Jeremy Clarkson’s farm restaurant being investigated by council

·3-min read
The Diddly Squat farm shop. Picture: Ed Nix
The Diddly Squat farm shop. Picture: Ed Nix

A COUNCIL is investigating Jeremy Clarkson’s Oxfordshire farm restaurant after the former Top Gear host found a ‘delightful little loophole’ in order to open it.

Last month, Mr Clarkson opened the restaurant at Diddly Squat Farm in Chadlington, despite plans being rejected by councillors.

Proposals for the restaurant were thrown out by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) in January, however rather than using an old lambing barn under the initial plans, Mr Clarkson told The Sun he had found a ‘delightful little loophole’.

READ AGAIN: Jeremy Clarkson opens restaurant on farm – despite plans being rejected

However, the opening of the restaurant is being probed by WODC – although a spokesperson for the local authority warned the investigation is part of normal procedure.

The WODC spokesperson said: “The council was made aware of the restaurant opening at Diddly Squat Farm.

“As part of our standard operating procedure, we have been looking into the operation to ensure it is compliant with local and national planning law and policies, as well as licensing and food hygiene regulations.

“We cannot comment on any ongoing investigations.”

Seven out of 10 councillors on WODC’s uplands area planning sub-committee voted against the initial restaurant plans at the beginning of the year.

However, after opening the Diddly Squat Farm restaurant last month, Mr Clarkson tweeted: “I’m thrilled to announce that you now have a chance to try the amazing food we grow and rear on my farm at the brand new (but quite rustic) Diddly Squat restaurant.”

Mr Clarkson found another barn at the West Oxfordshire farm and told WODC he would be opening a restaurant there instead.

On the online restaurant booking service OpenTable, information for Diddly Squat reads: “Before making your booking, you should know it’s small, mostly outdoors and very rustic.

“Ordering a beer or going to the lavatory isn’t as easy as in your local pub and we don’t cater to the faddy.

“We’ve done our best to keep you warm and dry, but this is England.

“On the upside, the view is enormous and almost everything you eat was grown or reared on our farm, so it’s fresh with minimal food miles.

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“There is no menu as such – we simply serve what’s available that day.

“But worry not, your table will be given a selection of snacks and starters followed by a roast and a pudding.

“Our bread, made with Hawkstone lager is absolutely brilliant.

“We even have a tiny VIP room housed in an old shepherd’s hut. This seats four (just) but it is dry and warmer than outside.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice

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