THE dust settled after the two chefs sped off down the hill, heading for London. Another morning after a dinner in my cowshed and finally it was just me, putting the finishing touches to the clear-up; locking cupboards, covering the ovens and grills with tarpaulin, switching off the gas, turning off and wedging open the large fridge.

Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy’s dinner for the Sitwell Supper Club had gone well: multiple, generous courses of tapas, paella, octopus, pork cheeks and a Basque burnt (deliberately, don’t worry) cheesecake.

While the set-ups are a fevered day of excited work as 7PM, when our guests arrive for drinks, looms at us like a high-speed train, the final clear-up the next day always has a melancholy air. The noise of 70 people chatting and laughing, the sounds of music, the sight of that long, long, single table are now memories and what lies ahead immediately is the prospect of lugging bottles down to the road, bagging the rubbish and burning cardboard boxes.

Somerset County Gazette: George Hersey, restaurant director of Adam Handling Restaurant Group helps to plate up his dessert Food Fight ( as seen on the Great British Menu) (c) Daffodil PRGeorge Hersey, restaurant director of Adam Handling Restaurant Group helps to plate up his dessert Food Fight ( as seen on the Great British Menu) (c) Daffodil PR

But the Omar aftermath also promised some excitement in the form of the most delicious leftovers you can imagine: a monkfish, prawn and squid paella, salted anchovies and a leg of Iberico ham.

These were exquisite delicacies that we would relish over the coming weekend. Omar, I thought to myself, you are welcome back any time. Just for some leftovers, don’t worry about the effort of a whole wretched dinner!

Such are the occasional perks of the small business I run on the side of my life as a writer, of a weekly restaurant column for The Telegraph, books about food and magazine journalism. I’ve made some pretty good contacts over the years as a food writer interviewing, filming and socialising with some of the world’s greatest chefs. So it’s a privilege for me to bring some of these characters down to our farm, just off Exmoor, not far from Wiveliscombe, to cook for locals, for friends we’ve made in the short three years since my wife Emily and our two kids moved to Rooks Nest Farm.

Somerset County Gazette: William Sitwell at the bar of Sitwell Supper Club (c) Daffodil PRWilliam Sitwell at the bar of Sitwell Supper Club (c) Daffodil PR

I’m not a farmer so pondering on the vast cowshed that came with the house and the idea was irresistible. Build a kitchen at one end, a bar in the middle and then one very long table. Three years in and I still look in wonder at what we have created. The sight of 70 people sitting at a table that stretches into the distance, eating fabulous food, sipping great wines and simply enjoying themselves never fails to excite me and stir my heart.

The idea of it keeps me going as I sweep the floor on the morning of an event, clean the kitchen, put the wines in the fridges and on racks and begin the process of laying that long, long table.

We’ve had brilliant chefs make the journey here from London and beyond. Great culinary talent such as Anna Haugh, Adam Handling, Cyrus Todiwala, Atul Kochhar, Shelina Permalloo, Rowley Leigh and many more. Each has brought their own unique menu, I supply the wines and anyone can buy a seat. You just need to be quick on the draw. Exmoor and this part of Somerset contains a number of hungry and keen foodies. We have a growing list of loyal regulars, who have become dear friends of mine, and I relish meeting the newbies and urging everyone to spread the word.

Somerset County Gazette: Adam Handling puts the finishing touches to asparagus (served with lamb and pea) (c) Daffodil PRAdam Handling puts the finishing touches to asparagus (served with lamb and pea) (c) Daffodil PR

Every month we throw a seriously delicious party. Spring and summer sees everyone outside on that long, glorious table but the winter months and we get a little cosy. While the chefs shiver in the kitchen, our guests – who I advise dress for the ski slopes - enjoy drinks in the inner, gravelled courtyard, twinkling lights making it feel like the square in a little hilltop village, before heading inside a tent, lined with decorative material and, after a burst of hot air from my space blower, warm the place with their presence and spirit!

It's a different experience to that of the summer months, but no less fun and delicious! We hand out blankets to those who feel the cold, then implore them that another visit to the bar will add further warmth!

This winter is shaping up for some gastronomic excitements which include a Christmas special on December 1 when one time MasterChef champion Dhruv Baker returns to deliver a multi-course festive feast.

Somerset County Gazette: Dining table at Sitwells Supper Club (c) Daffodil PRDining table at Sitwells Supper Club (c) Daffodil PR

As always I’ll be there, hosting, manning the bar and trying to ensure problems are dealt with speedily and that everyone leaves happy and gloriously fed and watered.

I call it the Sitwell Supper Club but the name isn’t entirely accurate. Yes, I’m the man who lends his name to it, but I like to think you get rather more than supper and this is a club with no membership and no rules, you just need to be hungry and up for a good time!

See you in the cowshed soon!

For details of Sitwell Supper Club events join the mailing list by visiting