With summer behind us and a beautiful warm, dry autumn in the south we decided to combine a few days relaxation with some early Christmas shopping. A perfect place to start is Broadway in the Cotswolds.
We have been visiting Russell’s bistro in Broadway since Andrew Riley opened it. As always, Andrew was hands on, making sure that the food and service were memorable and consistent. When you leave Russell’s you know you will be back.
After a leisurely lunch and a little shopping in Oka, just up the road from Andrew’s we were on our way to Chipping Camden. Andrew suggested we call in at Lapstone, a shopping experience akin to Daylesford or Darts Farm.
Guys, send your ladies there with your plastic, sit back and await her return – you won’t be disappointed! An up-market ladies boutique, gift shop, bakery & café, hair and beauty salon – Lapstone has it all.
After a pot of tea and handmade biscuits we dropped down into Chipping Camden for some speed shopping at Robert Welch, the cutlery designers and silversmiths. This shop would be paradise for every chef, amateur or professional.
Back on the road again for a few miles through the stunning autumn Cotswold scenery and down to Stow On The Wold and thence to Kingham, home to the Kingham Plough, which is owned by Emily Watkins and her husband. Emily was one of the winners of Great British Menu 2014. The World famous Daylesford Farm Shop is just outside Kingham and right in the middle of the village is The Wild Rabbit pub with rooms.
The moment you step inside The Wild Rabbit you know you are in for a treat. All the staff are smiley, friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was warm and relaxed (no pretentiousness here!). Our bedroom was perfect and rustically quirky. The four-poster bed was held up with tree branches! (check on line).
After pre-dinner drinks and a perusal of the menu in front of the large open fire we took our table in the equally rustic dining room. It is always a pleasure to watch a professional brigade cooking in a theatre kitchen, it adds an extra excitement while you are waiting for the food.
Duck liver and pigeon with plums and gingerbread was followed by dry aged 12 oz. steaks on the bone cooked in the Josper and accompanied by a delightful merlot. Chocolate mousse with salted caramel ice cream rounded off a memorable meal and evening.
After a very comfortable night’s sleep the “full English” had to be enjoyed – slowly. We were very sad to leave.
So often we have good reason to appreciate that the UK hospitality and retail industries are frequently the best in the World!