Exeter’s former ASK Italian restaurant will reopen next month as a new independent fine-dining restaurant and cocktail lounge.

Linda and Charles Horner, the founders of No.3 in Topsham and popular Exeter gin bar, Crocketts, have taken over the Grade I listed building dating back to the 16th century in Cathedral Green.

On Tuesday, December 8, it will reopen as No.5 – named after its street address – offering a selection of food and drink for dinner guests, coffee drinkers and cocktail connoisseurs.

The restaurant will feature two individual dining rooms, each specifically designed with a unique theme and dining offering.

Exeter’s former ASK Italian restaurant will reopen as No.5

Revealing what is in store, Charles, who has a successful background in property, said: “No. 5 has been a real joy to transform. Anyone who has previously been in the building will know how incredible the rooms are with their spectacular period features.

“Our vision has been to restyle the interiors in a bespoke, contemporary fashion but with a classic twist.

“It has been a lot of fun selecting all of the pieces for the venue.

“It is furnished throughout with a range of carefully selected beautiful antiques, many of which are locally sourced, to complement the high ceilings and grand staircases.”

Despite the uncertain climate, which has brought great challenges in particular to the hospitality industry, Linda and Charles are more determined than ever with their launch.

Linda Horner is the co-owner of No.5

Linda said: “I feel No. 5 is a great opportunity to bring something positive to the community during what has been an unsettling and difficult time for so many.

“We source locally as much as possible, so are supporting many local businesses wherever we can, and have also employed a number of staff who have been adversely affected by the redundancies from larger restaurant chains due to the pandemic.

“We want No. 5 to be somewhere for everyone to come, relax and enjoy themselves and believe we have achieved this by crafting unique rooms and a wide selection of food and drink options.”

Fine-dining will be a prominent feature of No. 5 with guests able to enjoy two areas on the ground floor – the Botanical restaurant, located at the rear, which offers a more formal setting and the Cathedral View restaurant, providing a more relaxed vibe.

As well as lunchtime and evening dining experiences, including Sunday roasts, No.5 is also offering a Parisian style breakfast sourced from one of Exeter’s much loved foodie outlets, the Exploding Bakery.

Luxurious and decadent afternoon tea experiences are also on the menu.

Through the window of No.5 in Exeter

Linda added: “Our intention is to create a destination venue that satisfies all tastes – intimate, romantic dinners, relaxed cocktails cosied up with friends or a classic afternoon tea and everything in between”.

A specifically crafted menu using locally sourced produce and ingredients has been designed by No.5’s head chef Sam Billson, formerly of Sandy Park.

The Botanical restaurant on the ground floor takes its name from the botanical themed interior design. It offers a luxurious fine-dining experience, perfect for formal celebrations and intimate romantic meals.

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At the front of the building lies the Cathedral View restaurant, serving the same excellent fine-dining menu in a more laid back setting.

The cocktail lounge is located on the first floor and has been decorated in a vintage, Gatsby style, evoking the glamorous by-gone eras.

No. 5 also has another area, which previous owners have failed to take full advantage of – a secret garden at the rear, to accompany the courtyard in the front, making for a fantastic place to enjoy cocktails and excellent cuisine in the warmer months.

The interior inside No.5 in Exeter

In addition, to add some Christmas magic this year with their grand opening, No.5 will also feature two dazzling, magical domes in the garden to enjoy drinks in.

No.5 will open at 9am on Tuesday, December 8, with bookings being taken now. The restaurant will be open seven days a week, from 9am to 11pm.





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