• moving on

    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.


    We look forward to welcoming you all to our new Michelin starred home The Royal Oak in Whatcote which is twenty minutes from Chipping Campden and can be found nestled cosily in the Gloucestershire, Warwicksire, Oxfordshire borders.


    Solanche and Richard



    01295 688100

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    The Royal Oak Whatcote

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  • 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'

  • 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
    Marina O'Loughlin
    The Guardian
  • bookings

    We have moved the team to the Royal Oak in Whatcote just outside Shipston on Stour.




    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.



    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'



    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







    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
  • Richard Craven @a_rural_cook


    chef-proprietor Michelin starred The Royal Oak Whatcote