February 2021 Update

In line with the latest announcements, much of St Sidwell’s Centre remains closed – including our Community Café, our Cookery School and the free ESOL classes. However, despite the lockdown restrictions, we are still offering:


Some of our Cafe staff and volunteers are still coming in for a couple of days a week and cooking a range of meals for collection or home delivery. You can order by phoning us between 10am and 3pm on weekdays, on 01392 666222. We are selling these frozen and chilled meals but we are also able to give them away for free to anyone who is struggling during these difficult times. If you know of anyone who might need help with access to food, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


We are still baking our wonderful bread at The Sidwell Street Bakehouse, now relocated to 178/179 Sidwell Street. For the time being, because there isn’t much footfall on the streets, we are only open 3 days a week, from Thursday to Saturday. Alternatively, you can order your bread for home delivery by visiting our online shop here.


We’re very impatient to relaunch our range of one-off Cookery workshops and longer-term Cookery courses and, hopefully, we’ll be able to start advertising the programme and taking new bookings within a couple of months. If you are interested in learning how to cook, in learning new recipes or in sharing your cooking skills with other, please get in touch by phoning 01392 666222 or emailing manager@stsidwells.org.uk

To keep busy, some of our cooks have been experimenting with filming cookery demonstrations at home. Go to our Cookery School pages to have a look at what’s there…. and maybe try one of the recipes out at home? For those who would prefer a more interactive format, our cooks are also running Zoom Cook-along sessions once-a-fortnight at 5pm on Monday afternoons. If you are interested in joining in, phone us and, if there are enough places available, we will send you the Zoom link


Most of our rooms stand empty and the bookings have been cancelled. However, there are some exceptions that fall within government guidelines and we are still able to accept bookings from groups that are providing support and mutual aid to vulnerable people. Phone 01392 666222 between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday for more information.


The free ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes that are usually on offer at St Sid’s every day from Monday to Friday, have had to close but several of our volunteer teachers are offering weekly online English classes over Zoom. If you are interested and would like us to introduce you to one of the teachers, phone 01392 666222 or email manager@stsidwells.org.uk

We’re also offering an ESOL drop-in every Friday from 9.30 to 11am for anyone learning English who needs advice on studying at home during lockdown; wants to borrow English language learning books; or needs help with or advice about any other aspect of living in Devon.


We’re very grateful to the dedicated group of volunteers who continue to come in once a week to maintain the gardens and grow fruit and veg. Julie Smith, from Sow and Grow, the professional gardener who was working with us last year is still with us and is planning a schedule of new sessions for our Urban Gardening and Conservation Programme that will hopefully be able to start again in April. If you are interested in joining our volunteer gardeners or attending one of Julie’s training sessions then please phone us on 01392 666222 or email gardening@stsidwells.org.uk

About us

We are an independent community centre in the heart of Exeter giving a warm welcome regardless of background, ability or circumstance. We offer a wide programme of activities, events and services for the local community.

We run a community café, a bakery and a cookery school; we grow vegetables look after one of the few large green spaces in the city centre; we offer affordable meeting room and venue hire;  provide free ESOL classes; act as a local heritage hub for the Eastern quarter of Exeter city-centre; and offer volunteering and work-experience opportunities across all areas of our work. 

The Sidwell Street Café
Our cafe offers fresh, delicious food cooked from scratch alongside inclusive volunteering opportunities.
Read more... "The Sidwell Street Café"
The Sidwell Street Bakehouse
Our in-house bakery specialises in sourdough, while training volunteers.
Read more... "The Sidwell Street Bakehouse"
Find out more about volunteering with us.
Read more... "Volunteering"
Room Hire
A variety of rooms at competitive prices for your meeting or event.
Read more... "Room Hire"
English Classes
Olive Tree offers free English (ESOL) language classes taught by volunteer teachers.
Read more... "English Classes"
A range of catering options for events at St Sidwell’s and across Exeter.
Read more... "Catering"
The only green space opening from Sidwell Street or the High Street is home to our veg garden.
Read more... "Gardens"
Explore the history and heritage of St Sidwell’s and Sidwell Street.
Read more... "Heritage"