Tag Archives: pub lunch

Lunch at The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

Britain suffered the coldest August bank holiday on record this year.

To many, a perfect excuse to ball up under a warm throw and indulge in a Netflix marathon…

But not I!

I couldn’t bear the thought of a squandering a day off doing nothing. So I threw on my slicker and hit the Cotswolds country roads!

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Cotwolds Cottage

Cotswolds Rainy Landscape

We had lunch in my most favorite village, Kingham, at the Daylesford pub venture “The Wild Rabbit.”

Wild Rabbit Pub Front

Wild Rabbit Rear

Wild Rabbit Pub Fireplace

Wild Rabbit Dining Room

Wild Rabbit Table Bread

Wild Rabbit Bloody Mary

Wild Rabbit Bloody Mary Sip

Once I had my bloody mary in hand, I was all smiles.

Though someone was less than impressed to have been dragged out in this weather…

Wild Rabbit Date

Not much choice on the menu, but everything we ordered was delightful.

Bruschetta; smashed broad beans, whipped goat's curd, ham

Bruschetta; smashed broad beans, whipped goat’s curd, ham

Lentil salad with gorgonzola and red onion

Lentil salad with gorgonzola and red onion

Wild Rabbit Lentil Salad

Wild Rabbit Chips Staub

After lunch, I literally had to tug my squire by the sleeve to accompany me on a little walk around the village. He hates wet weather. But I think England is romantic in the rain.

Wild Rabbit Pub Porch

Wild Rabbit Pub Porch Point

Kingham town

Scampering under the drizzle, we made our way to the village church and had a contemplative moment inside.

Kingham Church Path

Kingham Church Gatre

Kingham Church

Kingham Church Side

During the Middle Ages, the Cotswolds enjoyed a booming wool trade and the area became very prosperous. As a result, there are many handsome churches dotted around the countryside built of this yellow Jurassic limestone. I can’t get over how dignified and sumptuous it looks!

Kingham Church Doors

Kingham Church Coat

We hid out in the dusty old church, escaping the rain for a while.

When it reduced to a sprinkle, we dashed back to the car, and whizzed home to snuggle up with a hot cup of tea.

Sunday Stroll & The Thomas Cubitt

On Sunday, London experienced the warmest day since October 26th last year! The sun was out,  the temperature had spiked up to nearly 70°, and we were bumbling around Sloane Square enjoying the weather.

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We made our way to Belgravia where we scored a coveted table at The Thomas Cubitt outside in the sun.

Take a tip from me – ask for one of the three tables on the mews along the side of the restaurant. They are just as good for sun and people-watching as the ones out front on Elizabeth Street, but with way more privacy and without the constant rumble of traffic that totally ruins a meal.

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We stuck to script and ordered our Sunday usual – bloody mary and oysters.

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Carlingford rock oysters with shallot dressing

Carlingford rock oysters with shallot dressing

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For my main, I got a big huge beast of a salad – grilled cornfed chicken, broccoli, avocado, celery and chickpeas with a Colston Basset Stilton dressing.

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I think this place is one of my favorite pubs in London. The excellent food and location goes without saying, but it’s the stellar service that puts this neighborhood watering hole at the tiptop of my list (or, um, blog).

Now back to the streets and my Sunday stroll through this fine city!

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This is getting me in the mood for more springtime hijinks!

Checking Out the Gunton Arms, Norfolk

Having heard about the Gunton Arms, a gastropub set inside the gates of a private Georgian deer park, we figured we’d pay a visit whilst in Norfolk.  The old building has been fixed up by a London art dealer, who poached two chefs from his buddy Mark Hix’s restaurant in Soho.

The outside is grassy, muddy parkland, home to herds of deer. Chefs bustle from the kitchen to the Land Rover along the sodden path behind the building in muck-splattered wellies, looking more like farmers than cooks. It’s quintessentially British country.

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But once inside, it feels distinctly London – the familiar kitsch of over-exposed contemporary British artists tacked up all over the place. A Tracey Emin neon flickers above the entrance to the dining room, but the owner graciously knows the best place to keep his unsold stock of Damien Hirst dot prints – in the toilets.

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We were seated in the Elk Room, at a table thrilling close to the mondo open fireplace where we could watch our meal sizzling over the flames.  fire

Deep fried cod cheeks with caper mayo

Deep fried cod cheeks with caper mayo

steak

10 oz sirloin steak, before

10 oz sirloin steak, before…

and after!

and after!

Red deer burger with chips & autumn slaw

Red deer burger with chips & autumn slaw

burg2 cheese

plaid4 PlaidAfter our dose of flame-broiled protein perfection, we barreled down a narrow back road to Mundesley Beach for a stroll on the shore before sundown. It was a sullen, overcast afternoon but the beach was clean and bright. We shuffled along through the pebbles in our wellies enjoying the sounds of the waves gurgling up on the sand and subsiding back into the North Sea.

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Another weekend over all too quickly! The next morning, I’ll be a career woman on a Greater Anglia train straight into the clogged heart of London – ready for another week of conquering the city. But for now, I’m just kicking pebbles on an empty beach in Norfolk.

The Only Way is Sussex

Summer is slipping away. The first days of September are upon us and you can already feel it – the sudden bite of cold mist, the crispness in the air. Soon, the first frost will fall, our tans will fade, and all our activities will be ushered indoors – board games by the fire, hearty pub lunches and shopping the holiday sales – all the while bundled in chunky wool sweaters.

Knowing the warm weather days are numbered, this weekend we headed south in pursuit of the last bits of sunshine. Our chase took us all the way to West Sussex, a coastal county of protected countryside, Blue Flag beaches, and its own fair share of castles and stately homes.

Petworth House is the former aristocratic seat of the Percy family, and has since been the family home to a series of titled heirs, along the way amassing an impressive collection of British art – including the largest group of JMW Turner paintings outside of Tate Britain. Bits of the house and a few of the art galleries have been turned over to the National Trust and are open to the public. Here’s my little peek inside:

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The interior of the house convincingly captures the intact details of a bygone era in British history. The outside grounds were designed in the mid 1700s by legendary English landscape architect, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, making Petworth Park a lush pleasure ground to enjoy one of the last days of the fading summer.

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front

We lunched at The Richmond Arms restaurant just down the road, in a charming Sussex rural village a few minutes outside of Chichester. My salmon was the perfect translucent pink, served over a homemade corn fritter with a dollop of crème fraîche and a delicious summer salsa. My tangy, tropical dessert allowed me to savor the taste of summer that little bit longer.

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Sides almighty!

Sides almighty!

Passionfruit posset & coconut tapioca topped with guava sorbet

Passionfruit posset & coconut tapioca topped with guava sorbet

Homemade honeycomb ice cream & rasberry sorbet

Homemade honeycomb ice cream & raspberry sorbet

The light was fading and the tide had already rushed back out to sea by the time we pulled into West Wittering Beach. The sand was silky, albeit starting to chill, under our bare feet – but there’s something about standing on the edge of an island, so close to Europe we could pick up French radio stations across the English Channel.

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beach

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It seems so bittersweet that we can’t prolong the seasons – but I’m happy to celebrate all the adventures I’ve had this summer. Who knows … maybe there’s even a few more sunny days ahead yet! Here’s hopin’.