My wife, Lana, and I took over the lease of The Bull in Fairford last October as the new tenants of the 15th century, Grade II listed coaching inn owned by Arkells Brewery. The Bull, our third restaurant with rooms venture, has 21 bedrooms and feels much more like a proper hotel than our country pubs, The Five Alls at Filkins, which we opened in 2012, and The Plough at Kelmscott, opened in 2015.

We left London for the Cotswolds in July 2008 after running Hammersmith restaurant Snows on the Green for 17 years, after being offered The Swan at Southrop. We had no connection with the area, but quickly fell in love with the place. The Swan was a great new start for us and won the Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year award in 2010.

In August 2012, we took on The Five Alls at Filkins from Brakespear and then in 2015, the nearby Plough at Kelmscott came up for sale. The freehold village pub was a in need of some heavy investment, but we couldn’t resist the lovely 17th century building, eight bedrooms and idyllic location.

The Plough proved a real success, so we started looking around for opportunities to acquire something on a more ambitious scale. When we heard the tenants at The Bull in Fairford were leaving we couldn’t resist having a look, having always loved the building, its location on the market square, and its history as a famous coaching inn on the London to Gloucester turnpike road.

We took on the lease of The Bull in October last year and immediately set about turning the building upside down. Dated fixtures and fittings, old carpets and false ceilings and acres of woodchip wallpaper were removed to reveal beautifully preserved architectural features including carved stone fireplace surrounds, old beams and flagstone floors.

The age of the place meant there are lots of quirky features added later such as an eccentric little reception-cum-office booth built into a corner of the main hallway – Fawlty Towers eat your heart out.

We also commissioned our friend, Corina Burrough, a local and very successful, BAFTA nominated Film and TV set designer to create a bold, interesting interior.

I work alongside our head chef, Piotr Skoczen.

Together we’ve devised a menu of modern British food and pub classics juxtaposed with a ancillary pizza kitchen with a new wood-burning pizza oven. We like to source as much top quality, local produce using the best suppliers we can find for our a la cartè menu, set menu, bar menu and children’s menu.

My wife, Lana, takes care of front-of-house and everyone is welcome. Our aim is to turn the Bull back into what was once a destination ‘go to’ venue, with a lovely warm ambience, great food and a truly homely atmosphere.