is also having photo ops in this pub - it’s a jewel in the company’s crown and an absolute must-visit when in Exeter.

On 12th March 2022 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2795 recommendations about 2795 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


E TA left this review about The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon)

Comprehensively described below, this impressive building in its imposing setting is certainly a cut above most other JDWs. What lets it down is the humans. There was a wedding party setting the tone; the bride and her hens were cackling and stamping out their fag ends right by the door, much to the obvious disgust of the photographer. The staff had clearly been overworked and were tetchy, while the other clients sighed as one when the wedding party left,  presumably to find somewhere with cheaper lager, Tesco maybe. When we eventually found a seat someone asked us if we were going to be long- we said we were, he tutted and staggered off, muttering angrily. The ales were good though - BBC Fool Hardy, Black Tor Wheat Beer, Doombar, Broadside, Otter Ale and St Peter’s Plum Porter.  Worth the climb up the hill if changing trains at St David’s.

On 8th October 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2868 recommendations about 2835 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Aqualung . left this review about The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon)

Most JDWs are converted shops, cinemas, post offices or occasionally a purpose built new build. Every now and again you encounter one that is completely off the scale and this one is more off the scale than any I can recall. There is a footpath to the right of the Premier Inn opposite St Davids Station. This steepens considerably to reach a road where there is a sign for the pub. According to my map the pub was still some way off and all I could see was a private road with some lawns up the hill to the left leading to what looked like a stately home. I pressed on to discover that the stately home was actually the pub. Inside it's massive with one bar split into two and the main one further on in the Orangery which was packed.
I didn't get to note all the beers but did see offerings from Otter, Hanlon's, Dartmoor and Salcombe. The prices seemed to be the similar to their other South Devon outlets. I noticed they had Otter Head in their quieter bar so found a seat and knocked back a number of these while watching a large group of students who were less Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll but more conservative 1950s America.
Overall I thought this was a superb Spoons.

On 24th May 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]


View more reviews of The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon) (7)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by hondo .
Exeter St Davids, 0.28 miles, 5 min walk (show)
Exeter Central, 0.5 miles, 9 min walk (show)
St James Park (Devon), 0.94 miles, 18 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Imperial (JD Wetherspoon), Exeter
12th Mar 2022, 17:54
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
 
8th Oct 2019, 06:52
Review submitted by E TA

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • CAMRA Discount : No - JDW vouchers only - last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Darts : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Dog Friendly : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 22 May 2017 by Aqualung .
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Jukebox : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Karaoke : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Live Music : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Micropub : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Pinball : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 17 August 2019 by Quinno _
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