It was such a refreshing and welcoming pleasure that I was invited by Angel Publicity to experience The Wild Rabbit – a pub turned restaurant turned boutique hotel – on a Bloggers/ Press Trip in stunning Kingham, mainly because I thought my last trip to any form of countryside (for the rest of the year) would be Glastonbury. I love the country and I soon found out, I love the Cotswold too! All thanks to the hospitable staff and PR behind
The Wild Rabbit.
In the establishment’s own words, “The Wild Rabbit is a re-invention of the traditional English inn – a place to eat, drink and sleep.Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, we serve locally sourced, seasonal food in a relaxed and welcoming setting”
On arrival to the venue after being personally collected from the station by The Wild Rabbit’s General Manager, I was instantly impressed with the picturesque scene as shown above. Outside of the venue/ pub/ hotel (which is also dog-friendly) was immaculately clean and quiet although not too airy. Before walking in to the very well presented, traditional English establishment, I was met by two very large rabbits which stood at around ft tall. Now don’t worry, these fine statues were not real rabbits, but instead beautifully cut, grass sculptures to greet everyone ahead of what would be their (unforgettable) experience The White Rabbit.
When I strutted into The Wild Rabbit through the front door, I was immediately met with a cool warmth (if that makes sense) and was directed across the pub bar/ terrace to a small area in which I met three fantastic Bloggers/ Writers, Anna of Anna Barnett Cooks, Elizabeth Pears, News Editor for The Voice Newspaper and Brooke of This Cotswold Girl, a local Cotswold resident and Digital Editor. After a quick introductory chat which was made super easy thanks to the warmth of all three writers and PR, over parma ham (thankfully, I missed this! I hate ham…period!) and a perfectly chilled bottle of fizz, we were led to our table with The Wild Rabbit’s restaurant, appropriately named The Chicken Shed, where you know, the (foodie) magic began! Anna’s image below captured the mood and ambiance perfectly I had to share it with you all!
The Chicken Shed is The Wild Rabbit’s private dining area decorated in true Cotswold country style with a delicious and constantly changing tasting menu curated by Head Chef Tony Parkin, that supports both local British farmers and artisans, using natural ingredients in the prime…even game throughout the autumn.
Photo Credit: Anna Barnett
I am fully prepared to go into as much details as possible about what we ate and why I personally chose the dishes I did. I’ll tell you now, I was pretty hungry after the train ride and lack of any breakfast before catching the train, so I was pretty much ready to eat anything the lovely staff brought me off the farm but surprisingly, I was completely stuffed after my starter and main.
of pollock with saffron aioli £11.00
This not so little helping of perfectly deep fried Pollock Goujons which I excitedly dipped into the light yet creamy Saffron Aioli was simply delicious. As this was my starter I thought ordering big would set me on the right track and hopefully I’d be able to woof down the next course…sadly I was wrong as this seemingly little dish actually packs a lot of punch. I would suggest ordering with a side salad or even chips. You will be wholly satisfied let me assure you.
Heritage tomato with goats curd and basil £8.50
Duck liver parfait with homemade mustard fruits &
toasted sourdough 8.50
Grilled chicken breast, sweetcorn, baby gem lettuce
and spring onion £20.50
For my main, I ordered the Grilled chicken breast, sweetcorn, baby gem lettuce and spring onion. Usually I am not a super fan of chicken (cooked in any which way) as I find it is a general dish…that was until I tried this dish. The chicken, of course was of great organic quality and was served with fresh summer vegetables which were light and viciously mouth watering. With every crunch I knew the ingredients were not only sourced well but cooked to perfection. Again, there was no signs of over (or my pet-hate) under-cooking but just perfect.
This delightful dish comes on it’s own however you can always order sides to accompany it but as a warning, you will likely be very full!
Brooks & Elizabeth’s Mains:
Risotto of broad bean and pea with shaved fennel and
fennel pollen £16.50
Roast sea bream with peas, broad beans, fennel salad and basil oil £17.00
10oz rib eye on the bone, chips and béarnaise sauce £28.00
I was really not surprised to hear after my meal, that The Wild Rabbit was recently awarded three AA rosettes by the AA and announced as the PUB OF THE YEAR in the 2015 edition of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide. Rebecca Burr, Editor of the guide said “This Cotswold pub is a chocolate box delight: stylish yet rustic, spacious yet cosy, it offers a convivial welcome, knock-out bedrooms and, of course, first-rate food” and I couldn’t agree with her more. London’s foodie scene is definitely so overcrowded so to be able to experience great food in peaceful surroundings is why I can confirm The Wild Rabbit as one of the great places to eat in the UK. There aren’t many places which cater for almost every need and make you feel like its a home-from-home…no matter how much they try to drum it in your head. The Wild Rabbit doesn’t do that, they let their venue speak volumes itself.
Above are images from the hotel situated above The Wild Rabbit’s Pub & Restaurant. Although I did not manage to stay here overnight, which I am absolutely dying to do! I can tell you that these quiet quarters are all and even more than what you’d expect of a country boutique hotel. I loved each and every room, however the Master suite is a room to be reckoned with. I think if I stayed in that room, its quite possible that I’d never leave!
Thank you to Angel Publicity and Lucy for this wonderful opportunity, The Wild Rabbit for the delectable food, which I must have again and the lovely writers, I am grateful to have met.