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Duende, Wiveliscombe

Muddy says: A super successful pop-up restaurant finds a permanent home in Wiveliscombe.

duende somerset restaurant

Back in the day, chef Tim Zekki ran secret suppers in his delis in Twickenham and Isleworth and made the London finals in the UKTV’s Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes. Next, he ran a series of consistently fully booked pop-up restaurants all over the Chilterns – and Duende was born. The word is Spanish for ‘spirit, passion, inspiration’,  ‘a spontaneous feeling that comes and goes’ – perfect for a pop-up restaurant.

Duende has now found a permanent home in the Somerset town of Wiveliscombe, only about 9 miles west of Taunton and on the edge of Exmoor – and the spirit, passion and inspiration are all still there.

Tim and wife Linda have transformed an old charity shop on the High Street into an intimate, rather elegant restaurant with distressed metallic walls, flamboyant orange lampshades and original artworks. And the food? It’s Modern British and definitely edging towards the fine dining end, with the emphasis firmly on fresh, local and seasonal – all beautifully presented on spectacular plates – and delicious.

You can book online via their website.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset