Whether you’re looking for an escape from London or are a New Yorker like myself seeking to fulfill her dream of relaxing in the picturesque English countryside after years of reading Austen and the Brontes, we have come across the most perfect venue to fulfill those needs.
Nestled in the Cotswolds just an hour and a half from London lies The Wild Rabbit, a boutique hotel with a delicious restaurant that provides the most perfect backdrop for a country escape. We’ll get into the specifics below, but what we loved most about The Wild Rabbit is it’s ability to mix luxury and classic British charm to deliver a high-end experience with the utmost attention to detail. My boyfriend and I recently had the pleasure of staying a night here and have compiled our thoughts and suggestions for you.
For our American readers, the UK’s Cotswolds area is a gorgeous, rambling area mixing beautiful homes made of light-colored Cotswold stone, Victorian churches, beautiful British pubs, shopping and the likes of it. It’s long attracted celebrities and London’s uber wealthy much in the way New York’s elite head to the Hamptons. For a city girl, the Cotswolds are like stepping back in time to my novels, but it has all of the modern conveniences, and let’s face it– requirements — of a high-maintenance city girl from Manhattan with high standards.
That brings us to The Wild Rabbit, which is in the Kingham part of the Cotswolds. This hotel and restaurant is situated in a gorgeous building dating back to 1750 made of the signature Cotswold stone. The Wild Rabbit, which attracts a celebrity clientele, has been given the nickname from local press as “the most posh pub in England.”
Let’s start with the wonderful restaurant on the premises which is open for lunch and dinner (a gorgeous continental breakfast is included as part of your room charge)
First off, meals are served in a beautiful, airy dining room with large windows, a beautiful fireplace and a wonderful, rustic feel. You can also have drinks and snacks outside under tan umbrellas or in a great lounge area with oversized rich brown leather chairs with great hardware accents and an eclectic mix of furniture that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped inside Alice in Wonderland’s sophisticated older sister’s den. There are two firepaces on either side of the sitting room and one in the center of the main dining room. Basically, the setting leaves nothing to be desired and the attention to detail is just meticulous.
Now, onto the food. We were fortunate enough to have breakfast, lunch and dinner on the premises. The kitchen has a firm commitment to organic ingredients and fresh, local, in-season items. For breakfast the bowls of berries and fruit were delicious and ripe. Below, are photos of just some of the courses we had over lunch and dinner. The duck was a real standout as was the lamb. I was a big fan of their house rose wine, as well.
English pea soup with goat cheese curd and ham. An absolutely delicious starter.
Tomato salad with watermelon and a tomato jelly.
Lump crab and scallop lasagne appetizer.
Stonebass with English mustard. This dish was a showstopper both visually and to the palette.
Glazed duck breast with apricot and peach with a duck-stuffed pastilla. Amazing.
Raspberry and cream fieulle de mille.
The rooms were just as pleasing as the dining room. We stayed in the Boar room, one of 12 rooms each assigned the name of an animal. The linens were fresh and pretty. Rooms were stocked with owner Lady Bamford’s luxury toiletries. We had a nespresso coffee maker and a jar full of homebaked sweets like shortbreads to go with our morning tea. The fridge was stocked with rose and prosecco. Anything you could possibly desire had already been thought about ahead of your stay.
We especially loved the little details, like the stack of British classics like Tess of the D’Urbervilles next to our night table and the carved hearts in the furniture. Above our bed was a adorable sign that said “Darling!” The bathroom had towel hooks made of wood that looked like tree branches.
The room had a homey feel and had exposed Cotswold stone throughout it. It let in lots of natural light. My boyfriend was impressed by the high-end fixtures and how they’ve blended modern with rustic. The bed was particularly comfy.
The next morning after a three-mile run through the neighborhood to take in the scenery, we headed down to the dining room for a fresh breakfast that we decided to have outside in the sun. We nibbled on pain au chocolat, Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a full English breakfast.
Overall, I would strongly recommend The Wild Rabbit to friends. It’s a wonderful place for a couple’s weekend or a great culinary experience. If you go, be sure to visit neighboring Daylesford Farm (post here) which is an organic local farm just a mile away with a great restaurant, spa and cooking school.