Since becoming a mum, my first thoughts when choosing a hotel are ‘will Oscar like it…?’ … my second thoughts are ‘will I like it and can I blog about it?’ Priorities… When I first heard about The Wild Rabbit – part of the Daylesford Estate – I thought Oscar would definitely like it there. I would definitely like it there. And my parents and sister would too! And what we really loved about the place were the self-contained cottages that allowed both space and privacy.
The Wild Rabbit calls itself a ‘Modern British Inn’ – basically it a fancy pub with rooms. Some of those rooms are located in in the pub itself, some are cottages spread through the village of Kingham in the Cotswolds and others are cottages at the famous Daylesford Farm located around a five minute drive away. The rooms at the inn look utterly gorgeous and are all decorated in classic Cotswolds rustic style and are named after animals found in the British countryside. Think Rabbit, Owl, Hedgehog, Squirrel etc … The Daylesford Cottages are decorated in a similar style and are spacious home-away-from-homes varying in size from the ‘The Egg Store’ which sleeps two to ‘The Wood Store’ which sleeps six.
We opted for the Kingham Village cottages to have both the proximity to the Wild Rabbit and to have the space for our families. Each of the nine Kingham Village cottages are different and have their own character coming equipped with a full kitchen, en suite bathrooms and log-burning stoves. The Lark, Robin and Dove were perfect for us as they can be joined together are one big family cottage and also used individually for privacy.
The cottages are self-catering but you can still have a more ‘hotel-like’ experience by booking daily house keeping and breakfast at the inn. Before we arrived we were sent an email detailing how to access the room plus Wifi codes and other things we might need to know so there is no need for a formal check in process. The three cottages are located just around the corner (less than a ten minute walk) from The Wild Rabbit and are fully adjacent to each other with convenient parking for all of our cars. With the gorgeous Cotswold stone frontage and sage green doors, our cottages couldn’t have been more welcoming!
We were staying in the Dove but all three cottages are very similar, the Robin (where my parents stayed) being marginally bigger with a large living area.
As promised, our cottage had this gorgeous fully equipped kitchen with an Aga, fridge, dishwasher and coffee machine. We had booked a welcome package and were greeted with fresh bread, cheese, butter, milk and wine! I also love the dining area which was beautifully laid out and included a stylish Stokke high chair for Oscar.
There’s lots of gorgeous little details everywhere and products from Daylesford Farm. The Wild Rabbit is owned by the Bamford family (headed up by Lady Carole Bamford) who also own Daylesford Organic – an award-winning Farmshop that’s an absolute heaven of fresh produce, home wares and even clothing.
The living area is as cosy as can be with a sofa to slouch on, wood burning stove and flat screen tv. Oh… and a huge bag of kettle chips.
I loved the exposed stone walls, the wooden beams and rustic furnishings! If you’re following my Instagram you’ll know about my current obsession with interiors! Unfortunately the Cotswolds cottage look isn’t right for our central London flat but it’s an aesthetic that I absolutely love!
The cottages are part of a larger restoration project at The Wild Rabbit which was once an 18th Century Inn named Conygree Farm – an Anglo Saxon word meaning rabbit enclosure. Restoration started in 2013 and followed the principles at the heart of Daylesford. The restoration uses locally sourced materials and centuries old techniques to create a sustainable environment. All the materials are reclaimed and recycled and the oak boards were exposed, panelling was restored and original beams were embraced. Natural lime plasters the walls and wood surfaces are made from naturally fallen trees. The cottages are decorated with bespoke furniture and made by local artisans with sustainably sourced timber, a vintage armchairs and other repurposed materials.
There’s also a downstairs loo, something that I find super useful when staying in accommodation with two levels.
Upstairs there are two bedrooms with that gorgeous stone work and the beams, the bed is incredibly comfortable too as The Wild Rabbit work with one of the UK’s oldest mattress manufacturers who create handcrafted mattresses. The bed linen is both from Bamford and Volga, known for its ecological benefits.
Storage is a little limited but that is my only teeny tiny complaint about this otherwise wonderful cottage! Actually it’s some of the best accommodation that I’ve had in the UK.
The bathroom has a double sink and there are complimentary products by Bamford Bath & Body – another brand owned by the Bamford family. Bamford products embrace a connection to earth and are natural and sustainable.
Isn’t the light hitting the bath just gorgeous? The perfect way to enjoy a morning!
The other bedroom is full size with a double bed (that could be separated into twins) which is great if you have a group of adults staying.
Another beautiful full size bathroom with those gorgeous Bamford products so Mr S and I could basically have a bathroom each.
As you can see this cottage really was everything you need! There was a full living area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a downstairs loo but it was absolutely great value for money – far less than Coworth Park and Beaverbrook where we stayed recently and there we only had one room!
But that’s not all! We also had a full garden and outdoor seating area which connected with the rest of my families adjacent cottages!
When you stroll along Kingham village toward the Wild Rabbit itself you can spot some of the inn’s other cottages which just blend seamlessly into the village with the sage green doors.
The jewel in the crown is the Wild Rabbit itself with it’s beautiful wisteria covered entrance…
The Wild Rabbit is really a restaurant with rooms so it doesn’t have the facilities of a hotel however guests can book treatments at the Bamford Spa located at Daylesford Farm where there is also a cookery school and incredible Farm Shop. There’s lots to do in the local area too which I will cover in another post.
The same principles of ecology, sustainability and respect for history were used in the restoration of the inn and it retains many of the original features.
Of particular note in the restored bar there are the original stone mullioned windows, and two stunning fireplaces.
On our first night at The Wild Rabbit we hired babysitters to stay with the kids (I used Cotswold Angel who I’d had a great experience with whilst staying at The Fish) while we went for dinner at the restaurant. It’s worth pointing out that you can’t get room service in the self-catering cottages but there is a full kitchen to cook for the littles ones.
The chef at The Wild Rabbit is Nathan Eades who has previously worked at a number of Michelin starred and award winning restaurants including a stint as Head Chef at Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham. In line with rest of The Wild Rabbit’s manifesto – food is local, seasonal and sustainable. They call it British cooking with a Cotswolds twist especially as many of the ingredients come from Daylesford Farm, freshly picked that morning.
I love the flower pot bread that we started with!
And my cured Severn & Wye salmon with heritage beetroot and English wasabi was both delicious and beautifully presented.
I loved my roast poussin with tenderstem broccoli, potato terrine and sauce épicée while others on the table enjoyed South Devon beef ribeye. There were also plenty of side dishes round the table such as hand cut chips and grilled courgettes. Portions were really well sized – big enough for large appetites and small enough for more delicate appetites.
We opted for the choice of three types of the award-winning Daylesford Organic cheese to finish off. Note there is also space to eat at the Bar and Terrace and there is a private dining room called The Chicken Shed.
The following night we had a brilliant dinner at Daylesford Farm and took the kids too! I’ll cover our experience there in a separate post.
As you can imagine, The Wild Rabbit serves brilliant breakfasts too and we ate there both mornings of our stay. You have to pay extra for this if you’re in a self-catering cottage but of course you can BYO and prepare breakfast in your cottage.
We absolutely loved The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, I couldn’t say enough good things about it, I’m already planning our return! It’s now easily one of my favourite places to stay in the UK.
Great for Kids:
Children are welcome in the restaurant.
Lots of local activities suitable for all ages.
Large accommodation with the option of kitchen, multiple bedrooms. Cot, high chair etc provided.
Great for Parents:
Delicious local food.
Beautiful interior and exteriors.
Use of the spa available at nearby Daylesford Organic.
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