I’m not a big boozer but I’ve been to enough pubs to think that the critics are actually right on this one.
The Wild Rabbit in the picture perfect village of Kingham in the Cotswolds is the poshest pub in England’s green and pleasant lands. Naturally it’s got a Michelin star too but unbeknownst to me, the proprietor offered a lot more.
I suggest making a winter weekend of it, catching the 5:20pm train from Paddington so if you’ve got a taxi booked on arrival you can be in Wild Rabbit by 7pm. Not bad! Like any self-respecting pub, there is a roaring fire for you to nurse a glass of Bordeaux next to but because this is the poshest pub, you will find precisely three roaring fires! The bar area is so cosy but unlike most village pubs, people do dress up here albeit in a country type way so if you’re the kinda gal that likes to wear heels everywhere, this is the place for you!
Curiously, for a Michelin starred pub, I didn’t find myself coming back for more… food that is! In typical French style, the gourmet offerings were very rich and that extended to breakfast also. Although the food was faultless, I found eating more than one meal a day in the Wild Rabbit too much, and breakfast was best for me. So where else did I eat? Well this is the really exciting bit…
Lady Carole Bamford, who owns the Wild Rabbit, also owns the Daylesford farm which is an enjoyable 25 minute walk through country lanes in between fields. Daylesford farm is a bit ridiculous, but ridiculous amazing. Ridiculous because the whole ethos is that everything should be organic and yet the farm was manicured within an inch of its life despite hundreds of cattle roaming around.
But ridiculously amazing because well…everything! The café isn’t like any old farm café. It features super green eggs benedict with a side of kale grown in the kitchen garden! And that’s just the cafe, our first dinner at the more formal restaurant, the Old Spot was exquisite. I had the best chowder ever and the cocktails were to die for. I loved the food here, it was much more me than the fussier Wild Rabbit, but for clarity’s sake the Rabbit’s food was also excellent.
Daylesford farm also houses a gorgeous florist, a food hall and a very snazzy homeware shop where I bought Christmas tree decorations, mulled wine ingredients and their brand of cashew butter. Farm is an understatement here. A barn has been converted into the most Scandi chic spa outside Scandinavia- the Bamford Haybarn. I wanted to stay in the relaxation room forever gazing out at the fields – it was such bliss. You must book yourself in for the hot and cold stone massage and also a yoga class with Vettri, the resident yogi. Classes are free for first timers.
Daylesford farm has a few cottages onsite but personally I wouldn’t stay there. If Walt Disney made farms, it would be just like this, everything spick and span but nowt wrong with a bit of mud! I really enjoyed the brisk walk to the farm from the very comfortable Wild Rabbit so I would stay there again. After all, why go to the country if you’re not going to enjoy the fresh air.
Each room at the Rabbit is named after a different animal and I recommend the rooms in the stable block as being the most quiet. They are the epitome of country chic and very generous with the Bamford spa toiletries. Staff are exceptionally helpful, even posting me the book I accidentally left behind.
My weekend at the Wild Rabbit and nearby Daylesford was pretty much perfect. It is now my go to should I fancy a very comfortable weekend in the country. It’s particularly brilliant for when you have guests from abroad who want to get out into the countryside to see something different. The food is so exceptional that the only hosting you’ll be doing is booking the spa treatments! A very posh weekend indeed…!