Friday 6 May 2016 6:40 pm

The Long Weekend review: Taxidermy hares and a Scandi-cool spa invigorate The Wild Rabbit hotel in the Cotswolds

The weekend

With the gentle Cotswolds hills and honey-coloured villages on your doorstep, you can spend entire days out exploring this beautiful part of the UK. Then bed down in The Wild Rabbit, a modern day inn perfect for cityfolks looking for a manicured version of the country break.

Where?

The village of Kingham is the Cotswolds’ prettiest, with butterscotch-buildings, artistically-clipped topiary and Farrow & Ball-painted doors. It’s also home to The Wild Rabbit, a ‘restaurant with rooms’ owned by Lady Carole Bamford who, at a cost of £1.4m, renovated a 1750s inn into a paean to rustic-luxe living.

The stay

There’s a choice of 12 bedrooms, eight in the main building and four in the gardens. Bare-brick walls, crisp white Volga linen bedsheets and a cream-taupe colour scheme give a stripped-back yet charming feel. Personality is injected with quirky rabbit motifs dotted about (from taxidermy hares to ceramic bunnies), a wall of Hugo Guinness prints and vintage metal garden accessories. The bathrooms are equally stylish with double sinks, Bamford toiletries and under-floor heating.

The food

Chef Tim Allen takes care of the food


The dining room may look like a posh, rustic pub with its bare tables, pots of herbs and copper pans, but don’t get too cosy. The food here will make you sit up, take note and ask for more. While the surroundings give a comfy, country house feel, the culinary offering is straight out of an urban kitchen, courtesy of chef Tim Allen, previously of the Michelin-starred Launceston Place in Kensington. Seasonal produce, artisan ingredients and foraged leaves are combined in stand-out dishes such as the mackerel starter (served two ways with rhubarb, pickled cucumber and frozen horseradish), the Wootton Estate lamb with asparagus, white polenta and parmesan, and the passion fruit soufflé with iced coconut. While the open kitchen hasn’t gained its Michelin star yet (it will surely soon), the cuisine is undoubtedly The Wild Rabbit’s own star of the show.

Ask about 

To complete the perfect pampering stay, head over to the nearby sister property Daylesford Organic, a brisk 20 minutes stroll away. Here, you’ll find the Bamford Haybarn Spa – think Scandi-cool meets cashmere-comfort. Ask for head spa trainer Kristy who’ll tailor the facial to fit and will massage even the most jaded complexions to glowing radiance again. At £85 for 60 minutes, it is utterly restorative and worth every penny.

And after that?


One of the bedrooms at The Wild Rabbit

You can pootle around the many nearby villages and quaint pubs. For something grander, head to Sezincote House in Moreton-in-Marsh, a 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace based on the Taj Mahal. Alternatively, just along the road from The Wild Rabbit is The Kingham Plough, another noted restaurant and bar (with rooms) in the same village.

Need to know

A small double room at The Wild Rabbit for two people, including breakfast, costs from £150 per night. For information and bookings call 01608 658 389 or visit thewildrabbit.co.uk. Treatments at Bamford Haybarn start from £35 for an express pedicure. There are a wide variety of spa days, treatments and workshops available. For information at bookings call 01608 731 713 or visit bamford.co.uk

 

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