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08th Aug 2022

Investigation opened up into Jeremy Clarkson’s new restaurant – after he found a ‘delightful little loophole’ to open it

Jack Peat

The restaurant serves locally-sourced food and doesn’t “cater to the faddy”, according to its website 

Jeremy Clarkson’s local council has launched an investigation into his new restaurant -after he found a ‘‘delightful little loophole’’ to open it.

The ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ star’s ‘Diddly Squat’ eatery has long been hampered by local residents and planning laws.

But the former Top Gear star surprised fans last month when he announced he had found a ‘delightful little loophole’ in planning laws and opened for business.

Now, West Oxfordshire District Council say they are investigating the restaurant after councillors rejected its initial planning application in January.

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

Tweeting the news, Clarkson said in July: “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.”

He later told reporters that he had found a ‘‘delightful little loophole’’ in the process.

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.”

Clarkson’s Restaurant is available for booking at his Diddly Squat Farmshop in Chadlington, Oxfordshire.

Items on the menu are all locally sourced, featuring snacks like sticky beef croquettes with aioli and pickled chilli, and mains such as Roasted topside of beef with vegetables.

On the online restaurant booking service, 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.

“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.”

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