Review: Cider Tasting and Pizza Evening @ The Stable

Last Thursday, Razz was treated to an amazing Cider Tasting experience at The Stable in Exeter. The evening was a great success and here are some of the highlights from our writers:

Anna Hartley: “The cider tasting evening at The Stable was so fun – as someone who knows very little about cider I was really impressed and interested to find out so much about the process of making cider and the differences between kinds of cider. Our cider master knew so much, and it was great to learn about cider in a really relaxed atmosphere while getting to try ten completely different ones alongside delicious pizza and cheese and crackers! Out of the ten ciders we tried my favourite would have to be Sheppy’s raspberry cider which was lovely and sweet but not too sickly. Cider fan or not, the cider tasting experience at The Stable is a great way to spend an evening and I’d really recommend it!”

Owen Bell: “The Stable is Exeter’s foremost venue for South Western ciders. Over the course of the evening, we tried ciders from Dorset, Somerset, and even Devon Red- a cider made near Crediton. Except for an apple cider vinegar, the ciders were all delicious. I would particularly recommend Sheppy’s cider with raspberry, a sweet Somerset speciality. Accompanied by a wide range of vegetarian and vegan pizzas, the experience was thoroughly enjoyable.”

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Emma Hewetson: “I absolutely love the atmosphere of The Stable, the wooden benches and twinkling lights give it a rustic and homely vibe. We were lucky enough to get to taste a few items from The Stable menu, but my favourites were the garlic bread with sourdough pizza base, and the longhorn Jim pizza, which is topped with ground beef, chorizo, mushrooms, red onion, and smoked ham. I don’t personally drink but the cider tasting experience was still a great evening, our cider master Dave was fun, engaging and was clearly extremely enthusiastic about cider! I learnt so much fascinating information about cider production and how close we are in Exeter to local Devon cider farms. Even if you don’t drink, the actual tasting experience is still lots of fun as you can play along ranking the appearances and aromas of each cider and if you do choose to have a sip of one, as I did, I highly recommend the mango cider.”

Connor Gormley: “The Stable’s Cider Tasting Experience is a little bit weird. At fifteen to thirty pounds a head, it’s pricier than it should be and the idea of a book club for booze doesn’t seem as snug with cider as it is with wine. Maybe it shouldn’t work, but it does. The Stable brings out the bottles with an unpretentious, honest enthusiasm. There’s a real love for Alcoholic Apple juice here, and some great stuff to try and Cider Master Dave walks you through it all with unpretentious passion. Take that, a few pizzas, a cozy atmosphere and a couple of cheese boards and you have yourself a refined, but still boozy, alternative to your usual night out.”

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Take that, a few pizzas, a cozy atmosphere and a couple of cheese boards and you have yourself a refined, but still boozy, alternative to your usual night out” – Connor Gormley

Amy Bond: “Despite growing up in Somerset, I’d never ventured beyond Thatcher’s, so being able to try 10 different ciders in one night was an eye-opening experience! My personal favourite was Tomoshanta, which is made near Glastonbury. A specially-trained Cider Master lead the cider tasting, explaining how cider is made, and the basic differences between things like single-variety, flat, and sparkling ciders as we went along. It was very interesting, and far more entertaining than a lecture! The pizzas are incredible, too: I’d highly recommend the Guildhall Grazer! The Stable is definitely worth a visit (just don’t admit to being a fan of Strongbow!)”

Layla Hanif: “The Stable itself feels really cosy with candles lit everywhere and friendly staff that made the experience enjoyable. Dave took us through the ciders on offer and felt like a natural addition to the party early on. The table was set up with individual taster glasses set up in a wooden rack that reminded me of the test tube rack we used in science at school, appropriate as the tasting experience was definitely educational. We not only got to taste local and revered ciders, but we were able to learn about why they all taste so different. I have already put my knowledge to good use as I’ve visited the pub since and felt just that little bit more sophisticated when making an informed decision at the bar (as much as one can whilst ordering a cider on a Sunday night). I really enjoyed the experience and cannot wait for another opportunity to visit the Stable and order a strong, sparkling, Lilleys Bee Sting Perry.”

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Sarah Hough: “If, like me, you are a regular cider drinker, ashamedly in my case a drinker of Strongbow Dark Fruits, then I would whole-heartedly recommend a visit to The Stable. Set alongside their pizza menu is an enormous range of innovative and delicious ciders. Favourites from my recent visit are one which is infused with nettles and actually leaves your tongue slightly tingly, and a mango flavoured cider which was absolutely delicious, perfect for any fellow sweet tooth trying to replace a classic cider with something a little more exciting.”

“The Stable itself feels really cosy with candles lit everywhere and friendly staff that made the experience enjoyable” – Layla Hanif

Emily Bond: “The stable cider tasting evening was absolutely wonderful. Dave, our ‘cider master’, had a personality that was as equally charismatic as his beard and seemed to hold the answers to every single question about cider that could ever possibly be asked. I thoroughly enjoyed the actual tasting of the cider, for obvious reasons, but I enjoyed it even more this time as I feel as though I actually learnt something from it. Previously, cider had just been a very beige drink for me, something that was always in the cupboard and readily available but not especially appealing. Now, I feel as if it’s something I would choose to drink, particularly the raspberry one that we tried and tested. I will definitely be going back for student night!”

Lowri Ellcock: “What can go wrong with a night of excellent pizza and cider? Under the guidance of Cider Master Dave at Exeter’s The Stable, it turns out nothing at all. We were hosted in our own quiet corner of the restaurant and treated to pizza, cider and cheese. Dave chatted us through each of the ciders, allowing us to sample still, sparkling, dry, fruity and even one (rather unpleasant) vinegary one. The pizza was great, with all dietary requirements catered to (genuinely some of the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had!) and Dave’s knowledge of cider was impressive. A great way to pass an evening!”

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