We polished the glasses and chilled the champagne to celebrate our second year anniversary at The Hare.

And what a thrilling two years it’s been since we opened in March 2016.

Having previously owned The Bell at Stow, we vaguely knew the area, so when saw the village pub in Milton-under-Wychwood was for sale, we jumped at it.

We could never have guessed what a terrific response we would receive. We have been welcomed with open arms by the whole community, and it feels like The Hare has been the village pub for years.

In the two years we’ve been open, our fabulous head chef Matt Dare has really put us on the map with his cooking.

We had a brilliant food review from Giles Coren in The Times which made the phone ring off the hook for a couple of weeks.

Matt often pops down to Devon and Cornwall to cement his relationships with the day fishermen he uses, in order to keep the daily-changing marine cuisine specials board full of great fish and seafood.

The day to day running of The Hare is done by Henrietta ‘Hen’ Stanley.

Hen has garnered her own fan club over the past two years and is loved by both locals and staff alike.

An exciting and unexpected opportunity has arisen this year, which is keeping Rachel and I busy currently.

We have a piano in the dining room converted by a talented local carpenter into a sideboard that houses cutlery in slots where the keys would have been.

One of Milton’s many talented artists painted it for us and its in use constantly.

So many people have commented on the piece that we decided to start making them to sell and have set up a website (upright&grand.co.uk) which should be up and running by the middle of this month.

Milton-under-Wychwood is an absolute hotbed of talent. When we were decorating the pub ready to open, we put a sign outside asking if anyone could draw or paint a hare that we could frame and hang on our wall.

We must have received 30. We had everything from a charcoal sketch to an oil painting. We framed the lot and they all decorate the walls of the dining room.

Looking ahead, our main goal is to continue running The Hare to the high standards our regulars have come to expect. We have entered a few local and national competitions which we hope to win and are keen to find a party venue to buy in the area. We host so many celebrations at the pub that we felt wanted to offer the same food, décor and service in bigger, bespoke surroundings and possibly with accommodation if we can find the right thing.

So there is plenty happening at our little pub in Milton and plenty of ambitious ideas for our dedicated team in 2018.