THE ‘nice’ Gordon Ramsay has taken over the lease of a village pub.

Alex Fletcher, backed by his brand ‘Chunki Chef’, has big plans for The Fox Inn, Middle Barton.

Mr Fletcher is more accustomed to shorter stays at pubs and restaurants, helping out in a similar vein to Kitchen Nightmares.

Now though, flanked by his brother David Moore, and his partner Lauren Eames, the trio has signed a five-year lease at The Fox Inn ‘to make the pub secure’.

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Mr Fletcher, from Derby, said: “With Lauren from Kidlington, and when she saw the pub was available, me and David visited and fell in love with the place – it’s a beautiful area.

“I used to travel around the UK and give pubs and restaurants a new lease of life.

“However, we’ve took the plunge on this and took it on as it’s got great potential.

“It hadn’t had much love and needed deep cleaning, it’s like the village had lost a little bit of love for the pub so we’re taking on the challenge of getting families back when we can.

Oxford Mail: Alex Fletcher, Lauren Eames and David Moore outside The Fox Inn, Middle BartonAlex Fletcher, Lauren Eames and David Moore outside The Fox Inn, Middle Barton

“We reopened on December 11 and we were fully booked for the first weekend and then we had to close but we’ve been able to do takeaways since then.

“We’ve had raving reviews and the takeaways so far have been going really well – people are really glad to have the pub open again.

“If we can make it work now with everything going on, then we can make it flourish later on, that’s the attitude we’ve got.”

The trio is looking to grow their own vegetables and herbs, while keeping chickens, quail and goats.

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Mr Fletcher said: “We all work well together, we’re a dynamic trio and we’ve got massive plans for the garden.

“People can look forward to good food, ale festivals, we’ll be getting our own livestock – the concept we want to go for is a bit like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and be sustainable for ourselves.

“We want to get the community involved and bring back Aunt Sally, and darts and summer barbecues.

“We also want a petting zoo so the local school children can visit and I can give talks to them on the animals.”

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Mr Fletcher has been running the Chunki Chef brand, which has over 11,000 followers on Instagram, for three years.

“It’s just me going round the country and helping out really,” he said.

“It’s very similar to Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares – but I’m a lot nicer.”

Mr Fletcher said he has also worked at food festivals, which has seen him work alongside the like of Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, and the Hairy Bikers.

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Meanwhile, 20-year-old Miss Eames is the landlady at the pub, and will draw on plenty of experience in her family.

She said: “Running pubs is in my blood, my auntie and uncle have run a pub in Dorset, and my grandfather ran two pubs in Oxfordshire – The White Hart in Wolvercote and the Dashwood Arms in Kirtlington.

“The pub has had a lot of owners over the years but we want people to know we’re a family venue now, a traditional country pub.”

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