Pip Lacy to lead the Kitchen at Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat farm restaurant

The  Staff Canteen

Great British Menu's Pip Lacey is in charge of the kitchen at Jeremy Clackson's 40-seat Diddly Squat farm restaurant after a 'planning loophole' allowed the site to open

TV personality, Jeremy Clarkson, is finally opening his restaurant on his Diddly Squat farm despite the fact that local planners objected to the project. The 40-seat restaurant, which is currently taking bookings online, will have a kitchen overseen by Great British Menu's Pip Lacy.

Pip has appeared twice on Great British menu first in 2015 and then again in 2017. Pip originally trained in graphic design but would switch to catering when she was 29. Her first catering position was at Gordon Ramsay’s York and Albany where she met Angela Hartnett.

After that, she joined Murano in 2014, as head chef but has since moved on to become co-owner of hicce and hicce mkt in the Coal Drops Yard.

Diddly Squat farm restaurant is less polished than some restaurants, as on Open Table, where you can book a table at the restaurant, it warns prospective customers of the small and rustic nature of the venue.

The description on the website says: "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."

However, it isn't all doom and gloom as the description also comments on the restaurant's view and the local produce stating, "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."

The food

The restaurant's kitchen, headed by Pip Lacy, will have no official menu. Instead, diners can pay from £49 and will be offered beef served with the food produced on Clarkson's 1000-acre farm all expertly prepared by Pip and the kitchen team.

The description on Open Table says: "there is no menu as such - we simply serve what's available that day." 

Jeremy Clarkson has stated that diners will be served beef and will not get a choice over which cut they are given. This is because, as he said to the Times: "I am told 1,000 people can eat from one cow and we have had one hanging for 29 days. Some people are going to get oxtail, some tongue and some will get fillet steak."

Along with the standard experience, guests can purchase a VIP dining experience for £69 per head for a three-course meal, according to the Times. Although the newspaper describes the VIP experience as "a squeeze for four people in a shepherd’s hut."

Clarkson himself described the VIP experience by saying: "This seats four (just) but it is dry and warmer than outside. We will even serve you a complimentary bottle of English sparkling wine. Don't scoff. It's very good."

However, despite this, the restaurant is proud of its local produce most of which will be produced on Clarkson's farm. 

He said: "We're going to sell all the stuff we produce on the farm and finally make some profit from the stuff we grow rather than run up losses."

The experience

The small size has led to some interesting workarounds such as the fact that those who wish to use the toilet have to be escorted via tractor or quad bikes and that the restaurant advises diners to dress appropriately as most of the seating is outside meaning the chance of being rained on is quite high.

In fact, diners, who all have to book in advance, are advised to “dress appropriately” and told that “We cannot guarantee that you won’t get wet,” on the booking website. However, given Pip's experience on the Great British Menu, this might be perfect as her starter 'Whatever the Weather' won in the final.

Along with the lack of choice and the small size, diners also have to consent to being filmed for his show Clarkson's Farm on Amazon Prime.

With the toilets being a tractor ride away, most of the tables being out in the open and diners having to climb into a trailer and be towed by a tractor to the barn restaurant, after being greeted by a sign telling them, “Yes, we have no vegetarian food,” the atmosphere feels a bit rough and ready with hopefully room for growth.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th July 2022

Pip Lacy to lead the Kitchen at Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat farm restaurant