The chef and restaurateur behind restaurants including HIX Soho and HIX Oyster & Chop House n London will open his new pub on 10 December, lockdown restrictions permitting.
Describing The Fox Inn as a “lovely inland contrast” to his The Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis, Hix says the pub will be “everything you expect from a local country pub” with thatched roof and open fires.
He says it is a pub he used to visit with his father and that his friends Eva and the late Ray Harvey bought it about eight years ago to prevent it from being turned in to housing.
It will have a dining area called Bill's Garden Room, named after Hix’s late grandfather, and a Fox Room, featuring illustrations from is daughter Lydia.
The restaurateur, whose restaurant business filed for administration earlier this year without his support, admits the timing might not seem great to start a new venture.
“When I opened my first restaurant HIX Oyster & Chop House in the middle of a credit crunch and a BSE scare serving meat on the bone, everyone thought I was crazy, but thankfully it was a success as soon as I opened the doors.
“So maybe it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ve decided to open a pub in the middle of a pandemic?”
“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 3 days a week, so I am looking forward to opening 6 days a week for the locals and visitors to the area to enjoy once more.”
Hix says he will be working with local farmers and gamekeepers to offer a menu of local meat and game dishes, some hearty pub classics, including rabbit brawn with piccalilli; and gamekeeper’s hotpot with pickled red cabbage, a couple of fish dishes and a Sunday roast
After a small refurbishment next spring, the pub will also offer overnight stays.