Exmouth is ideal town for new restaurant

PUBLISHED: 09:21 10 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:21 10 April 2013

El Olivo tapas and wine bar opened on Friday, 5 April. Husband and wife Ian Spencer and Lotta Blombergsson celebrate the opening. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8519-14-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

El Olivo tapas and wine bar opened on Friday, 5 April. Husband and wife Ian Spencer and Lotta Blombergsson celebrate the opening. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8519-14-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Exmouth is fast becoming East Devon's culinary capital following the opening of a new Mediterranean-style restaurant in The Strand last weekend.

El Olivo, opened by Exmouth mayor John Humphreys and town crier Roger Bourgein, is run by Ian Spencer, 50, and Stockholm chef Lotta Blombergsson, 43.

They moved to Exmouth in February after living on the Greek Island of Naxos for 25 years, where they ran an Asian restaurant.

El Olivo, in The Strand, at the junction with Queen Street, is a meze and tapas restaurant, offering Spanish and Greek-style dishes. But it also has North African and Lebanese influences.

Ian, from Lancashire, said: “We looked at other European countries and felt that the economy in England was quite buoyant and there were opportunities.

“We had a recce down the coast as far as Falmouth but we kept on hearing about Exmouth, the town’s regeneration and that things were happening in the town.

“We looked at the town, its beautiful beach, the fact that for a population 35,000 people there are that many restaurants. We thought it was ideal.”

Three typical dishes are green pistachio cous cous, baked feta cheese, chilli-tomatoes and olives, and beef with garlic and sherry.

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