Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm restaurant panned as 'overpriced and pub quality'
Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm restaurant has been deemed "overpriced" and " a bit pub chain"
The 62-year-old former Top Gear presenter has just announced that his "rustic and mostly outdoor" beef restaurant has opened thanks to a loophole in planning regulations, despite being rejected by the local council.
The Mail columnist Jan Moir was one of the first diners at the newly opened restaurant, who said the location, staff and view were "lovely".
Read more: Jeremy Clarkson refused permission to expand carpark at Diddly Squat Farm Shop
But she complained that if Clarkson insisted his eatery was all about the beef: "Why isn’t that beef better?"
She added: "It’s OK, but can I be honest? It’s a bit pub chain."
Dining in the VIP Shepherd's Hut, at £69 a head for a three course Sunday roast and English sparkling wine, Moir admitted she was left feeling "fleeced" after being served a "chewy" steak tartare made from cheap cuts of meat and ice cream topped with one strawberry cut in half.
After paying £12.50 for a jar of honey, labelled "Bee Juice" in the farm shop, Moir said her highlight of the experience was being driven by tractor and trailer to the VIP dining hut by Clarkson's Farm star, 24-year-old farm manager Kaleb Cooper, who she admits to being a fan of.
But upon their departure she revealed Cooper came round proffering a paper cup for tips, which she described as, "somehow the worst thing of all."
Clarkson has said his restaurant does not cater for vegetarians or "the faddy".
He 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. You can’t just turn up I’m afraid, but you can make a booking."
In the description on booking service OpenTable he admitted: "Ordering a beer or going to the lavatory isn’t as easy as in your local pub... We’ve done our best to keep you warm and dry."
The kitchen is being run by Great British Menu chef Pip Lacey and there is no menu, customers are served a selection of what is available on the day.
Clarkson said: "Almost everything you eat was grown or reared on our farm."
Diners at the restaurant must agree to be filmed for the new series of his Amazon Prime show Clarkson's Farm.
Earlier this year Clarkson was refused his application to convert a lambing shed into a 60 seat restaurant.
But he revealed to The Times that he had discovered he could use a different barn, without planning permission.
Clarkson said: "We found a cunning little loophole. It’s a weight off my shoulders and it appeals to my anti-establishment bent. You can write to your council and inform them that you are changing a barn’s use, it’s called permitted development.
"We happen to have a barn which met every single one of the criteria. You have to prove it’s a viable business. We sent the council an email on Wednesday night and on Thursday it was like something from Challenge Anneka to get it ready.”
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host has also been denied permission to extend the onsite parking from 10 spaces to 70 spaces by the local district council planning authority.
Read more: Jeremy Clarkson hopes to convert 'vegetablist' vegans to meat
Clarkson has been overrun with visitors to the shop in Chadlington, Oxfordshire since making it the star of his latest TV series.
Watch: Ant and Dec prank Jeremy Clarkson at his farm