Wild Rabbit wins Michelin Pub of the Year 2015

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pub Public house Cooking Michelin pub

The Wild Rabbit: A 'chocolate box' pub
The Wild Rabbit: A 'chocolate box' pub
The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, Oxfordshire has been named the Pub of the Year 2015 in the new Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide.

The site is owned by Lady Bamford, who also owns Daylesford organic café, deli, cookery school and spa complex near the pub. The pub has 12 luxury bedrooms.

It also features a private dining room and offers a range of merchandise including T-shirts and chairs.

Sample dishes on the Wild Rabbit menu include cauliflower bavarois and cauliflower salad (£8.50); crisp pigs head croquette, smoked eel and sauce ravigôte (£11.50) lasagne of crab, langoustine sauce (£15) and ballotine of duck liver and pigeon, plums and gingerbread (£11.50).

Mains offer pot roast partridge à l’Anglaise (£24); skate wing, oyster and celery ravioli, lemon butter sauce (£24); roast rump of lamb, braised neck with sweetbreads (£26.50 and cacao nib crusted venison with girolles, celeriac and figs (£25).

Steaks from a Josper oven are another key feature of the menu, including a dry aged 12oz sirloin steak on the bone (£30) and a 22oz rump cap for two (£58). They are served with hand-cut chips and ox tongue niçoise salad.

Guide editor Rebecca Burr said: "This chocolate box pub is situated in a charming Cotswold village and its capable kitchen works with the best organic ingredients to produce seasonal British cooking which is full of flavour. With an animated atmosphere, cheery service and stylish yet rustic bedrooms, the pub ticks all the right boxes."

The new guide recommends more than 590 pubs from all over Great Britain and Ireland, of which 70 are new entries. All the pubs have been selected, first and foremost, for the quality of their food.

Burr said: "Pubs are a quintessential part of British life and the standard of food being served in them continues to reach new heights. A pub is a great place to be in all seasons - who doesn't enjoy lunch and a pint in a pub garden on a sunny day or a fireside meal in a cosy inn in winter?"

"The value of the local pub cannot be underestimated, particularly in rural areas. From the local darts team to the village cricket eleven, from quiz nights to wine tastings, pubs provide more than just a meeting point - they are often the hub of the community.

"With this in mind, customers are now demanding that chefs use more and more local produce and want to see local recipes and specialities on the menu. Chefs and pub owners are not only embracing this idea but some are taking it a stage further by growing their own fruit, vegetables and herbs, and by keeping chickens and rearing pigs."

"The Daylesford ethos champions the self-sufficient, the sustainable and the organic," said Burr, "and it is this influence which is at the heart of the pub - and indeed at the core of the menu. The capable kitchen works with the best organic ingredients to produce seasonal cooking which is British at heart and full of flavour.

"The bar menu offers light bites like goujons of sole, potted rabbit or crisp pig's head croquettes, while dishes on the main menu might include satisfying hare ravioli or a substantial Gloucester Old Spot for two. The smell from the Josper oven tempts many a hungry diner into choosing a juicy steak, and comforting puddings range from a rich chocolate mousse to a creamy rice pudding with prunes soaked in Armagnac.

"Like the pub itself, no expense has been spared when it comes to the bedrooms," said Burr. "They are beautifully appointed, with rugged wood flooring, stone walls, exposed beams and extras like cotton robes and homemade biscuits. Most are in the main house but there are also four garden rooms, ideal for those who've brought along their four-legged friends."

This year's edition of the pub guide has a new look. Each entry features colour photographs and an in-depth description, as well as prices, directions and a list of real ales; there are also regional maps and indexes by both pub and town name.

Pubs with accommodation are highlighted, as are those offering something extra special - dubbed 'Inspectors' Favourites'.

The guide also highlights the 43 pubs which have a Bib Gourmand - our award for great value cooking - and the 16 holders of a coveted Michelin Star, awarded for top class cuisine, including the Treby Arms, which is run by a former MasterChef winner, and Tom Kerridge's Hand and Flowers, the only two-starred pub.

The Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide is out today, priced at £13.99.

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