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Michael Caines Restaurant at ABode? Rubbish!! What a rip off!!! My moan is not with the Royal Clarence Hotel Exeter, its the dreadful, pretentious, overpriced restaurant downstairs. A friend and I went here for a set lunchtime taster menu. I know its only a taster menu for £17.50 excluding wine and what do I expect for a lunch menu at their cheap version of the evening menu? I know, but honestly I dont like being ripped off. Cant remember what my starter was but it was about 3cm long and 1cm wide and all I could taste was salt. My friends starter was a tiny tiny piece of fish about the same size a kind of sauce, which my friend said was the nastiest, nastiest sauce he had ever tasted. He had fish again for his main which was not fresh - quite sad when we are surrounded by fish in the Southwest. My main was a piece of chicken thigh from a sparrow and it was so grissly and meatless it made me feel sick. Well we moaned and monaed and when the obnoxious, pompous, nauseating creep of a waiter came to our table we couldnt help but let forth our disgust. We told him that was the most disgusting inedible food we had ever had laid before us. We felt sorry for the poor couple who had just arrived, sat down next to and had only just ordered. Ooppps. Anyway we cancelled desert and left. We saw the couple later on that afternoon and they came over to us and said that they too were disgusted and also had cancelled the rest of their meal and left. So, I know you get what you pay for but I feel that this really was a complete rip off. No cooking expertise had gone into that meal, it was dish up crap quality food and sell it with Mr Caines name behind it. I have eaten in Motorway Service Stations better than that, and thats saying something.
The Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter is in a truly superb location - right in the city centre of Exeter on the high street - I could not have wished for a hotel with a better location. The hotel staff were very friendly, and extremely helpful throughout my stay. The rooms are in excellent condition. The views from my room window were astonishing. I perhaps was lucky in that I had a corporate room which overlooked the cathedral. I would assume that other rooms in the hotel would have had views which were perhaps less good. I did personally feel that the restaurant was on the rather expensive side, however, since the location of the hotel is so superb, there was plenty of less expensive places to eat nearby. The temperature control of the rooms was perhaps the only feature which I felt let the hotel down. I could not find an individual temperature control device in my room which meant that the room was particularly hot at night as the hotel appears to keep it's heating on all the time! I tried opening the windows to cool the room down, however the windows only open slightly, and do not allow much air to get in. In summary, I believe that the location of the hotel compensates for any of the negative features about the hotel that I mentioned above. I enjoyed my stay and would go back there again. Really excellent location.