While we love sniffing around and taking peeks inside some of the more glamorous hotels around the globe, our favorite places are truly the ones that feel intimate and authentic – gems that are still relatively undiscovered. The ones that instantly transport our readers out of their realm and inspires them to travel. The Wild Rabbit in the charming countryside of the Cotswolds is one of these places.
A perfect weekend getaway from London (just a two hours drive or shorter train ride away), The Wild Rabbit seems to have all our pre-requisites of B&B nirvana: personal service, unique personality, good looks, luxurious comfort and a strong connection with its local surroundings (which of course includes locally sourced and delicious food). A quintessential setting is key. That’s a tall order to deliver. The Wild Rabbit is relative newcomer to the Cotswolds scene. Opened in September 2013, the 12-bedroom hotel located in the charming town of Kingham self-defines itself as the ‘reinvention of the traditional inn’ with a mix of country and modern aesthetic. Housed in a stone building dating from 1750, here you will find (most fittingly) exposed brick and stone walls, beams and solid refectory tables complemented by a calming, muted palette and cozy fireplaces throughout. Dogs nestling before them at any time is a given.
Upstairs, the spacious and airy bedrooms, quaintly named after wild animals like Hedgehog, are decked out with all the modern gadgets and luxurious creature comforts you can ask for such as Volga linens, iPod docking stations, Nespresso machines and Daylesford goodies with a log fire in every room should you need to get out the chill out of your bones during dreary damp days. For families, the Family Room with its own bunk beds or ‘The Beehive‘ cottage offer the most spacious accommodations.
The owners of The Wild Rabbit are as interesting as the inn itself. Local resident Lady Carole Bamford (married to billionaire industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford) is also the founder of the well-regarded and popular Daylesford Organic Farm in nearby Gloucester and manages what is now an organic empire of shops and cafes in the U.K. It comes as no surprise, then, the on-site restaurant and cozy pub emphasize local produce in farm to table menus (including croissants and breads baked in the wood-burning ovens and home-made jams) and artisan beers and ales. In fact, the on-site pub was recently awarded 2015 Michelin Pub of the Year in the U.K. Not bad after being open less than two years, eh?
In addition to the pub and restaurant, there is an attractive outdoor terrace to eat al fresco. Small groups can privately dine in “The Chicken Shed” (nicer than it sounds!) with its own staff and wood-burning oven.
If you can manage to step outside the comforts of the inn, you will find plenty to do beyond gazing at the area’s bucolic scenery and the menagerie of animals within it – sheep, lambs, cows, and ducks. And I’m sure, like the inn’s namesake, many a wild rabbit.
You would be smart to, for example, book a massage, pilates or yoga at the Bamford Hay Barn Spa, a 10-minute cycle away on one of the hotel bikes for guests. Or, choose one of multitude of enticing daily cooking classes at the Daylesford Cookery School housed in a renovated stone barn nearby. Jaunts to the surrounding beautiful small market towns with beguiling names of Stratford-on-Avon, Chipping Campden or Stow-on-the-Wold are a must, of course, for wonderful shopping, strolling and testing the local restaurant and pub fare. Similar to another favorite English country inn of ours that we featured on Inviato, The Pig in Hampshire, the Wild Rabbit sets the standard for the new modern country inn. Now, if only we can find a moment to get there ourselves. To book your stay, check here for availability. Photos courtesy of The Wild Rabbit.