In need of some child-free days filled with fun? Without the hassle of boarding a plane? I may have just the place for you…
Disclaimer: I was a guest at Studley Castle, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a copyright of the Curious Pixie.
Studley Castle offers the perfect setting for a short midweek or weekend break. The Grade II listed property from 1834 has been sympathetically restored to its former glory by Warner Leisure Hotels and sits in 28 acres of Warwickshire countryside.
It’s Warner’s 14th property and the first to be added to their collection for 20 years. After a £50 million restoration project it now stands as the group’s flagship hotel.
History of Studley Castle
Designed in a Gothic Revival style by Samuel Beazley a renowned theatre architect, the 19th-century folly (which actually has never been a castle) was an extravagant home for 70 years, originally for Francis Lyttleton Holyoake, High Sheriff of Warwickshire.
In 1903 the building was purchased by Lady Warwick, as an agricultural college for women and later it became a training camp for the Women’s Land Army during both World Wars. A building with a strong female history! Since then the property had many uses as offices and a conference centre, but soon fell into disrepair, before the rescue project to transform it into a country house hotel.
Arrival at Studley Castle
From the moment you turn into the gated grounds and drive up the tree-lined gravel path passing fields with sheep, there is a real sense of grandeur. On arrival the striking building has a real wow factor. With a porter on standby to relieve you of luggage and glasses of Prosecco as we ventured into the beautifully decorated foyer. A great start to the castle’s launch weekend.
There is an otherworldly feel as walk through the corridors. No wall looks the same, adorned with ornate and flamboyant wall coverings don’t be surprised to bump into a unicorn, perhaps even a cow head wearing a top hat or a bear with a dickie bow.
All perfectly acceptable in this playful, whimsical world Warner have created. If you look closer into some of the eccentric designs there is a real hint towards an Alice in Wonderland theme. A real life adult fantasy world to escape to.
ACCOMMODATION AT STUDLEY CASTLE
Studley has 209 bedrooms spread over four different categories – Castle, Studley, Stable and Lodge rooms. Our Studley room was on the ground floor with sliding patio doors opening out to rolling green fields and bleating sheep in the distance.
Tastefully decorated in shades of grey, white and splashes of sea green, the palette created a tranquil space. Dotted around were lovely touches such as a printed map lampshade and beautiful prints on the wall. Tea, coffee, handmade biscuits and real milk (always a plus, I can’t bear the mini UHT pots) kept this tea lover happy. Along with a spacious bathroom with Temple Spa toiletries, a decent dressing table and good wardrobe space.
Food and Drink at Studley Castle
When it comes to drinking and dining you’re spoilt for choice at Studley Castle with two restaurants, bars and lounges. The Market Kitchen in the Evesham restaurant is the heart of the hotel being the main entertainment venue too.
For the duration of your stay you’re allocated a table upon check in at the Evesham Restaurant and it’s where you will sit for dinner (if you choose to dine there) or for any of the live shows and breakfast.
The counter service dining made my heart did sink to be honest. Although fair to say not your usual buffet scenario either. The starters are served at your table along with your drinks by your waiter whilst the mains and desserts are selected from the counter with many items cooked fresh to order.
There is a different themed selection each night too like French or Indian cuisine, alongside a few classic dishes, a live cooking station and an array of salads and breads. With a different meat on the butcher’s block accompanied with a choice of trimmings each night, there are certainly plenty of options for all.
If you still have space the pudding shop is one not to miss with an array of mouthwatering desserts and a rather marvellous spinning carousel of icecreams.
If you prefer a table service at dinner, the Arden Cafe and Restaurant is the place to choose. With its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the countryside, by day it’s a coffee bar and by night a restaurant.
The menu is gastro style and offers classic dishes with modern twists. We enjoyed some lovely light lunches on the terrace too,
There really is something for everyone at Studley Castle. For music lovers the main venue for headlining acts is the Evesham Restaurant. With no set closing time, you literally can party the night away. We were lucky to enjoy the DJ-ing skills of Jo Whiley on our stay. Other musical acts due to play include singers Matt Cardle, Kim Wilde, Mica Paris, Gabrielle and Alexandra Burke.
For a quieter evening you can relax in one of the lounges or terraces, where you may even catch a pianist tickling the ivories.
If blockbusters are your thing, head to the intimate in-house cinema which seats 30 and showcases the big-screen feature three times a day. There is waitress service for snacks and drinks. I can guarantee you won’t want to leave the big, plush, comfy armchairs.
Whether you fancy relaxing with a book, snoozing or love trying your hand at different activities, Studley Castle caters for everyone’s needs.
Explore the grounds and the surrounding area on Pashley bikes or on foot. Or how about laser clay pigeon shooting, rifle shooting or archery with hands on tuition. All the hotel activities are included in the price of your stay and can you partake in as many as you’d like during your stay.
The Stables Spa is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Housed in the former stables block, under a panoramic glass room it overlooks the main castle.
The spa offers a quiet zone with pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gym. Plus there are four treatment rooms where you can indulge in a range of treatments with Temple Spa products at an additional cost.
BEYOND STUDLEY CASTLE
Warner also help guests to explore beyond the hotel grounds. Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford-Upon-Avon via the free buses on dedicated days. A hassle free drop off and pickup service is priceless to a highly popular tourist destination where parking can be difficult.
If you love your tipple, they also offer local gin and beer distillery tours. Perhaps a historical visit to Warwick Castle of a potter around the picturesque Cotswold villages. There is plenty to keep you occupied if you fancy discovering the surrounding areas.
Studley Castle is definitely an impressive addition to the Warner collection. It’s a The adult only hotel is a great place to escape to. Easily accessible by train, the closest stations are Wootton Wawen 5.9 miles away and Redditch Station 6.5 miles.
From the customer service, attention to detail, quirky decor and fantastic facilities, Studley Castle definitely ticks all the right spots. Whether you’re looking to spend quality time with a loved one or looking to enjoy a weekend of fun with friends this Warner hotel will guarantee you leave refreshed, and ready to walk back into the everyday.
Do you have a favourite UK hotel? Let me know in the comments box below
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