Branscombe joins gastronomic rankings

07:00 29 January 2013

Jonny, Ralph the dog and Alan

Jonny, Ralph the dog and Alan

Archant

Branscombe may not have as many Michelin stars as London but foodies have a new destination in East Devon.

Jonny Jeffrey opened his house, the Great Barn, as a rural retreat for diners from the capital, but now he is looking at catering for people from closer to home.

The chef, formerly of Soho’s prestigious Groucho Club, has been offering the fine dining getaways at his home off Northern Lane since August.

The trips were organised by the Disappearing Dining Club, which looks for ‘reclaimed or unusual private spaces’.

Jonny said: “I told Stuart (Langley, founder of the Disappearing Dining Club) I wanted to start a dining club, but we’re in the middle of nowhere.

“We came up with the idea of offering weekends to Londoners, but we also want to offer it to people from Devon.”

He said it’s not a bed and breakfast or a hotel, but somewhere in between the two, as they invite guests to eat their food and show them the area.

“Someone said it’s like staying at a friend’s house, but you don’t feel guilty about not doing the washing-up,” he added.

The weekends, which he hosts with his partner Alan, have mostly attracted 25 to 40-year-olds from London, but Jonny said he is keen to cater for people from Devon who may not want to stay over.

He is now looking at setting up supper clubs in Lyme Regis and Bridport, and either Branscombe or Sidmouth, but said the plans are still quite premature.

Jonny hopes to take over a restaurant one night a week to offer a different dining experience from what is normally available.

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