The favourite watering hole of celebrities including Blur’s Alex James, former Prime Minister David Cameron, presenter-turned-farmer Jeremy Clarkson and many others they are too discreet to name, has a new executive chef.

Sam Bowser has joined The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, Chipping Norton, leading the acclaimed pub's kitchen team, which serves both the three-AA-rosette restaurant and the bar.

Cotswold Journal: The White Rabbit dining roomThe White Rabbit dining room

Owner Carole Bamford opened The Wild Rabbit, which offers a modern take on a traditional country inn, in 2013.

Alongside the restaurant it has 13 bedrooms and 14 self-contained cottages while two further self-contained houses will open this year, sleeping eight and 10 people.

Mr Bowser has been head chef at Llangoed Hall Hotel, Powys, since 2019.

Cotswold Journal: The White Rabbit frontThe White Rabbit front

Before that, he spent four years as head chef at both Dormy House Hotel in Broadway and the two Michelin-starred Whatley Manor Hotel near Malmesbury.

This followed roles with Philip Howard at The Square in London and with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

He briefly worked as a private chef for the Bamford family seven years ago, where he gained a knowledge and respect for quality, organic ingredients. Lady Bamford has been a champion of sustainable living for over 40 years.

The Wild Rabbit features in this year’s Michelin Guide, picking up a Michelin Plate, while Lady Bamford’s other local venue, nearby Daylesford Organic, picked up a Green Star for its commitment to sustainable gastronomy.

Daylesford supplies much of The Wild Rabbit’s fresh produce while menus are led by the seasons, offering locally sourced and ingredient-focused modern British food from an open kitchen.

Mr Bowser said: “I am thrilled to be back in the Cotswolds and working with Carole Bamford again. I have been lucky enough to work in many high-end and acclaimed kitchens, but it was working with the Bamford family where I really developed an in-depth understanding of seasonality.

"The Wild Rabbit offers the perfect setting for me as a chef, with a quality-driven kitchen and access to exceptional produce from Daylesford Organic - I cannot wait to get stuck in.”

Lady Bamford will open The Fox at Oddington in June after the traditional pub underwent a restoration with each of the six bedrooms being given its own distinct look, using reclaimed materials.

Opposite the pub, a cottage with a private walled garden offers a place to stay for families or parties of friends.

In addition to The Wild Rabbit and The Fox, the businesswoman, who created the Bamford brand in 2004, bought The Maytime Inn at Asthall near Burford last October.

The current team remains in place there.