Rutland Pride

Dining Out at The King’s Arms

What do you get if you combine a quintessentially ‘Rutland’ pub, with a chef determined to make the most of every single dish, and a fondness for game? The answer, it seems, is 20 years of success. This month sees the 20th anniversary of James & Kate Goss’s tenure at their 17th century country restaurant, The King’s Arms, a rather spectacular place to dine!

Flavour, flavour and flavour. In that order, those are the three qualities that James ‘Jimmy’ Goss says he looks to impart into any new dish that he introduces onto the menu at The King’s Arms in Wing. Not a single opportunity to make the most of an ingredient is forsaken, and no labour is too much effort when it comes to creating dishes that beautifully reflect the countryside surrounding the 17th century pub restaurant.

It’s an approach to chefcraft which is labour intensive but enables a compromise-proof dining experience, one that has ensured The King’s Arms has remained one of Rutland’s best restaurants for 20 years… exactly 20 years in fact. 

On 11th May 2004 David Goss, his wife Gisa, and their son James purchased The King’s Arms from equally gifted Rutland publican Jason Allen, who had looked after the building very well indeed.

David has gone from working behind the bar to behind the scenes, whilst Jimmy has capitalised on his experience working around Europe to create menus that focus on quality and seasonality, making the most of the countryside.

Jimmy developed a love of foraging and farmhouse cooking from his grandmother then worked in his uncle’s restaurant before embarking on a one year stint working as a ski-season chef – which overran by about, oooh, six years –  followed by a stint in Denmark, working at Michelin-star kitchens.

Underwriting Jimmy’s dishes is his belief in a ‘field to fork, nose to tail’ approach. The chef works alongside Andy, who has been with him in the kitchen for 11 years, and Josh who joined the two at the age of 16 and is now 21. That retention of talent over many years ensures consistency in the dishes that the team creates – which is great for diners – but also allows Jimmy to impart a range of more advanced kitchen skills, employing them throughout his menus.

For example, the team values provenance and favours local producers like Gwilym and Alex Owen at Launde Lamb, Grasmere Farm for pork, a couple of local suppliers of 30-day aged beef, plus game from local shoots and estates. 

The latter is a particular speciality of The King’s Arms, and whilst game is more typically associated with the cooler months, Jimmy also has a dedicated smokehouse, adjacent to the restaurant allowing him to produce hot and cold smoked meat, from venison sausages to a range of charcuterie which can still be enjoyed throughout the summer months.

Everything but everything is produced in house; Jimmy and the team make their own bread, produce ice creams and sorbets in house, and even have a range of homemade tipples on a chalk board adjacent to the bar; elderflower vodka, raspberry gin and pub orchard pear schnapps are all created with fruit steeped in house. So is the redcurrant vodka which, Kate advises with a degree of caution, is ‘lethal…’ but not when consumed in sensible quantities, I’m sure. I was driving during my visit, so I can’t attest to the strength of those spirits, nor did I enjoy local ales like Grainstore’s Osprey or any of the very well-curated (by David) wines available from £25 a bottle, up to about £50.

I can, however, confirm that even tea and coffee is local, sourced from roastery Lee & Fletcher, about an hour away from The King’s Arms. The company has been supplying the restaurant for a number of years and like a few of Jimmy & Kate’s other suppliers, they’ve become friends as well as fellow food and drink aficionados.

As we were putting the camera away during our visit, the roastery’s owners Jim and Katharine Fletcher were just checking in to one of The King’s Arm’s eight nicely presented letting rooms for a rest, prior to enjoying supper that evening.

“They’ve become really good friends,” says Jimmy. “We’re really lucky that we’ve a community around us that gets what we’re trying to do. We believe greatly in seasonality, in using the best ingredients, and investing time and effort in what we do.”

“Our approach has come back into fashion, but it’s just what we’ve been doing for years; refusing to waste opportunities to impart flavour or make the most of what’s growing around us.”

“Butchering our own meat in house means we’re able to vouch for the quality of our ingredients and produce everything from our own sausages and charcuterie right down some really good stocks, but also give our customers an authentic, fairly-priced dining experience because we don’t waste anything.”

The King’s Arms’ diners aren’t the only ones who recognise the quality and authenticity of the restaurant’s dishes either. The place was awarded a rosette by the AA for its dining in 2005, then a second rosette a year later and it has retained them ever since. 

In addition The Good Food Awards, The Countryside Alliance and Guns on Pegs have all recognised the quality of The King’s Arms’s dining and its accommodation.

“It’s something we’re proud of, certainly, but the real measure of success for us is how satisfied our diners are,” say Jimmy and Kate. “We’re pleased with the lovely feedback we get from people who dine with us. One recent comment was from a customer who hadn’t been back for a few months but commented that they shouldn’t have left it so long.”

“They also commented on the consistency of the experience which means a great deal to us, as it’s a reflection on the fact that we keep the same team members and all work hard together to achieve the same goal of ensuring our customers have a wonderful experience.”

“We’re a family business, but also a family in the broader sense too, with a really great team, some wonderful suppliers and some fantastic regulars. That’s why the past 20 years have flown by and why we can’t wait for the next 20!”

On the Menu: The King’s Arms, Wing

First Courses
Confit grey squirrel legs, smoked bacon, peas, truffled custard, hen of the woods, £11.
Pub cold-smoked wood pigeon breasts, pub black pudding, onion jam, chicory & game chips, £12.
Rutland kedgeree, lightly spiced rice, pub hot smoked trout, trout roe, garden peas, toasted almonds & boiled egg, touch of cream, parsley crisps, £10.
Jimmy’s charcuterie, pancetta, lomo, spicy coppa, muntjac bresaola, venison salami and pickles, £20.

Main Courses
Roasted cod loin, cavolo nero rösti, artichoke, Jimmy’s Parma ham & red wine glace, £25.
Fallow deer saddle, sweet medlar red cabbage, balsamic beets, dauphinoise and port glace, £28.
Braised Launde Farms lamb shank, wild garlic and parsley mash, jus and greens £28.
Herbed red wine venison sausages, red cabbage, mash, greens and chestnut mushroom sauce, £21.
Dry-aged fillet steak, shin croquette, hen of the woods, celeriac puree and thyme fondant, £38.


Pub orchard fruit crumble with cinnamon sorbet & real vanilla custard, £9.
Amaretto brulée with pub orchard quince compote and salted almond snap biscuit, £9.
Pub cheese board: 2 cheeses for £8, and £3 per additional cheese. Enjoy the full board alone or share with the table for £26.
NB: This is a sample menu, and featured dishes are subject to availability and change.

The King’s Arms, Wing, Rutland

The Pitch: The culinary heartbeat of rural Rutland, a 17th Century dining room in the conservation village of Wing with lots of game on the menu and adjacent smokehouse. Home to David, Jimmy & Kate Goss for 20 years.
Kitchen Opening Hours: Closed Monday. Open Tuesday 6pm-8.30pm; Wednesday 6pm-8.30pm; Thursday 12noon-2pm, 6pm-8.30pm; Friday 12noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Saturday 12noon-2pm, 5.30pm-9pm; Sunday 12noon-2.30pm.
The King’s Arms, Top Street, Wing, LE15 8SE. 
Call 01572 737 634 or see