Paul and Donna Berry, who are both chefs and have operated the Swan for more than a decade, made the decision to open a restaurant rather than a pub to branch out into something a little different.
The husband and wife team are hoping to open Spelt, which is also in Bampton, at the end of March and are currently waiting on the premises licence to be approved.
Donna said: “We received the application for the licence on 5 February and this has to be up for 28 days.
“At the moment, the site has nothing in there: no kitchen equipment, no furnishings, no fittings. It is clean and tidy and means I have a blank canvas to do whatever I like with.
“It has been a bakery since the 1700s so we were wondering what to call it. Paul came up with Spelt, which is an old-fashioned grain. I have been practising making breads and buns.”
Donna explained how she has visualised the interior of Spelt will look once it has been revamped and how it will appeal to a broad demographic.
She added: “The site has three open-plan areas. In my head, I can envisage each room being decorated slightly differently. One with a fireplace and chandelier, with reds and purples.
“One area will be funky with retro pictures and then the middle area will be clean, bright and modern.
“Bampton has got such an eclectic mix of people who will pick specific tables. The new venue should appeal to everyone.”
But it wasn’t just the décor Donna outlined, she also described the food offer she hopes to serve in Spelt when it opens.
She said: “We have been going to Barcelona for so long and we really like the idea of sharing food, like they do out there.
“It won’t be a tapas bar as such but it will be something similar. It will be more about the flavour of the food than about fine dining.”
Donna also said the restaurant wouldn’t be an all-day dining operation but would be open on select days for select times.
“When we first open, we will serve food Tuesday to Sunday in the day time, offering a light lunch. Have a menu for this but have a few breakfast options as well. Then we will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings to begin with," she added.