Inside Exeter's new restaurant and wine bar ran by a former army chef and oil rig worker

There’s a new place to be on a Friday and Saturday night: Restaurant and wine bar, Margoux. We headed out before it’s set to open on Friday 31st January to meet one of the owners, Benjamin Doyle. We chatted about how Margoux came to life and all of their future plans.

After working on oil rigs in Africa for six years Ben wanted a change of lifestyle. Originally wanting to run a wedding catering truck and mobile bar he changed his mind when business parter , Vince Aggett, approached him with the idea of starting up a restaurant and wine bar.

Owners Benjamin and Vince

Food is a big aspect of this new bar, especially as Vince worked as a chef in the army for 5 years. They have a wide variety of food options which include gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

When asking how they came up with the menu Ben said that, “we let the chefs have free reign” as he explained he thinks that they had more creative freedom that way.

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Whilst looking around we got to sample an item from their menu prepared by their friendly chef, Sean Newton, Sage and Onion scotch egg with piccalilli accompanied by triple cooked duck fat chips Verdict: It was extremely tasty and left you feeling just the right amount of full. “We’re trying to really pride ourselves on being as local and as environmentally friendly as possible”

Sample of food from Margoux

When asking why they chose this particular location in Exeter Ben explained: “Fore street has so many independent business and we’re independent, It’s got a really good working community which is something me and my business partner thought was more ‘us’ so we jumped at the chance of having this spot.”

The aesthetic of the place is very modern with a 360? bar in the centre when you walk in, Gucci wall paper, low ambient lighting and a really quirky penny table. There is a exclusive bar which is available to hire for up to 12 people which even comes with your own private waiter as Ben calls it the “Margoux experience” Margoux (pronounced mar-go) is an unusual name so when asking what inspired him he told me that: “My friends daughter is called Margort but they weren’t keen on it being exactly the same so after coming across the French spelling thats what we decided.”

At the moment they are currently open: Friday 6pm-Close Saturday 5pm-Close

On Sundays there will be live music along with a Sunday Roast being served. Their future plans sound really exciting, with hopes of eventually serving breakfast and lunch. “We don’t want to run before we can walk.”

“The perfect product we have in mind is a good time as well as good food and good drink , we want to execute that before we bring that to lunch.” In April they are also hoping to renovate their beer garden so that you can enjoy the summer evening with your friends and a few drinks. Although there is still a smoking area at the moment so you can go outside.

“After people finish eating the music will be nice enough that they will want another drink with no reason to leave” They want people to feel in the moment more when listening to music and eating. “This kind of moment is only found at Margoux’s and we can’t wait for you to experience it with us.”

To find Margoux:
14 Mary Arches Street
TQ4 3AZ Exeter, Devon

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