Travel - The Wild Rabbit, The Cotswolds

February 24, 2015

A few weeks ago, before I knew that I'd be travelling to California, we were feeling the January blues and realised it would be a while before our next trip away. So we planned a mini Valentine's getaway to The Cotswolds. I'd wanted to visit The Wild Rabbit for a while now after hearing about last summer and it's since been awarded Britain's poshest pub and Michelin pub of the year. We had such a lovely couple of days there last week... {also all of these photos are from my shiny camera, so snap happy with it I'm in love. Post coming about photography sometime soon}

It pretty much poured with rain for most of Thursday, our first of two days, but it didn't stop The Cotswolds from being as charming as ever. Some of the villages just don't look real. 

We drove first to Bibury, probably one of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds although the whole area is beautiful. Just miles and miles of countryside with small towns of honey coloured old stone cottages scattered throughout.

It only took an hour and a half to drive there from us, it's just past Oxford so perfect for just a night away without having to travel too far. We've been a few times now, mostly for summer daytrips but only stayed once before {at Barnsley House, post here}. I don't think I'd ever get tired of wandering around these gorgeous villages though.

Arlington Row in Bibury is one of the most scenic and oldest row of cottages in England built in the 1300's and was made famous after being featured in British passports. It was even more beautiful than I'd imagined and from a distance I love all the crooked roofs, something out of middle England.

So quintessentially British, don't you think? It's owned by the National Trust and there's a little stream running in front of it. I bet in the summer it looks even more gorgeous.

Have you heard about the other famous feature on Arlington Row though? The bright yellow car owned by an old man who lives just up the hill and has nowhere else to park. Photographers and tourists have complained all summer that it's ruining the view! It did stick out but we laughed about it and I think it's now become almost as famous as the row of cottages.

It was raining but we had umbrellas so went for a little walk around Bibury, there were big clumps of snowdrops everywhere and lots of old buildings and stone walls.

Spot the yellow car..

After Bibury we headed to Daylesford Organic for lunch, stopping at the Burford Garden Centre en route. It's full of gorgeous interiors, books, stationery and antiques as well as everything garden. 


I've written about Daylesford before, here. We love it so couldn't resist visiting for lunch, it's also owned by Lady Bamford who owns the Wild Rabbit where we stayed. 

We had a cosy, yummy {but super healthy, it's Daylesford after all} lunch with the rain pouring down outside and then headed to Broadway to while away a couple of hours until we could check in to the Wild Rabbit. 

We hadn't been to Broadway before but like most of the towns in the Cotswolds it was as charming as ever with some lovely shops and delis to look around, old buildings and houses like these:

At 3pm we headed back to Kingham and checked in to our room, The Deer at the Wild Rabbit. It was seriously beautiful and we now want a silver birch framed four poster bed in a future house.

Lady Bamford has spent over £1million restoring the old pub and it really shows, everything was so beautifully finished and just heavenly.

All the rooms are named after animals, Badger, Boar, Mole, Deer and Rabbit in varying prices and sizes. Some are in the main pub, some are in an outbuilding just outside. Ours was a large double.

I could have quite happily stayed for a week. 

And you get lovely Bamford toiletries in the bathroom. {fills bag}

Even the hallways were incredible with beams, muted Farrow and Ball colours on the doors and pretty displays on the deep windowsills. 

The dining room and chefs are the real star of the show though, earning the pub it's reputation and Michelin award for the year.

On the one hand, it's a cosy old pub with a bar and little nooks next to several open fires. But on the other it's luxurious with magnolia blossom, funky lights and some serious attention to detail. London interior design meets the countryside. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in our room before getting dressed up and heading down to the Bar before dinner. If you're planning on eating, or sleeping, here then book well ahead of when you plan to visit. It's super popular.

We had a couple of drinks before sitting down to dinner, my favourite was this elderflower and ginger fizz with mint.

The food was all incredible and we were lucky to be there on a night where a local band was playing some funky covers. It was such a good atmosphere and a truly lovely evening.

For starters, we shared the ceviche of pollock with rhubarb and sea herbs and a ravioli of crab and scallop with a crab bisque foam. 

Followed by Ben's fallow deer for the main with ox cheek, onion jus and watercress for his main. I had cod with cauliflower puree which was really delicious and probably some of the best fish I've had cooked for a while.

The pudding though, as always for me, was the highlight. Rhubarb and white chocolate with a rhubarb sorbet *heart eyes*. I'm obsessed with rhubarb, and white chocolate actually, so this was too delicious.

We woke up the next morning to sunshine, yay, after the best nights sleep in the comfiest, biggest bed ever. 

Breakfast was just as good as the dinner the previous night, a huge spread of meats, cheeses, bircher museli, stewed fruit, granola, yogurt and honey to help yourself to. Again, that rhubarb so so heavenly. Then there were croissants and toast bought to your table, you could order from a cooked menu too but we found the continental more than yummy enough. 

After breakfast we went for a wander around Kingham, it was lovely to get some fresh air and not have to worry about umbrellas. 

The village has some ridiculously gorgeous properties, we spent most of the walk discussing a move to the Cotswolds just to live in one of those stone cottages {or manor houses}. In the summer they have the most beautiful English country gardens too.

Every house is just so immaculately cared for too, it's like an unwritten Cotswolds rule.

Which one would you choose?

I love snowdrop season, the very start of Spring.

If you walk across these fields you'll reach Daylesford Organic, there are miles and miles of countryside to walk through so bring your wellies. I looked up a walk from this website. If it's dry enough you can borrow bikes from The Wild Rabbit too and cycle through the lanes.

We said goodbye to our gorgeous room just before check-out at 11 and vowed to return again. It was a lovely day and we didn't want to rush home so headed into Chipping Norton for a wander, a town we hadn't been to before.

There was a cute Friday little flower stall and at weekends they have farmers and vintage markets which would be nice to visit.

Again the buildings were all so gorgeous and there were a range of shops and cafes.

Look out for the Chipping Norton set too, we saw a lot of tweed jackets, black labs and the like.

There are so many more little villages and towns you should visit, we've seen quite a few over the years now. Cirencester is lovely as are the Slaughters {Lower and Upper}, Stow on The Wold, Bourton on The Water and Woodstock are all Cotswolds classics. Cheltenham is bigger and is great for shopping.

On our way home we stopped at Burford, a gorgeous quaint town on a hill. If you never left the Cotswolds you could be forgiven for thinking that the whole of England looks like this, just miles of fields and so many beautiful buildings. Burford is one of our favourites, a real mix of shops, posh cafes and delis. I like the Joules there it always has good sales stock.

I love these little tractor cookies spotted in a bakery window. Location appropriate, we spotted a lot of tractors in just two days.

We had a late lunch and then decided we should head home, saying goodbye to those honey coloured charming little towns until next time.

I'm thinking we'll return in the summer for a day trip at least, another visit to Blenheim maybe.

Sometimes one night away is all you need and you can't get better than The Wild Rabbit. A truly lovely couple of days away.

Wild Rabbit details here.

R <3 xx

I received a press discount on our room rate but as always I'd never feature anything that I didn't truly love.

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  1. Oh! What a lovely couple of days! That hotel room is amazing! What big and lush, yet rustic room you had! Dinner looked great, but I think I'd stay a few nights just so I could have breakfast a few times! I love Bibury (not a big fan of that yellow car though!) but I think Burford tops my Cotswolds village list. Was that Huffkins bakery you saw he tractor cookies? I remember their raspberry tarts VERY well from my last visit!

    PS Why does no one else ever leave a comment?? :)

  2. The Wild Rabbit looks amazing! I stayed in Lower Slaughter last year and will hopefully go back this year. Everything is so pretty around there.


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