• moving on

    We are excited to announce the next development for our team: After a year of viewing properties near and far we believe we have found the perfect building.The timing has been ideal, combining our need for bigger premises along with the owners of the Chipping Campden site looking to sell.

     

    Having a restaurant in Chipping Campden was a long held dream for both Richard and Solanche and it’s extraordinary that we’ve been able to achieve this at such an early stage of our careers. We are exceedingly proud of the critical success that ‘the chef’s dozen’ has achieved in such a short amount of time. However, we soon realised, that the small dining room (and a kitchen ceiling so low that it only allows Richard to stand upright in four spots) meant we would have to look elsewhere long term, especially if we wanted to give our excellent little team the opportunity to grow with us. (We also need to save Richard’s back!)

     

    We were originally looking for somewhere to simply drop ‘the chef’s dozen’ and viewed many properties locally, as well as further away in both Bristol and Birmingham but absolutely fell in love with one in particular. And whilst ‘the chef’s dozen’ name has been a fantastic vehicle for our food, service and hospitality, it felt a little bit ‘clumpy’ to use it in our new setting – a village pub!

     

    Our new home The Royal Oak in Whatcote is twenty minutes from Chipping Campden and can be found cosily nestled in the Gloucestershire, Warwicksire, Oxfordshire borders. We actually drank there, a few years ago, when a family member worked there, so we were already familiar with the pub and area. When we found out it was on the market, we just had to go and view it.

     

    The building (which has been closed for around 3 years) has been lovingly restored from the ground up by a brilliant local building company, Henry Jervis and Partners who usually specialise in designing and building homes rather than pubs. Their combined talents have created a spectacular new home for our team and we are all looking forward to bringing our style of seasonal food and friendly service to our new setting.

     

    We’d like take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and ask you to trust us once again and we look forward to welcoming you all to our new home and an exciting new chapter for our team!

     

    Solanche, Richard and the team

     

    www.theroyaloakwhatcote.co.uk

    01295688100

  • Another great attribute for picturesque Chipping Campden, Richard Craven’s handsome and very well-priced restaurant opened to much applause in 2014. Craven, who was brought up in the area, produces a wonderfully creative menu and revels in the ingredients on his doorstep, working with a team of small-scale producers

     

    Harriet O'Brien

    'the telegraph'

     

     

     

    2017 winner 'restaurant of the year'Cotswold life food and drink awards

     

    2016 winner'the best restaurant in the cotswolds' cotswolds awards

     

    2016 finalist 'Chef of the Year' Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards

     

    HUFFington poST lifestyle 'seven amazing chefs in the cotswolds'

     

    4/5 Harden's guide 2016

     

    2015 Winner of 'Chef of the Year' Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards

     

    2015 finalist of 'Newcomer of the year' Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards  

       

    Chipping Campden's 'high street business of the year 2014'

     

      

      

    The Produce

    wild foods and game are a particular passion

  • serious cooking at incredibly decent prices in the Cotswolds. Richard Craven sure can cook, using local rabbits, deer plus local ish scallops and razor clams and the rest. Again the sort of neighbourhood joint we all wish was next door.

     

     

    the daily mail


     

  • This intimate restaurant and shady terrace sit close to the square and are run by a local chef with a passion for fine organic and wild ingredients. Dishes are modern, creative and attractive; this is inspired field-to-fork cooking.

     

     

    Michelin Guide 2017

  • the chef's dozen would cause ripples of excitement wherever it landed. Richard Craven is a chef with it all going on: ability and creativity rather than tedious modernist grandstanding.....

      

    .....it's the kind of place that could tempt you into being a tourist in your own country. Culinary sophistication doesn't stop it being warm and friendly: Richard's wife Solanche charms everyone out front

     

    8/10

     

    Marina O'Loughlin

    The Guardian

     

  • bookings

    we have moved the team to new premises: the Royal Oak in Whatcote, just outside Shipston on Stour find us there.

    www.theroyaloakwhatcote.co.uk

    01295 688100

  •  

    Richard Craven is a chef who possesses some talent and speaks with a distinctive voice – his is food I long to eat again. His wife Solanche is exemplary front-of-house – charming, informed, friendly and efficient. What a wonderful discovery.

     

    5/5

    Paul Fulford

    Birmingham Mail

    'Craven draws on the local area for inspiration and ingredients.'

     

    Janet Harmer

     

    Caterer and Hotelkeeper

    ‘This place could tempt you into being a tourist in your own country'

     

    8/10

    Marina O'Loughlin

    The Guardian

    Richard Craven’s cookery is what can only be described as plucky. Stripped back, minimal plates, but each cooked with incredible skill and knowledge and inspired flavour pairings.

     

    Laura Rowe

    Crumbs magazine

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    Richard was schooled in Chipping Campden, before he then started in a Chipping Campden hotel where he progressed from kitchen porter to Sous Chef. Richard then moved for a Head Chef position in a Cotswold pub at the age of 25. After this his next position was at the Kingham Plough under Emily Watkins, ex Fat Duck and winner of The BBC's Great British Menu.

     

    At the end of 2008 he moved with to South Africa with Solanche securing a position at 'The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais'. During his time at 'The Tasting Room', the restaurant moved from number 50 to number 37 in San Pellegrino's World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He was promoted to Sous Chef in the Tasting Room within three months of his time there and the restaurant was also voted the Best in Africa and the Middle East for the second year running.

     

    Solanche (aka Mrs Dozen) had just finished university in South Africa before meeting Richard on her travels. She dove into the hospitality industry working (and learning) her way through pubs, bars, brasseries and hotels, before moving back to South Africa in 2009. She worked at a Bread and Wine restaurant on the Moreson wine farm in Franschhoek before landing a gig as assistant manager just down the road at LQF with Richard.

     

    Her Drama Degree major of Stage and Events Management equipped her with the necessary skills to manage her ‘stage’ every night, and when the opportunity to open the chef’s dozen at the original site in Warwickshire came up, She jumped at it, learning her business skills along the way. In their first year, they not only gained an entry into the Michelin Guide, but also achieved 5 out of 5 in the second city’s Birmingham Mail – which, at the time, made them the only restaurant, outside the city to gain such a high accolade.

     

     

     

  • Like the very best meals I’ve tasted – and I’m thinking here of Le Manoir, Humphry’s at Stoke Park, L’Ortolan, a couple of restaurants in San Sebastien – the courses were like little works of gastronomic art – beautifully presented, inventive, creating taste sensations you’ll never be able to replicate in a million years

     

    Muddy Stilettos 2015