Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Restaurant has opened to cheers from fans thanks to a “loophole” found by the presenter. But with the eatery now open to the public, the reviews are slowly trickling in, with one review written by Jan Moir for the Mail Online scathing the restaurant every which way.
“Honestly. You have no idea what an utter cult Jeremy Clarkson is until you visit his Diddly Squat empire and see it with your own goggling eyes,” the writer says as she defines the beauty of the land surrounding Diddly Squat Farm.
She begins by digging into the success of the farm shop:
“I buy a small jar of honey for £12.80. Can I have a receipt please, I ask the till girl, wondering if it was Beyonce herself who collected the pollen, because that’s the only thing I can think of that might justify the price. ‘We don’t do receipts,’ she replies, sweetly. I’ll bet you don’t, I think,” she writes, maybe questioning the tax handling of the shop? Who knows.
After noting how a “grown woman is crying because she has just been told that the restaurant is full,” she begins her journey to the restaurant on a trailer hauled by Jeremy’s famous Lamborghini tractor driven by Kaleb Cooper. Kaleb in Jeremy’s number two on the farm, and has become a fan favourite. Moir is a fan of Kaleb, but who isn’t?
It’s stated on the restaurant website that “there is no menu as such – we simply serve what’s available that day.” Beef was on the menu for Moir, but she was very disappointed in what looked to me like a tasty Sunday lunch. (Sorry, you’ll have to go to the original review to take a look at the photos as we haven’t got permission to use them.)
“That’s all very well,” she wrote, referencing the fact that Clarkson focusses on beef on his land.
“But here is my beef — why isn’t that beef better? There is lots to love about the restaurant: the location is superb, the view is lovely and so are the staff.
“Given that I am in a restaurant on a beef-producing farm on their second day of service, I had expected something magnificent for Sunday lunch: a rib roast or roast sirloin perhaps. But we are served a cut called topside.
“It’s OK, but can I be honest? It’s a bit pub chain,” she admits.
Moir continued to complain about the quality of the beef before telling her readers that this cost upwards of “£49 per head”. I agree, this is very steep for a simple Sunday lunch, but what she doesn’t note is what this includes. Is this just the main meal? Or is this the three courses she describes in her review which included “a starter of steak tartare was assembled with a chopped mixture of rump, skirt and fillet steak”, and “strawberries and ice cream with honey” for dessert.
If it does, then fifty quid seems quite reasonable, especially as you’re paying not only for the food, but for the experience of dining at Clarkson’s Farm. I personally would be happy to pay this much money for fresh food raised yards away from where I’m eating it. Maybe that’s just me?
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“After lunch we get back in the trailer and trundle through the field once more,” she writes.
“When we reach the shop, Kaleb switches off the tractor, comes round to the side of the trailer and holds out a paper cup for tips.”
Yeah, maybe this is a bit too far. But overall this review seems to be overly negative? Especially when the food looks so good.