A CELEBRITY chef and restaurateur is preparing to open his second venue in Dorset

Renowned chef Mark Hix - who has previously appeared on TV's Great British Menu and written a number of cook books - will take over The Fox Inn, in Corscombe, next month.

It will open its doors on December 10 following the success of his other venture, The Oyster & Fish House, which opened in Lyme Regis in July.

The chef, who has worked in kitchens from the age of 12, described The Fox as a 'lovely inland contrast' to The Oyster & Fish House.

He added: “With all the challenges that we are facing now, it’s great to be able to focus on an exciting new project. It’s important to me that I keep The Fox as a traditional local pub with great food and drink.

"Since lockdown in spring the pub has only been open three days a week, so I am looking forward to opening six days a week for the locals and visitors to the area to enjoy once more.”

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Grade II listed building is set amongst rolling hills and woodland, four miles from Beaminster and 40 minutes from Hix’s fish and seafood restaurant in Lyme Regis.

The pub was bought by local residents and friends of Mr Hix, Eva and Ray Harvey, in 2012 to save it from being turned into housing.

Mr Hix added: “The owners of the pub have been family friends for many years. When they offered me the lease, I thought it could be a great opportunity, despite these uncertain times that we are in.

"It will be my first pub so it’s an exciting new project for me in the countryside where I’ll be serving local meat and game along with some British pub classics - a contrast to the fish and seafood offering in Lyme.”

The restaurant will feature a dining area named after Mr Hix's late grandfather, Bill, and after a refurbishment in the spring, will also be offering overnight stays with two double rooms.

The restaurant menu will be focused on produce sourced from the surrounding area including rabbit brawn with piccalilli, smoked salmon and a traditional roast every Sunday.

The drinks list will also have a local focus, featuring a number South West beers, wines and spirits.