Now an Exmouth Market fixture, Caravan has matured into a lively local favourite. The restaurant/bar is an unintimidatingly modern space, with some quirky touches (check out the light fittings). When busy – which is often – it’s noisy, but we’ve few other complaints. Staff are charming and competent, and the menu is a tempting read, comprising many small plates and a handful of larger ones.
Confit rabbit and smoky black pudding terrine comes with pickled nectarine and toast; squid pancake with Japanese brown sauce, mayonnaise and seaweed salt. More conservative eaters might choose the delicious seared sirloin with anchovy dressing. We also relished a deep-fried duck egg, and a sharing plate of merguez sausage, falafel, houmous, aubergine relish, sheep’s cheese, carrot pickle and pitta. Cornbread with chipotle butter is divine but super-rich; don’t order it if you’re interested in trying dessert. And you should – chocolate and espresso pudding with crème fraîche sorbet is just one of several classy options.
Also worth having is coffee. It’s roasted in the basement (where the kitchen and party table are located). A user-friendly drinks list includes cocktails and specialist teas alongside a global wine selection. For a less expensive option, head here for breakfast.