Son of former Manchester United chef helping transform menu at Cotswold hotel

Pettifers Hotel in Crudwell has undergone a food makeover thanks to Manchester United and a chef who has served silver screen royalty and British classical music icons.

Robert Jespersen, 41, is the son of a former Manchester United executive chef and dietician Jesper and is the restaurant and bar manager and a chef in his own right. He has been reunited with a chef he has worked with previously, James Gilbert, 45.

Robert spent many hours watching his dad work as well as his beloved United while James’s culinary background includes the Tivoli Arms in Somerset, where he cooked for the likes of Barron Richard Attenborough CBE and violin and conductor supremo Sir Neville Marriner CBE.

They are running the one AA Rosette venue and bar for Pettifers owner, Frank Segrave-Daly, he took over the country hotel in 2021 and has already made many changes to both the hotel and bistro restaurant but also to the menus with the help of Robert and James.

When asked what they have planned for spring and summer, head chef James said: “Good food, some big surprises and a regularly changing menu. Many do not realise that this hotel is independent now and we want to shout about what we are doing in here.”

Robert echoed James’ s thoughts, “This region has great produce and a culture unlike many other parts of the UK. We want to take this hotel to new levels and believe we are getting there; the reviews have been very good so far.

“My father, at Manchester United and in other jobs has been a big influence on my cooking and career. I have also worked all over the world so our influences are far and wide.”

James is keen to push the fresh element of their offering as well as the use of good suppliers. He said: “Fish is my thing working on the coast for 10 years.

“Fish of the day is always worth a look at as I change it so regularly. I

“It was in nearby Cirencester that my father was a chef in one of the hotels many years ago. That was a lure to the area for myself, my wife and four-year-old daughter.”

To book a table at Pettifers or to reserve a room call 01666 815060 or email:

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