Nestled in the midst of the picturesque hamlet of Chettiscombe an exciting new venture has burst into life. Lost Kitchen, run by husband and wife team George and Aurora, is a relaxed, Mediterranean-style restaurant celebrating all things wood-fired. Situated in a converted Linhay (originally used to house cattle in the winter) the indoor kitchen is dominated by … what else … a massive wood-fired oven built by George himself, as well as a huge (and I mean huge) image of a cow – a nod to the buildings original purpose.
The interior of the barn has been beautifully and sympathetically renovated with exposed stone walls and roof beams visible. The floor to ceiling windows mean you have amazing views over the surrounding countryside and the equally charming outside terrace. A striking red banquette runs the length of one wall which together with the hand-made wooden tables (using timber from the nearby Knightshayes Estate) and chic lighting creates a rustic yet stylish environment.
Outside, raised beds burst with fruit and vegetables and together with an eclectic collection of galvanised buckets, troughs and other gardenalia lend the whole area the air of a french courtyard. The weather when we went wasn’t exactly Riviera but we still ate outside under an umbrella.
The menu is simple, understated and designed to reflect the seasons. We started off with a charcuterie board accompanied by a bowl of punchy looking (and tasting) pickled veg together with a white bean dip and a deliciously moreish fougasse. As we’d just completed a 2 hour yomp with the hound, these were devoured rather quickly.
Unfortunately we missed the cut off for lunch (3pm) which was a shame as I was rather looking forward to both the Devon crab flatbread and wood-roast chicken dinner. But we consoled ourselves with a couple of sourdough pizzas and weren’t disappointed – beautifully crisp and blistered crusts and paper thin bases covered by a lip-smacking, oozing layer of cheese and Italian tomato sauce, together with our choice of toppings. The only way to go was to fold up and stuff in your mouth as quick as possible before it oozed over your lap! To accompany your meal, they also have a nice selection of local soft drinks, beers and Smith Hayne ciders.
They have great plans for the future as and when the COVID crisis abates so do keep an eye on their website and Instagram account.
GO IF: You want a relaxed meal in a beautiful setting.
MDD LIKES: Their commitment to a low carbon economy. If you walk there and post a photo of you on your walk on Instagram you’ll get 5% off your food bill.