"Ten years ago. Londoners would drive up to the Cotswolds and be happy with a chop, chips, and a pint—period,” said the chef Adam Caisley. “A roast on Sunday. A steamed pudding. Now....” His big, amused smile showed how outdated that kind of cooking has become in this verdant, sparsely populated region of central England. When I visited, Caisley was overseeing the restaurant at the Wild Rabbit, a rustic boutique hotel that opened two years ago in the village of Kingham. As he served me lunch of a delicately poached wild sea bass with baby leeks and clams, followed by a playful and delicious Pimm’s jelly with elderflower and lemonade sorbet, he struck me as the new model for a chef in the Cotswolds.
Inventive cooking was slow to arrive in the Cotswolds, the bucolic English region that has become a weekend retreat for posh Londoners. But in recent years, nearly every one of its historic hamlets has been reborn as a dining destination.