Cafe 55, Exeter

There is something very satisfying about finding a great new place to go, whether it’s a tourist attraction that the kids love, a great restaurant for romantic dinners or anything in between. Cafe 55 is one of those places I have been delighted to have found. It may be a humble cafe, yes, but it is a very special one.

It is one of charity SENSE’s project. If you haven’t heard of SENSE before it is a charity that supports and campaigns for deaf-blind adults and children. This is how we came to discover the cafe, which is attached to their Exeter offices and activity rooms. Abi is registered as deaf-blind and their local children’s specialist has been an invaluable source of support and information for us.


The cafe is tucked down a side street near Central station, and just a few minutes walk from the High Street. Walking in the door it is clear there is something different about the place. There are images on the walls showing patrons how to sign certain useful words using British Sign Language, and alongside the menus are information leaflets, including deafblind manual alphabet cards (Deafblind manual provides a way of spelling out words onto a person’s hand) The cafe is run by deaf-blind volunteers and helpers from the local area and as well as food and drink they sell SENSE branded items to raise more funds.

Every time we have walked in the door the staff have been welcoming and so friendly, and Abi and I both love having a space to use some BSL on a receptive audience! If this wasn’t appealing enough the food is really good and provides great value. Initially the cafe was only open for limited hours on a few days a week, but those days are gradually being extended which I very much hope is a sign that there is both the demand and that the cafe is doing well.

If you are in the area and are thinking of visiting, so you can support a great charity and enjoy some lovely cake, more info and their contact number are available on their Facebook page here.

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