The new man at the helm of Wiveliscombe's White Hart hotel has been revealed as a 'close pal' of Prince Harry.

Hotel and restaurant magnate Rob Sawyer is no stranger to the hospitality business - having owned more than 150 venues which have played host to A-list celebs and major royals.

A friend of the royals, Mr Sawyer's upmarket Swiss Alps restaurant served as the venue for Prince Harry's stag do - which was a reported on in the press as a 'boozy' affair.

Mr Sawyer, who Forbes' credits with enabling the 'English Invasion' of the small Swiss town of Verbier, ran the mountain-top La Vache restaurant, where a menu devised by Heston Blumenthal its scenic location made regular visitors of celebrities.

Having run businesses across the globe, Mr Sawyer is now settling down as the new owner of the White Hart in the quiet town of Wiveliscombe.

He is running the hotel alongside his daughter Sienna, who works as the assistant manager, "It was difficult to get her a work permit in Switzerland" Sawyer explained.

Sienna's former babysitter, James Blunt, counts among another of Mr Sawyer's famous friends, and an at least onetime business partner.

Apart from a sideline in consultancy work which takes him to South Africa and Zimbabwe, Sawyer has taken a break from globetrotting to breath new life into his newly acquired business.

Mr Sawyer is breathing new life into the historic pub - his plan to make it fly is to deliver locally sourced food, cooked well and sold at a reasonable price. He is able to boast that none of his ingredients come further afield than 50 miles, with seafood from Brixham having the farthest to travel. He said:

"All the ingredients come from within 50 miles, as far as we go is Brixham for the seafood. It’s using all the local produce and turning into something new. It’s stylising some of the classics, adding sometimes Mediterranean fusion or Asian, with great local produce."

The new chef is local lad Dan, who was now been on the job for two months. Mr Sawyer said: "Dan our chef lives in the village, he has been here for two months. I work with him on the menus, but he does all the cooking. It’s classic English cookery with some stylised dishes. It’s going from pub food to brassiere or restaurant standard."

And it is said the new approach is going down a treat with locals - Mr Sawyer tells of his delight when customers tell him 'thank goodness we’ve got this now in Wiveliscombe.'

Mr Sawyer had a message for people thinking about stopping by: "Poke your head in the door, see how you feel about the ambience of the place, have a look at the menu and see what you fancy."