Sam Bowser has joined The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, Oxfordshire, as Executive Chef. He leads the kitchen at the acclaimed pub with rooms, which serves the three-AA-rosette restaurant and bar menu.
Bowser joins from Llangoed Hall Hotel, Powys, where he held the position of Head Chef since 2019. Before that, he spent four years in the Cotswolds as Head Chef at both Dormy House Hotel and the two Michelin-starred Whatley Manor Hotel.
His time in the Cotswolds followed roles working with Philip Howard at The Square in London and with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. Bowser served a brief stint working for the Bamford family as a private chef seven years ago, where he gained a wealth of knowledge and respect for quality, organic ingredients.
The menus at The Wild Rabbit will continue to be led by the seasons, offering locally sourced and ingredient-focused modern British food. An open kitchen in the 42-cover dining room allows diners to enjoy the theatre of the chefs and brings a dynamic atmosphere to the space.
A more informal menu provides relaxed pub food in the bar, which seats 34 covers and an additional 40 covers on the terrace during good weather.
Bowser comments: “I am thrilled to be back in the Cotswolds and working with Carole Bamford again. I have been lucky enough to work in many high-end and acclaimed kitchens, but it was working with the Bamford family where I really developed an in-depth understanding of seasonality.
“The Wild Rabbit offers the perfect setting for me as a chef, with a quality-driven kitchen and access to exceptional produce from Daylesford Organic – I cannot wait to get stuck in.”
Ewan Grant, General Manager of The Wild Rabbit, comments: “We are excited to welcome Sam to the team. He brings considerable experience and expertise from some renowned kitchens.
“This, coupled with his understanding of The Wild Rabbit, the area and our ethos make him a perfect match as we look forward to an exciting year ahead.”
Carole Bamford opened The Wild Rabbit in 2013. A modern interpretation of a traditional country inn, the five-red-AA-starred pub offers 13 bedrooms and 14 self-contained cottages alongside the three-AA-rosette restaurant. Two further self-contained houses will open in the new year, sleeping eight and ten people respectively.
Carole, who is best known as the founder of farm shop and restaurant business Daylesford Organic, will open The Fox at Oddington in July. Already well-loved as a pitstop for country walks, The Fox will continue the legacy of a traditional inn. Seating up to 90 covers inside, a spacious outdoor terrace will accommodate a further 40 people.
The restoration of The Fox has sustainability at its heart, and each of the six bedrooms will have a distinct personality incorporating colour, pattern and reclaimed materials. Opposite the pub, a cottage with its own private walled garden offers an alternative place to stay that is ideal for families or parties of friends.