Supper at Pleck is back


Editor Laura tried the seasonal pop-up which transforms a family home into a sociable culinary destination with Alex Woodhouse at the helm

Images: Supper at Pleck

In 2021, COVID was still rife and the hospitality industry was both tough and highly risky. But Alex Woodhouse was a keen young chef with an ambition to open his own restaurant. A family brain-storming session led to the first season of Supper at Pleck. It was such an instant hit that this May, the popular pop-up restaurant comes back for a fourth year, still in Alex’s family home and ’20-year renovation project,’ Pleck Barn. With few overheads, hosting the pop-up in the family’s dining room (the double-height threshing space in the barn) was initially a relatively risk-free first foray into the business. It remains one of their selling points.
Alex has created a destination restaurant with a special atmosphere, providing fine food in a uniquely fun and informal setting, where first time guests are greeted like old friends, and leave feeling as though they have become just that.

Alex Woodhouse, chef and owner of Supper at Pleck

A small menu by choice
‘We wanted to create a deeply relaxed dining experience in a beautiful setting,’ says Claire Hundley, Alex’s mother who works front of house for the Supper at Pleck evenings. ‘As the food is sourced, cooked and served within a 24 hour window, we only offer a small selection of menu choices, usually two per course plus a vegetarian option. And he asks guests to pre order – that means there is no wastage. Alex buys exactly what he needs.’
The cost is £30 per head for a three-course supper, and there are three menus a year, changing every six weeks as Alex reflects local seasonal produce in the menu choices.
He specialises in good quality cuts of meat with well reduced, deeply flavoured sauces. But it’s apprently common for veggie and vegan guests to say theirs was the best they’ve ever tasted!
Last autumn, the menu included a chicory and roquefort salad starter which was crisp and fresh, the Roquefort balanced by a deliciously acidic dressing with bursts of sweet grape. The cod fillet, with an olive, caper and cherry tomato sauce, was meltingly soft and meaty, beautifully cooked with a thick herb crumb, while the sauce was richly sweet and surprisingly light. The pan-fried chicken breast with a creamy tarragon, chorizo and white wine sauce was moist and buttery soft, with a light sauce full of flavour. The delicious dark chocolate and pecan tart was light and delicate, a delightful finale.

Outdoor gourmet dining with Supper at Pleck

Making new friends
‘I’m completely committed to the “bring your own drinks” idea,’ Alex says. ‘One of the pleasures of eating out is drinking good wine while being cooked for – but it has become increasingly expensive, sometimes as much as 50 per cent of the total cost of the meal. So whether you want cheap plonk or high quality claret, you can buy it at supermarket prices and pair it with your menu choices. We provide plenty of glasses of all types, as well as the ice and lemon!’

Autumn menu: cod fillet with an olive, caper and cherry tomato sauce, basil crumb and balsamic and olive oil dressing

Supper at Pleck Barn is faintly reminiscent of a big family get-together, with guests seated on mismatched furniture and garden chairs, wide barn doors opened wide to enjoy the incredible view across the valley from the garden. On warm summer evenings, the tables are outside in the garden itself – ‘We decide about 4pm whether the weather will be kind to us,’ says Alex. ‘And an informal sociable atmosphere is encouraged. We only have one sittingand guests are all requested to keep to our “7 for 7.30pm” rule, so there is time to mingle on the lawn and enjoy the garden. Coffee and tea at the end of the meal is self-service, and guests are free to mingle and chat when they have finished dining at their individual tables.

This year we will be trying a monthly Sunday lunch special, too. Each will be differently themed, and current plans include a crayfish boil, a marinated meats barbecue and a hoggett Sunday, all with canapé starters and delicious puds, served on long tables which can seat 20 to 25 people.
‘Where else can you sit with that view, with a private chef-cooked meal, and still afford to drink champagne with it if you wish?’

On cool or damp evenings supper will be in the double-height threshing barn

The spring menu has just been published – you can see it on the Supper at Pleck Facebook page, or by email



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