Warner’s Wonderful Winning Gardens!

Both Thoresby Hall and Gunton Hall were recently given the challenge of entering gardening competitions. Thoresby Hall won gold for the Best Hotel Garden in East Midlands in Bloom and Gunton Hall (picture above) was the winner of the Best Hotel Garden in Anglia in Bloom!

The gardens were judged on a range of criteria; colours, design, appropriate choice of plants and innovation were taken into consideration. Horticultural practise was also judged, watering, dead-heading and weeding were important and signs of appropriate feeding where necessary were observed. Good quality plants, obviously flourishing with no obvious signs of pests, diseases or deficiencies along with appropriate size for planting situation, appropriate soil type were also closely examined.

Sustainability was a key element in which judges were looking out for. Ensuring ecological functions, processes, biodiversity and productivity can be maintained and only using resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally was required. The teams had to take into consideration the balance of permanent/sustainable planting vs. seasonal/bedding plants at the timing of displays.

A considerable section of the judging criteria was environmental responsibility. This element is constantly considered at Warner gardens to ensure we are caring for our environment efficiently. Both teams from Thoresby Hall and Gunton Hall had to take into consideration the efforts made to preserve and maintain their gardens. Ensuring that the gardens are well preserved and are in keeping with the historic features of the property and local heritage were very much judged.

The Grounds Team at Gunton Hall consist of Head Groundsman Bowen Riches, two full time members and two part time members; Simon Cozens-Poll, Jill Day, Vicky Reeve and Callum Harris. Bowen has been gardening at Gunton Hall for 5 years, Simon 14 years, Jill 10 years and Vicky and Callum 3 years. Years of hard work went into the competition and each day on site to maintain the wonderful gardens at Gunton.

Bowen Riches said –

‘At the beginning of June we were told the judges will be visiting us on the 18th July. The couple of weeks leading up to it myself and the team put long hours into the grounds to make them look the best they could possibly be. I also called in on the site’s value chain; I had housekeepers, chefs and waiters all out on the gardens helping to make the site look good.  We are very proud of the win!’

The Grounds Team at Thoresby Hall is made up of 5 members who together have over 35 years of experience maintaining the fantastic gardens at Thoresby Hall.

General Manager at Thoresby Hall said;

‘I’m proud of our Grounds Team that have been awarded a Gold Award in the East Midlands in Bloom Best Hotel Garden Competition, this award was followed by the team’s Silver Award in 2015. It’s a great boost!’

 

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The Grounds Team at Thoresby Hall.

Top Tip – At Gunton Hall we say we are a woodland site with lots of different areas including a landscaped Walled Garden/ rose garden, village square, putting green, pitch and putt and a 5 acre lake – it’s really not to miss!

 

#FEEDBACKFRIDAYS: An online spectacular of Warner memories!

At Warner, we put our guests at the heart of every decision we make and we love hearing about your stories and experiences at Warner. We strive to make sure the memories you make with us are very happy ones that are built to last.

Recently, we’ve been asking for your stories via our Facebook page by launching #FeedbackFriday and we have loved your pictures and stories so much that we wanted to share them on here too! Keep reading for our top picks…

We started of #FeedbackFriday with a question about Christmas, and despite the fact it was August, we got some amazing contributions on our favourite time of year at Warner! Here are a few highlights:

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Guest David Evans has spent the last five Christmases with us at Holme Lacey, and shared many warm words about everything from our staff to our entertainment and beyond!

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Guest Maria highlighted our entertainment as proof that there’s “not a single boring moment to be had” at our Christmas breaks, and she’s completely right. Whether you’re laughing at the panto, socialising with your Warner friends or enjoying what Maria considers “first class food and service”, you’ll never be left wanting for more things to keep you amused. Just look at how much fun Mr. Jackson had at Nidd…

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Still, #FeedbackFridays are not just for Christmas, so we didn’t stop there. We got an overwhelming response the following week, when we asked you to share your Weekend experiences with us. Again, we thought we’d share the highlights (just in case you missed them)…

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Julie comes back to Nidd Hall every year – due to a combination of our rooms, staff, food and country side settings. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back in November, Julie.

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Tom Stewart was most impressed with our entertainment, as they invited his wife onto the stage to conduct the audience! We’re not surprised he’s coming back – many guests had huge amounts of praise for our highly talented acts.

Besides, where else can you get up this close and personal to your favourite singers and stars? Unsurprisingly, our lovely guest Jill looks thrilled in this photo.

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Still, when it comes to thrilling us at Warner HQ, there’s nothing we love more than a heart-warming comment about how at home you feel when you come to stay with us. Here’s a lovely quote from Les Butterworth which perfectly captures what we try to create for you!

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“Alvaston for me and mum is like coming home. Such friendly staff from the housekeepers to the porters to the shop ladies through to the entertainers, bar and catering staff – all make us feel so welcome. The much missed Bob Roberts once jokes on my birthday that I had a season ticket for Alvaston. If I won the lottery I may well book a room permanently to come and go as I wish”.

Here’s to hoping you win the lottery, Les!

Do you have a story to tell or a picture to receive? Then follow our Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/Warnerhotels/ and watch out for our #FridayFeedback post. We look forward to hearing many more.

 

Isle of Wight Cheat Sheet

When you’re visiting somewhere new you want to make sure you see the best the area has to offer. You’d hate to spend all week squashed onto a busy tourist trap beach when there’s a pretty, little-known bay just around the corner!

If you’re planning a holiday to one of our destinations on the Isle of Wight, we’ve put together a useful cheat sheet and interactive map to help you explore the island like a local. From events and festivals, to picturesque walking routes, our handy guide will help you make the most of your time on the island.

Areas to visit

Our Warner locations are either in the North-West of the island (Norton Grange Coastal Village) or on the Easterly coast (Bembridge Coast Hotel). Both allow you to enjoy being close to the sea, but if you want to explore a little further afield during your holiday the Isle of Wight has plenty to offer.

Cowes is a popular destination with tourists and well worth a visit, particularly if you’re a keen sailor. The town is actually host to the largest boat race in the world during ‘Cowes Week’ in August, when an impressive regatta of boats descend on the town.

Vetnor has all the charm of a traditional British seaside town, with a sea front walkway and houses set back into the hillside facing the coastline. On the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, the town also boasts a sunny micro-climate that rivals the Mediterranean!

Best Kept Secrets

The best holiday stories all start the same way, “We found this great little place…” and the Isle of Wight has all sorts of brilliant hidden gems just waiting for you to discover them.

Sit back and drink in the good life at Rosemary Vineyard, a local winery that produces a delicious selection of English wines, all available for you to sample and purchase. Or take a trip to the Garlic Farm. You’ll find a fragrant selection of themed foods and drinks available at the farm shop and you could stop for a delicious lunch at the restaurant.

Special Events and Festivals

It may be a small island, but there’s a lot happening on the Isle of Wight! During the summer the island is host to a diverse and lively calendar of festivals. From classic cars and music to food and wine – there’s something for everybody.

The island is famed for its music festivals, but if you’re looking for something a little gentler there’s the Real Ale Train or the local Cycling Festival to check out too.

Welcome to the Garden Isle

The island’s natural beauty is a source of great pride. The Isle of Wight has a quintessentially British landscape: rolling hills, plush greenery and dramatic cliff tops, earning it the affectionate nick-name, the ‘Garden Isle’.

It’s hard to go wrong if you’re looking for scenic places to visit during your stay. However, there are several well-kept gardens open to the public, including National Trust properties like Mottistone Gardens or the more tropical Botanic Gardens in Ventnor.

Walking and Cycling

If you ask us, one of the best ways to take in all the gorgeous scenery on the Isle of Wight is with a walk or a cycle. The island offers routes for all abilities, whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or a longer ramble there will be a trail to suit your mood.

If you’d like to know more about a holiday on the Isle of Wight take a look at our interactive map of the island. It’ll suggest loads more places and activities for your trip and, of course, booking a stay at either our Norton Grange Coastal Village or the Bembridge Coast Hotel will place you right at the centre of the action.

EMBED THE ISLE OF WIGHT CHEAT SHEET ON YOUR SITE: COPY AND PASTE THE CODE BELOW

<img src=”https://warnerleisurehotelsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/warner-isle-of-wight-cheat-sheet.jpg” width=”440″>
<p>Isle of Wight Cheat Sheet– An infographic by the team at <a href=”https://blog.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk/“>Warner Leisure Hotels</a></p>