New million pound chapter for Warwick hotel

New million pound chapter for Warwick hotel

Wroxall Abbey Hotel, Warwick, chapel

The new owners behind troubled Wroxall Abbey Hotel in Warwickshire have pledged to ‘rebuild trust in the community’ as they announce huge plans for the site.

The Warwick venue, which reopened its doors last autumn, has unveiled a million-pound refurbishment and expansion under its new ownership of ONS International Ltd T/A.

It marks a bright new chapter for the historic four-star hotel which has twice gone into administration in the last four years.

Some months after its sudden closure in October 2019, Trinity Hotel Ltd reopened Wroxall Abbey following refurbishment works, in June 2021. But it was never to recover from the negative impact of national lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic and fell into administration a year later, in July 2022.

Wroxall Abbey Hotel, Warwick, chapel

Today, its family owners have revealed plans for huge new investment in the Victorian neo-Gothic brick mansion hotel, a former girls’ school and one-time country estate of architect Sir Christopher Wren.

Company Director Paresh Thakkar said: “We acknowledge the rich history of Wroxall Abbey and understand it’s significant importance and value to the local community.

“While we understand the negative press that has surrounded Wroxall Abbey in the past, especially with the recent administration, our main goal as a business is to restore the historic reputation of this magnificent estate, re-building trust with the community and to provide a high-quality service for our guests.”

Wroxall Abbey Hotel, Warwick, chapel

Since its takeover in September, the business has obtained a wedding licence and launched afternoon tea and Sunday lunch menus. Most popular among the local community though is the reopening, after five years, of the 14th century church. Wroxall Abbey is the only hotel in the country with its own on-site chapel, and since March, it has been recommissioned and holding Sunday services again for The Order of St. Leonards as well as hosting weddings and christenings.

Following the services, the congregation are then welcomed into the hotel to enjoy complimentary refreshments.

The hotel was originally founded as a Benedictine nunnery by Hugh fitz Richard of Hatton in the middle of the 12th century.

The church was built in around 1315, originally part of the priory itself and the only part that remains standing. In recent history it was made into a cathedral of the Free Methodist Church but has been returned to The Church of England under its new owners.

Wroxall Abbey Hotel, Warwick, chapel

The hotel currently offers 73 bedrooms, plus six conference rooms, a patio garden overlooking the 27-acre grounds, Henry’s Lounge & Bar and Henry’s Restaurant which serves seasonal British and Mediterranean cuisine as well as Sunday Lunch and Afternoon Tea.

Ambitious future plans now include a new state-of-the-art spa and health club and renovation of the Courtyard Building to create an additional 24 bedrooms by the end of next year. Developed in 1866, The Courtyard formed a large part of the estate when it was transformed into a school.

Paresh added: “Our dedicated team are aware of the continuous and challenging up-keep with the Grade II listed building. Our business has the long-term vision to continue to transform Wroxall Abbey into a beautiful and luxurious venue.

Wroxall Abbey Hotel, Warwick, chapel

“This is a family-run four-star hotel and we do things a little bit differently but our key objectives now are to always look after our guests and move forward with our grand plans.

“We sincerely hope that you share our exciting vision for the future of Wroxall Abbey and we look forward to sharing our developments along our journey.”


Warwick Rotary Thai Festival works with local charity

Warwick Rotary Thai Festival works with local charity

This year’s Thai Festival is set for Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th July at Warwick Racecourse, so put it in your diary and make a weekend of it.

Warwick Rotary Club and partners Magic of Thailand bring the sights and sounds of the orient to Warwick, filling the racecourse with Thai traders selling delicious food, dancers, musicians and monks, so come prepared for a great day out.

The festival is open from 10.30am to 6pm on Saturday, and Sunday.Tickets are on sale for £5 each in advance from Magic of Thailand via, or available to purchase on the gate. Children are free.

On the Sunday evening local charity Safeline are also be presenting “The Lady boys” Geri Love, TK Kiss Kiss & Vivian, at Ronnies of Warwick. There will be a night of music, song, and laughter as these talented performers take the stage. With their stunning costumes, incredible choreography, and amazing vocals, “The Lady boys” are sure to leave you in awe.Tickets available on-line here.

The festival follows a trusted format with Buddhist Monks starting the day with their ceremonies, and the traditional reception of gifts from the traders. On stage throughout the day will be a top-class presentation of Thai culture, with dancing, lady boys, music, Thai boxing and cookery demonstrations, and plenty of stalls selling Thai food, drinks, spices, crafts, and massages.

The racecourse is next to the town centre and parking is handy with the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts helping out. Meet up with your friends, or make new ones surrounded by the sights and sounds of Bangkok.

Warwick Rotary has organised an annual Thai festival since the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and continues to send aid to the Thai people and other disaster areas. Rotary proceeds go to charitable causes.

The event is supported by Warwick Castle, Startin Kia Warwick, Singha Beer and Tourism Authority of Thailand, with Warwick District Council advising on delivering a safe event for everyone.

Friends gear up for charity tandem challenge

Friends gear up for charity tandem challenge

Molly Ollys, Alex Pearson, Emma Brayne

PEDAL power will once again be propelling two Warwickshire fundraisers who are preparing to cycle 30 miles on a side-by-side tandem bike.

Friends Alex Pearson from Stratford and Emma Brayne from Warwick are planning to cycle a route from Claverdon to Hatton, via Warwick, Henley, Shrewley and Wootton Wawen as part of their intrepid challenge on June 26th, in aid of local children’s charity Molly Ollys.

It brings a move to terra firma for the ladies who, for the past two years, have  taken to water for a 12km fundraising canal pedalo challenge. This time they hope to raise at least £500, which will then be match-funded by The Morrisons Foundation.

The journey, which is expected to take around seven hours including stops, will commence from Claverdon Primary School, where Molly Ollerenshaw was a pupil, and finish at Hatton, where her family home is.

Alex, a community champion for Morrisons in Leamington, said: “We support local charities and communities and we support Molly Ollys every year because the work they do is phenomenal.

“You hear the heart-warming stories about the wishes they’ve granted or the care they give through Olly The Brave. It is these little things that make such a big difference to families, helping to make their dark days a bit brighter.

“It is a local charity but one which supports many children all around the country and the team do such great work. Raising awareness is just as important as the money – and this should hopefully help with that!”

She added: “Thank you to Woodside Care Home in Warwick who allowed us to ‘train’ on their side-by-side tandem, New Horizon Logistics and Mencap in Birmingham who are loaning us their tandem for the fundraising day.”

Molly Olly's Wishes, Molly Ollerenshaw
Molly Ollerenshaw just a few weeks before she passed away, aged eight.

Molly Ollerenshaw died from a rare kidney cancer in 2011, aged just eight years old.

The charity, established in her name, last year marked its 10th anniversary of supporting children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It helps with emotional support and donates wishes, therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.

Since Molly Ollys started more than £3 million has been raised to emotionally support children across the UK. Anyone wishing to donate can do so at

Of the latest challenge, Molly’s mum and the charity’s Founder Rachel Ollerenshaw, said: “Big thanks to Alex and Emma who do so much for so many good causes. They always try to find different ways to fundraise and try to make each challenge very personal to the charity that they are supporting. We are extremely grateful to them and of course David and Adam and everyone else involved.”

The girls will once again be supported by Alex’s friend David Fletcher and Emma’s husband Adam Brayne who will cycle with them to help maintain health and safety en route. And they’ll be greeted at Hatton locks Café by Warwick Mayor Cllr Oliver Jacques who has chosen Molly Ollys as one of his charities of the year.

Donations towards their cycling challenge can be made via:

Sizzling new menu and season of events for summer at White Lion

Sizzling new menu and season of events for summer at White Lion

The White Lion, Radford Semele

The White Lion in Radford Semele is putting its best foot forward this season with superb new food and drinks menus, an exciting calendar of events and a glorious garden.

The beautiful, thatched pub in the heart of the village, yet just a stone’s throw from Leamington Spa, is the perfect place to enjoy delicious things to eat and drink in relaxed surroundings, whatever the occasion. Tucked behind it is a spacious, secluded garden that’s full of blossom and comfortably furnished with plenty of spots to soak up some sunshine.

The pub’s now serving its new spring menu using the best of the season’s bounty – Cornish lamb, spring greens, Devonshire crab, daily market fish and English asparagus.

Sip on a Rosé Spritz, a refreshing, summery combination of El Bandarra Rosé Vermouth, prosecco and soda, before enjoying a watercress broad bean and pea soup with crème fraîche and ciabatta or hand-picked Devonshire crab with cured salmon, apple and cucumber. British coppa with celeriac remoulade and watercress or twice-baked Cheddar and Comté soufflé with rocket and walnut salad are also delectable, especially when paired with a glass of fresh Vinho Verde, a citrusy blend of Portuguese Loureiro and Alvarinho grapes.

The White Lion, Radford Semele

Adventurous dishes like beetroot tartare, butternut yolk and pea salad or roast heritage carrot and bulgar wheat salad laced with preserved lemon, pomegranate molasses and hazelnuts sit happily alongside favourites such as free-range chicken schnitzel with garlic and parsley butter, rocket, Parmesan and fries, and 14 hour braised beef and ale pie with buttered mash, greens and gravy.

New season Cornish lamb cannon with spring greens, pea purée and rosemary jus is not to be missed and neither is the classic fish pie packed with king prawn, hake, loch trout and smoked salmon or the pub’s amazing Aubrey Allen burger.

Head Chef Stefan Elliott also creates a selection of daily changing specials using excellent seasonal and local produce, which always fly off the pass. Jimmy Butler’s onion bhaji Scotch egg with mango purée, tomato and coriander salsa; baked Cornish lemon sole with Wye Valley asparagus that’s at its seasonal best and served with brown crab Hollandaise plus Aubrey Allen flat iron steak with patatas a lo pobre, pesto, Parmesan and rocket are just three of his recent specials.

There’s also a new breakfast menu. Try the green eggs – poached eggs and basil pesto, prosciutto and rocket on toasted sourdough from the Bread Factory – or the chilli-fried free-range egg and halloumi on a brioche roll with baby spinach and Bloody Mary ketchup.

The White Lion, Radford Semele

And you can enjoy a Tuesday night treat of two steak and frites and a carafe of wine for £30.

There’s also a season of events coming up. Friday night means Fish, Chips & Fizz, with a choice of starter and a fish course finishing with The White Lion’s Chippy Tea – Cornish lemon and herb monkfish scampi, battered haddock, pil pil king prawns, triple cooked chips, tartare sauce and minted mushy peas – all alongside a wine tasting hosted by the pub’s wine supplier Tanners of Shrewsbury.

The pub will be making the most of summer and celebrating the iconic Wimbledon tournament by serving up a pudding board perfect for the occasion. Settle into the garden and enjoy English strawberries and gin jelly with a jug of Pimm’s on the side for the ultimate indulgent treat. Pimm’s on the Lawn is from 3rd to 16th July.

On Thursday, 24th August, Head Chef Stefan will be sharing his love of Spanish food with his special Spanish Supper. For one night only, he’ll be bringing some of his favourite tapas dishes to the terrace, from croquetas de jamón to patatas bravas, paella and tortilla.

For reservations and to sign up for news, visit here.

Make tracks to first Arches Day in Leamington

Make tracks to first Arches Day in Leamington

Windmill Hill Brewery, BRUBL Beer, Warwickshire Gin Company, Vice Motorcycles, The Arches

Business owners are inviting people to make tracks to The Old Town Railway Arches for a special day celebrating this historic part of Leamington.

The Victoria Business Centre will play host to family activities, including free face painting and a Mexican wrestling display, as well as showcasing the area’s rich history going back two centuries through a series of displays.

Live music will also come from ARCH RIVALS, who also have a unit on the site, plus The Ben Jennings Ensemble. DJs Miss Carol, Steve Glitch, Rob Etch, CROM and ILK will keep the sounds coming throughout the day and special music guest appearances are also planned.

Street food and drinks will be available to purchase from Warwick Street Kitchen.

The event, on July 8th, has been organised by four of the businesses which operate out of The Arches – Windmill Hill Brewing Company, BRUBL Beer, Warwickshire Gin Company and Vice Motorcycles.

Windmill Hill Brewing Company was established six years ago by friends Gavin Leach and Rob Singleton and now brews and sells award-winning seasonal and limited-edition craft ales.

Ahead of the event, Gavin said: “It’s the first time we’ve done something like this. We want to open our businesses up and so people can see what we get up to down here and drum up some interest. We’d encourage people to pop down, talk to us and see first hand what we do.”

Visitors on the day will also have the opportunity to see motorcycles on display, including a Triumph Bonneville with sidecar and Vice Motorcycles’ TT Lightweight custom Mutt, back in Leamington after being displayed at shows in London and Thruxton Racetrack as well as Mutt HQ in Birmingham.

Vice Motorcycles build custom bikes and manufacture parts for Triumph motorbikes. Founder and manager Carl Harris has been based at The Arches for the past six years and has spent his working life in product design-related industries.

He said: “This area is not appreciated enough for its history and thriving business community so we hope to address that through this first open day.”

Windmill Hill Brewery, BRUBL Beer, Warwickshire Gin Company, Vice Motorcycles, The Arches

The Arches has been home to Warwickshire Gin Company, run by Dave Blick, for five years. The hand-crafted drinks range of five gins and a rum and vodka recipe, are all inspired by historical events, with two more rums soon to launch. They also offer gin tasting experiences.

The newest Arches tenant is BRUBL Beer, run by Nathan Barnes who moved in at the end of last year after building the business which started life as a home-built garden beer shed in lockdown.

BRUBL continues to add to its wide range of ales, from an easy-drinking IPA, ‘Highway to Hop’ 4.3% ABV, to the luxurious, deliciously dark ‘Baltic Smoked Porter’ 7.6% ABV.

Nathan said: “With all the artisan businesses here, this area has real potential to become a future destination. We want people to come down here and enjoy our products and linger a while longer.”

Other businesses based in The Arches engage in cake-making, metal casting, vehicle and shop signage and even power lifting and amateur wrestling! The event runs between 12-10pm.