CELEBRITY chef Raymond Blanc swapped pans for paintbrushes as he explored his newest Oxfordshire venture.

This week the Oxford Mail revealed the White Brasserie Company has taken over The Black Horse Hotel in Thame.

The gastropub chain is sister company to Brasserie Blanc, of which Summertown resident Mr Blanc is a director.

On Wednesday the famed chef seemed excited as he toured the Cornmarket pub, which is currently being transformed ahead of its relaunch.

The Black Horse is the first pub in the county to become part of the White Brasserie Company, with the majority of its establishments in Surrey.

Shrugging on a florescent jacket and sporting sturdy boots, Mr Blanc was in high spirits as the development team gave him a guided tour.

The pub’s exterior has been spruced up with a lick of paint while more work is carried out on the interior, to provide additional kitchen and dining space.

Though the rooms were scattered with building materials, this time next month they should be finished in time for reopening on December 18.

The pub was previously owned by Punch Taverns and, for the past 20 years, had been run by landlady Maureen Ashpole and her daughter Emma Davis.

Earlier this week Mr Blanc told the Oxford Mail The Black Horse would boast ‘cosy spaces and wonderful home-cooked food’.

The chef will provide input into the pub’s vision, but will not be cooking in its kitchen himself.

He visited alongside Thame resident Adam Johnson, who is head development chef at Mr Blanc’s two Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which is located in nearby Great Milton.