The Wild Rabbit | Kingham (UK)

The food, like its setting, is a combination of traditional and trend-ticking.
Watch those details and take the brakes off and I see a returning star on the horizon!

The Wild Rabbit sits in the centre of the idyllic, honey-stone, Cotswald village of Kingham (UK), between the church and the village green. Owner Lady Carole Bamford, an early adopter and vocal exponent of organic practices, transformed this 18th-century inn into a haven of eco-elegance. It has been meticulously devised in quiet colours, stone and wood, located just a few fields away from sister enterprise Daylesford: the famous organic farm shop, cookery school, deli, spa and more.

Lady Bamford acquired the pub early 2013 (when it was called The Tollgate Inn), and reopened it later that year, after an extensive, top-to-toe £1 million plus refurbishment, as The Wild Rabbit. They won Pub of the Year 2015 in the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide and in 2017 the restaurant was awarded with a Michelin Star. Unfortunately, just a year later, the venue was stripped of its accolade, when the Head Chef Tim Allen, star of BBC’s Great British Menu, decided to up sticks and set up his own restaurant in Manchester.

Current Head Chef at The Wild Rabbit is Nathan Eades, who joined the team in December 2017. Previously Head Chef at the Michelin starred Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham, Nathan has worked at a number of award winning restaurants during his career including Fishmore Hall in Ludlow.

The Wild Rabbit is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday and is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The à la carte menu offers 5 Starters (at £13-£16), 5 Mains (at £22.50-£32), a Côte du Boeuf for two (at £90), 4 Sides (at £4), 4 Desserts (at £8.50-£9) and a Cheese Board with 1, 3, 5 and 7 cheese (at £5-£19). They also offer a 7-course Tasting Menu (at £65).

We went for dinner 2 weeks ago on a Saturday and had the Tasting Menu.

Roasted Broad Beans

To start off, some roasted broad beans from the organic farm.


Pork croquettes with a pear and red wine jelly, with nice crispy outside and delicious pork inside. And raw vegetables (radish, celery, kohlrabi, celeriac and cabbage) with a lemon mayonnaise as the healthy counterpart.

Bread & Butter

Warm French bread and whole wheat bread with Cotswold seeds, accompanied by light salted butter from their own farm. Especially liked the whole wheat with the seeds. The lovey smooth butter as well.

The Wild Rabbit Garden Salad – creamed curds, pickled walnut dressing, croutons

Pretty vegetarian starter. Different vegetables, like leek, beet, sweet potato and lettuce, prepared in different ways. Curd was lovely together with the walnuts, the dressing a bit too heavy on the balsamic. Croutons delivered a nice crunch (Wouldn’t call them croutons but toast). A fresh Spring dish in the Wild rabbit theme, but no harmony on the plate, just different elements. And bit too many vegetables after the canapés.

Curried Jerusalem Artichoke – scallops, sunflower seeds

Was afraid to get another plate of vegetables, but fortunately it came in a different shape! Velvety artichoke velouté with nice warmth of the curry spices. Scallops with good caramelisation and well cooked. Pickled artichoke with sunflower seeds added freshness and crunch from artichoke crisps. Comforting dish with great taste!

Rabbit and Duck Terrine – pickled mustard seeds, Agen prunes, fruit bread croutons

Well made terrine with lovely taste. Bit on the small side though. Nice rabbit, but didn’t taste any duck. Prunes together with the mustard seeds were the perfect garnish. Toasted fruit bread however was too toasted (almost burnt) which made the currents too strong. Not nice and overpowering. Rest was lovely. Just have some melba toast with it instead I would say.

Cotswold Rapeseed Oil Poached Cod – confit leek, sea herbs, brown shrimp, Grenobloise velouté

Perfectly poached cod with a great herb crust. Delicious! Cream and leek added comfort together with the potato. Bit of aniseed in the velouté was lovely, wanted more it. Couldn’t see or taste brown shrimps and a bit of crunch would have added an extra texture element, but a beautiful dish as it was!

Cotswold Lamb – best end and shoulder, Wye valley asparagus, woodland mushroom, sheep’s curd

Lamb chop beautifully pink. Unfortunately is was luke warm and by the time you finish the dish it was stone cold which was a shame. The piece of slow cooked shoulder tasted great and was well seasoned, but was a bit dried out. Lamb was nicely complemented by the asparagus, mushrooms and goat’s curd. Lovely jus!. Great dish with tastes and flavours too match, but with a few execution errors.

Iced Yoghurt Parfait, Wye valley rhubarb

Rhubarb sorbet nice and tangy. Iced yoghurt and rhubarb puree with just the right level of sweetness to balance out the tangy rhubarb sorbet. Very enjoyable dessert.

Valrhona Chocolate Délice – hazelnut, passionfruit sorbet

Lovely combination of the rich chocolate and sharpness of the passionfruit. Chocolate délice was a but too dense for me, so the mouth feel could be better. Passionfruit sorbet was nice and smooth.

Pistachio Ice Cream

Ice-cold pistachio ice cream with and ice-cold spoon. Smooth, velvety and subtle flavour.

I love the appearance and the atmosphere of The Wild Rabbit. If you use the front entrance you enter the pub part of the establishment, an old country pub feel with beams, cosy chairs and sofas and open fires, but if you use the back entrance (or walk past the bar), you enter a bright and spacious restaurant with a modern open plan kitchen. Either way, the restaurant feels right as soon as you walk in.

The relaxed atmosphere is incredibly deceptive. When it comes to table service it certainly is high standard, only your waiter will be wearing chinos. The waiting staff are talkative without being intrusive, both knowledgeable of, and genuinely interested in the food they serve. You can expect your water glass to be topped up, your napkins re-folded if you step away from your chair and your bread crumbs discreetly wiped away from the table.

The food, like its setting, is a knowing combination of traditional and trend-ticking. It was all expertly prepared and exactly presented. Stars of the evening for me were the curried Jerusalem artichoke and the cod with the extraordinary tasty herb crust. Some dishes had minor flaws or slight hitches, but I enjoyed every dish. I really like Nathan Eades’ style of cooking. The comfortable way he run’s the kitchen, almost feels like he is holding back. Watch those details and take the brakes off and I see a returning star on the horizon!