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Secret location dining in Somerset

PUBLISHED: 10:43 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:43 23 May 2017

Chicken and slaw in the skate park

Chicken and slaw in the skate park

Archant

Charlotte Skidmore attends the launch of a very different style of dining in Somerset

Normally in my household there’s really long discussions on the subject of where to eat out, to the point that I feel like I might spontaneously combust at any moment. So, imagine my delight when that debate was taken out of my hands.

Secret Location Dining is the brainchild of Elke Winzer of Exmoor4All and Claire Lynch of Claire’s Kitchen. Both are people I have met many times over the years and who I consider to be synonomous with a passion for the food that is produced in our fair county.

This bodes well with the fact they have started this joint venture, which kicked off in style in March.

I turned up at what is to be the regular meeting point at these events, West Somerset Railway Station, with a little trepadation as this new venture is all about secrecy and neither party had uttered a word to reveal where the first dining venue would be.

I was simply told ‘We are going to a fun, whacky venue, which nobody would normally associate with dining out’ and Elke and Claire took care of the rest.

It turned out that we only had a short walk to our ‘restaurant’ for the evening, in fact a very short walk; it was being held at the Minehead EYE, the indoor skate park adjacent to the station car park.

The food was American diner style in MarchThe food was American diner style in March

The food was American diner style with sliders, tiger prawns, sweetcorn chowder, barbecue ribs and chicken wings to get our teeth into.

We even had some entertainment from BMX riders and skateboarders and a wonderful display from Jasmine, the Minehead EYE’s aerial acrobatics instructor, who took to the air on ribbons.

Elke says: “Secret Location Dining is an exciting culinary adventure. It allows me to create an experience which pushes boundaries and combines excellent food with showcasing beautiful Exmoor and West Somerset. Our guests only know the menu and where and when to meet us - the rest is kept secret.

“Secret Location Dining is great for anyone who likes to meet new people and is open to new experiences. Our venues are not ‘normal’ restaurants ¬ they could be anything, from a skatepark, to fields, barns and manor houses.”

There will be a new secret venue every three months on average, but Claire will always be in charge of the cooking, which is good for me and anyone else attending.

Claire says: “Great flavours, that’s what my food is all about. All ingredients come from our own allotment or are locally sourced.

Prawns on the menu at the first eventPrawns on the menu at the first event

“At our Secret Location Dining events there are no limits; nobody knows what to expect, so we can create dishes and menus to our heart’s content.”

The next Secret Location Dining event will be on 30 June, but obviously I can’t tell you where as I don’t know.

The food will be mezze starters, lamb and chicken mains (yes, you get both) and pineapple and strawberry carpaccio with a basil and mint sugar served with a poached lemon and cinnamon ice cream to finish off, all with some lovely drinks and accompaniments along the way.

Elke adds: “I love working with Claire Lynch and her Claire’s Kitchen team. I know that I can rely on her to produce outstanding food - and that she wouldn’t flinch if I said that we are going to dine in a derelict barn in the middle of Exmoor!”

I’m told that the venue will always be quirky, fabulous and a secret of course, but, where the event will take people next is literally anyone’s guess.

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