Wilding will offer Oxford a warm, elegantly-designed, relaxed space to eat and drink great food and exciting wines in the historic centre.
Wilding’s name comes from the practice of regenerating overworked land to return it to nature; such is Wilding’s intention to make as little impact on the environment as possible and they only work with the very best in agile, environmentally-responsible businesses that support this ethos. Wilding comes from Founder Kent Barker, who’s worked in the industry for over 30 years, and has previously held senior positions at Bibendum, Oddbins and Enotria.
Food comes from Chef Dominique Goltinger (from kitchens such as Bistrot Bruno Loubet and most recently Maremma in Brixton) who will be cooking a menu that prioritises seasonality and local provenance. He’s working with a local Somerset forager to bring seasonally-changing and biodiverse ingredients to the menu to enhance the strong plant-based offering. Goltinger and the team will create dishes like hand-dived scallops with seashore vegetables and wild capers, to chargrilled asparagus with Caerphilly cheese and hogweed shoot dressing. The menu also includes sharing dishes, market fish; charcuterie and seafood boards along with ex-dairy cow beef. Suppliers have been hand-selected by Goltinger to bring the best of British produce to the menu, including Westcombe Dairy, Cove Shellfish and Hogget and Boar, with the Wilding team handling butchery and fermentations in-house to minimise food waste.
Barker, who runs the award-winning Eight Stony Street in Frome, wants to create with Wilding a venue where wine and food is matched and served in a creative, unpretentious and engaging way with customers encouraged to be bold and adventurous with their ordering.
The restaurant joins the creative canal district of Jericho in Oxford, offering 80 covers, with an additional 16 in a private dining room, 20 at the bar and an expansive garden terrace for up to 60 guests. The terrace is landscaped with wildflowers, aromatic herbs and vines from local vineyards.
Wilding will offer a retail space where guests can buy from over 400 bottles of wine, and up to 10 guests can sit and grab a drink and bite to eat.
Wines come courtesy of Barker and Head of Wine, Sarah Helliwell, who’s selected over 50 wines by the glass, including 10 on tap, plus a further top end list available from an enomatic dispense system. By the glass include Arndorfer’s Unfiltered Gruner Veltliner (on tap), Vietti Barbera d’Alba, Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet (in enomatic) and Bride Valley’s English Crèmant; all served in 175ml serves, 250ml and 500ml carafes and 750ml bottles in order to make the list as accessible as possible with glasses from £5.50 and bottles from £21.
Sustainability is at the forefront of the wine list. Both Barker and Helliwell believe that the best grapes are grown with minimal intervention and their list champions producers who are passionate about the land they cultivate and making wines that typify the unique character of their location.
The shop will offer 400 wines for sale, including fortified sherries, ports, sparkling, still, red, white, rosé and orange wines. Prices range from £7.50 - £245 to take away, and all bottles can be enjoyed on-site (£15 corkage).
The restaurant intends to provide a platform for as many local products and producers as possible, and as such will be serving locally-roasted coffee and luxury ecologically-friendly skincare brand La Eva.
Wilding will soft launch to the public on Friday 21st (dinner), Saturday 22nd (lunch and dinner) and Sunday 23rd May (lunch and dinner), offering complimentary food only to all pre-booked tables during these times. Guests should subscribe to the Wilding newsletter for further information on booking for the soft launch.
Wilding will fully open to the public on Wednesday 26th May.
Notes to Editors
Wilding, 11-12 Little Clarendon Street Oxford, Monday – Sunday 11am – 11pm
PDR: 16, Bar: 20, Shop: 10, Terrace: 60, Main restaurant: 80
Wide selection by the glass (14 red, 14 white, 5 sparkling, 3 rosé). 10 wines on tap and 8 fine wines through enomatic machine wines (175ml glass, 250ml/500ml carafes, and 750ml bottles).
Kent Barker is Founder of both 8 Stony Street, and Wilding and has previously held senior positions in some of the country’s leading wine merchants including Bibendum, Oddbins and Enotria. Kent co-founded the successful Beckford Bottle Shop - runner up in regional wine merchant of the year awards 2018. He has previously given a much-lauded talk at the Chalke Valley History Festival on ‘War and Wine’ and is an after-dinner speaker on wine. Kent will bring his textural knowledge of the stories behind the wine to the floor at Wilding. He is passionate about training and warm hospitality, and is committed to bringing together the best team of experienced individuals for this project.
Sarah Helliwell joins as Head of Wine at Wilding having previously worked in such venues as the two Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park, and within Camel Valley running the tasting room and marketing. Sarah is a WSET Educator and has been involved in the Rioja Ambassadors programme representing the wines in the UK.
Dominique Goltinger is an Austrian Chef who has previously worked at The Ivy, and then Bistrot Bruno Loubet where he was Head Chef for four years. It’s here that cemented his love and understanding of how best to approach vegetable cooking as Loubet mentored him throughout this time, at the same time opening Grain Store, his vegetarian restaurant. Dominique joins Wilding as Head Chef.