Set within extensive grounds in Cheshunt Hertfordshire, Birch Community is an uber contemporary blend of wellness getaway, members' club, hotel and foodie destination.

Its flagship restaurant The Zebra Riding Club, helmed by Irish chef Robin Gill, has recieved ecstatic acclaim, and is nature forward, both in its green credentials, and in using seasonal produce from the community's farm, woodland, or nearby producers.

Named after an eccentric former resident, who would ride her open carriage into London pulled by zebras, the restaurant is open to both guests and visitors.The Resident: Ben Rand and Robin Gill are running regular Thursday supper clubs at Birch in HertfordshireBen Rand and Robin Gill are running regular Thursday supper clubs at Birch in Hertfordshire (Image: Adam Firman)

Gill and friend Ben Rand have started a Thursday supper club, showing off their talent for making good ingredients shine. Unless you can round up a large group, you will be sitting with fellow guests, and the joy of these occasions is swapping food stories with strangers, while being taken care of by friendly hosts.

It's a leisurely, convivial feast, not for those on tight schedules, you are invited to gather from 7pm for drinks in the bar, with service getting underway at 8pm.

Dessert hadn't yet arrived by the time we left at 11pm, so perhaps the sensible thing is to stay on site and relax into the occasion.

Low lighting and wood furniture make the high ceilinged former stables more intimate, and you can watch Gill and his brigade sweating over roasted hunks of meat in an open kitchen while listening to a pair of violinists trot through popular tunes.The Resident: The bar area in the former stables at the Zebra Riding ClubThe bar area in the former stables at the Zebra Riding Club (Image: Adam Firman)

The sommelier carefully explains the pairing wines; I've yet to be convinced by natural wines, but the Spanish 'pet' nat' which accompanied the starters was fresh and sparkling.

Dishes are to share, and a divine just-warm porridge sourdough with wild garlic and lemon butter was soon heaped with a rough brawn terrine with pickled onions. It also mopped up a lovely puree beneath battered artichokes, and spears of asparagus atop scrambled egg and seaweed.

'The feast', arrived with a light fruity Chinon to offset the tenderest of wood oven roasted leg of lamb. The soubise of pureed butter-cooked onions in cream was a rich accompaniment to the perfectly pink meat, and smoky side of peas, beans and lardons.

Perhaps something sharper might have cut the salty side of lamb ribs and meaty pie, which used the rest of the animal's innards in a slightly dry liverish mince topped with a buttery pastry.

The Resident: The Zebra Riding ClubThe Zebra Riding Club (Image: Adam Firman)

Unable to contemplate anything heavy the next course was thankfully a young goat's cheese with Birch's own honey, accompanied by a Sicilian perpetual wine with a sherry-ish edge. The chocloate dessert with yoghurt sorbet sounded similarly light and Gill is smart enough to devise a menu that works across all four courses which comes in at £79 per person with all drinks.

The next clubs are on April 27, May 25 and June 29. Book in and see what the changing season and a culinary imagination come up with next.

Address:  Lieutenant Ellis Way, Cheshunt, Goff's Oak, Waltham Cross EN7 5HW