martes, 28 de octubre de 2014

Wesley House and Urbina Rioja Wine Tasting in Winchcombe (Gloucestershire)


Wesley House is a 15th century Merchant’s House in the historic Anglo Saxon town of Winchcombe in the Cotswolds. This restaurant has been awarded a AA ** rosette and has developed a reputation for excellent food, elegant surroundings and exemplary service.

The vibrant Wine Bar & Grill offers a lively atmosphere with an extensive cellar and delicious dishes in a relaxed setting.

Here they take pride in delivering great food, using local suppliers and organic produce wherever possible.

Wesley House is available to hire for private parties and is licensed for civil wedding ceremonies. They offer a wedding planning service for events held at Wesley House or at outside venues. The Wesley House Events team bring over 25 years of experience creating magical and memorable events for clients around Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds and South West.

- Adress: Wesley House, High Street,Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5LJ
- Telephone: 01242 602366
- Email:
- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  YouTube: Whesley House


Restaurant: AA 2 Rosette Award. People travel from yards and miles to dine at Wesley House. Equally popular with local people, food critics and diners from a wide area, Wesley House has built up an excellent reputation for food, whether it be a light lunch with a friend, romantic meal for two or a party to celebrate a special event.

Sip a Gin & Tonic by the open inglenook fireplace before your meal in the winter, or enjoy a glass of Pimm’s and the beautiful Cotswold views from THE Hair-conditioned Atrium in the summer. A varied and exciting menu is complemented by the insistence on using fresh local produce wherever possible. Combined with a comprehensive wine list you can be sure that any meal you have at Wesley House will tantalise your taste buds with lasting memories.

- Hardens 2014: A restaurant in a Tudor house praised for its “relaxed and civilised atmosphere”  and some “surprisingly varied and imaginative cooking for a place hidden away in a quaint Cotswold town”.

- Weekend Magazine – Gloucestershire Echo – 2013: The restaurant is housed in a pretty black and white 15th Century Merchant’s House in Winchcombe – by night illuminated with dainty white lights and glows with candle night. By day it basks in sunlight streaming through its old windows. There is a cosy lounge by the front door with an inglenook fireplace where you can order drinks before taking them through to your table. The beautiful atrium at the back is perfect for summer dining with views of the surrounding hills and a draped canopy preventing the midday sun from getting too much. Seated in this light room one hot Sunday afternoon with the air conditioning on and windows thrown open enabled us to dine inside without missing out on the glorious weather.

With the elegant surrounding we expected a tariff to match but were pleasantly surprised by the prices. Starters began at a reasonable £6 (for the flavoursome goats cheese mousse) and main courses from £12.50 (pepper and asparagus risotto). We’ve paid the same in some very mediocre gastro pubs before and this felt like a real treat.

Wesley House has an AA 2 Rosette Award and Head Chef, Cedrik Rullier, specialises in classically-inspired, modern European dishes.

- Cotswolds Food & Drink Guide 2012: The reputation of Wesley House spreads far beyond the boundaries of this unspoilt Cotswold town, and, once you visit, it’s clear why. A gorgeous, old timber-beamed building (with the contemporary Wine Bar & Grill nestled next to it), this two-AA-rosette restaurant promises high-quality, locally sourced dishes and proficient service – and it delivers on all fronts with panache.

Our delectable meal began with a light carrot and coriander velouté, followed by smoked salmon with hand-pickled cucumber, and blue cheese mousse tart scattered with toasted walnuts. Next came caramelised Gressingham duck, immersed in a sage sauce, and rich roast guinea fowl breast, complemented by earthy celeriac purée and thyme jus.

These dishes illustrated the skill and imagination of the head chef – it’s no wonder this restaurant is so well-loved by critics and visitors alike.


Pedro Urbina visits the UK, with an evening at the Wine Bar & Grill at Wesley House

Diners can enjoy a great local steak from Martins Meats, expertly cooked and perfectly complemented by a delicious glass of rioja, and a distinctly Spanish feel. The Steak and Rioja event is taking place in the Wine Bar & Grill and will be a very relaxed evening, with Pedro Urbina from Bodegas URBINA, a family-owned, single estate winery, on hand to give background and insight into his families lovingly produced Spanish wines.

Find out more about the individual characteristics and flavours of the wines from the Urbina winery, which began in 1870 and to date four generations have dedicated their lives to the cultivation of their vineyards and the production of quality wine.

Pedro will be accompanied by Edward Burridge, who is the main agent for the Urbina Bodegas estate in the UK, Edward says, “Bodegas Urbina produces 400.000 bottles of Red Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva and 50.000 bottles of White and Rose derived from grapes of their own vineyards. AS they are cultivated using traditional techniques, harvesting by hand and avoiding the use of weed killers and pesticides, they have a beautiful full taste.”

A great selection of steaks will be available, plus additional courses including a sharing tapas board and a Crème Catalana sweet and even churros with coffee, alongside the current seasonal menu selections

To make a reservation for the Steak & Rioja event, please call (01242) 602366 or email

Every Monday is a weekly Steak Night ate the Whesley House. Two perfectly cooked steaks with fries and rocket salad, plus a bottle of red or white wine and all for just £30! Relax and unwind with a delicious midweek treat.

Wesley House Urbina Wine Tasting:

Urbina Blanco 2012  
Urbina Tempranillo 2013
Urbina Garnacha 2013  
Urbina Crianza 2008  
Urbina Selección 1999  
Urbina Gran Reserva 1996
Wines also vailable from Thomas Panton Wine Merchants, Tetbury 01666 503088


Nearby places of interest:
- Sudeley Castle
- Stanway House
- Snowshill Manor
- Broadway Tower

Places to visit:
- Winchcombe Saxon town – local museum, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
- Tewkesbury – water ways and museums
- Evesham – outlet shopping centre and local produce
- Broadway – High Street shops, water ways and history
- Cheltenham Spa – extensive shopping area, theatre, cinema and local museums

Local Walks:
- Winchcombe Way – starts from Abbey Terrace (near War Memorial)
- Wychavon Way – along the nearby ridge of Langley Hill
- Cotswold Way – through Winchcombe


Winchcombe is a Cotswold town in the local authority district of Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, England. Its population according to the 2011 census was 4,538.

- Early history: The Belas Knap Neolithic long barrow on a hilltop above Winchcombe, was constructed from about 3000 BC Later, during Anglo-Saxon times, Winchcombe was a chief city of Mercia favoured by Coenwulf; the others being Lichfield and Tamworth. Subsequently, during the 11th century, the town was briefly the county town of Winchcombeshire. The Anglo-Saxon saint St. Kenelm is believed to be buried in the town.

During The Anarchy of the 12th century, a motte and bailey castle was erected in the early 1140s by Roger Fitzmiles, 2nd Earl of Hereford for the Empress Matilda, although the exact site of this is unknown. It has been suggested however, that it was to the south of St Peter's church.

In the Restoration period, Winchcombe was noted for cattle rustling and other lawlessness, caused in part by poverty. In an attempt to earn a living, local people grew tobacco as a cash crop, despite this practice having being outlawed since the Commonwealth. Soldiers were sent in on at least one occasion to destroy the illegal crop.

- Notable buildings: In Winchcombe and the immediate vicinity can be found Sudeley Castle and the remains of Hailes Abbey, which was one of the main centres of pilgrimages in Britain due to a phial possessed by the monks said to contain the Blood of Christ. There is nothing left of the now-vanished Winchcombe Abbey. St Peter's Church in the centre of the town is noted for its grotesques.

The Michelin star restaurant 5 North St it´s also in Winchcombe.

- Walks: Winchcombe sits on six long-distance footpaths : The Cotswold Way, the Gloucestershire Way, the Wychavon Way, St Kenelm's Trail, St Kenelm's Way, the Warden's Way and the Windrush Way. Winchcombe became a member of the Walkers are Welcome network of towns in July 2009 and now holds a walking festival every May.

- Public transport: A bus service connects the town to Cheltenham, Broadway, Willersey and further afield on special services.

Winchcombe was once served by a railway line, a relative latecomer in British railway history, which was opened in 1906 by the Great Western Railway.

The line ran from Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham and was part of a main line from Birmingham to the South West and South Wales. Winchcombe railway station and most others on the section closed in March 1960.

Through passenger services continued on this line until March 1968, and goods until 1976 when a derailment at Broadway damaged the line. It was decided not to bring the section back into use and by the early 1980s it had been dismantled.

The stretch between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse, including Winchcombe, has since been reconstructed and reopened as a heritage railway called the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

A new railway station has been erected at Winchcombe, on its original site, the building being the former station at Monmouth ((Troy) railway station).

Nearby is the 693 yard (634 m) Greet Tunnel, the second longest on any preserved line in Britain.

- Schools: There are two schools in the town, a primary school and a secondary school. The secondary school, Winchcombe School is located on the east of the town on Greet Road. The primary school, Winchcombe Abbey Church of England Primary School, is located near the centre of the town on Back Lane. It is next to Winchcombe Library and Cowl Lane.

- Community: A community radio station called Radio Winchcombe launched in April 2005 which currently broadcasts for 20 days a year (10 days every 6 months). In December 2011 it was announced that Radio Winchcombe's application to switch to broadcasting full-time had been approved by Ofcom.

Winchcombe Town F.C. currently play in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League.


Hailes Abbey is two miles northeast of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England.

- History: The abbey was founded in 1245 or 1246 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, called "King of the Romans" and the younger brother of King Henry III of England. Richard founded the abbey to thank God after he had survived a shipwreck. Richard had been granted the manor of Hailes by King Henry, and settled it with Cistercian monks from Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire. The great Cistercian abbey was entirely built in a single campaign in 1277, and was consecrated in a royal ceremony that included the King and Queen and 15 bishops.

Hailes Abbey became a site of pilgrimage after Richard's son Edmund donated to the Cistercian community a phial of the Holy Blood, purchased in Germany, in 1270. Such a relic of the Crucifixion was a considerable magnet for pilgrimage. From the proceeds, the monks of Hailes were able to rebuild the Abbey on a magnificent scale. One Abbot of Hailes was executed as a rebel after the Battle of Bramham Moor, in 1408.

Though King Henry VIII's commissioners declared the famous relic to be nothing but the blood of a duck, regularly renewed, and though the Abbot Stephen Sagar admitted that the Holy Blood was a fake in hope of saving the Abbey, Hailes Abbey was one of the last religious institutions to acquiesce following the Dissolution Act of 1536. The Abbot and his monks finally surrendered their abbey to Henry's commissioners on Christmas Eve 1539.

After the Dissolution, the west range consisting of the Abbot's own apartments was converted into a house and was home to the Tracy family in the seventeenth century, but these buildings were later demolished and now all that remains are a few low arches in a meadow with outlines in the grass. Surviving remains include the small church for the disappeared parish, with unrestored medieval wall-paintings.

The abbey is owned by the National Trust and managed by English Heritage.

- Hailes Church: Outside the remains of the Abbey is Hailes Church. The church is older than the abbey, being consecrated in 1175. It later served as the Capella Ante Portas to the Abbey until the Abbey's dissolution in 1539. Inside the church are fine Medieval wall paintings.


Sudeley Castle & Gardens is a castle located in the Cotswolds near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England. The present structure was built in the 15th century and may have been on the site of a 12th-century castle. The castle has a notable garden, which is designed and maintained to a very high standard. The chapel, St. Mary's Sudeley, is the burial place of Queen Catherine Parr (1512–1548), the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, and contains her marble tomb. Unusual for a castle chapel, St Mary's of Sudeley is part of the local parish of the Church of England. Sudeley is also one of the few castles left in England that is still a residence. Because of this, the castle is only open to visitors on specific dates and private family quarters are closed to the public. It is a Grade I listed building (first listed in 1960), and recognised as an internationally important structure. In March 2014 the castle opened up more private rooms including rooms which have never been open to the public before, and devised a new route through the castle and gardens.

- History: A castle may have been built on the site during the reign of King Stephen (1135–1154). In 1442, Ralph Boteler who was created Baron Sudeley by Henry VI of England, built the actual castle on its present site using what he had earned fighting in the Hundred Years' War. He built up quarters for servants and men at arms on the double courtyard that was surrounded by a moat. He also added state and family apartments on the second courtyard. The Chapel, which would become St. Mary's, and the Tithe Barn were also built under Boteler.

In 1469, Edward IV of England confiscated the castle from its owner, Ralph Boteler, 1st Baron Sudeley and gave it to his brother, the Duke of Gloucester, who later became Richard III of England. Richard would use the castle as a base for the Battle of Tewkesbury. The Duke would later exchange this property for Richmond Castle making Sudeley property of the crown. After Richard became king, he became owner of the castle for a second time. During his reign the Banqueting Hall with oriel windows and the adjoining State rooms, now in ruins, were built in place of the Eastern range of Boteler’s inner court as part of a Royal suite.

After Richard's death at the Battle of Bosworth, it passed to the new king, Henry VII, who then gave it to his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford. By the time Henry VIII succeeded, the castle was the property of the Crown again.

When King Henry died, the castle became the property of his son, Edward VI of England, who gave it to his uncle, Thomas Seymour who he made Baron of Sudeley. In early Spring 1547, Thomas married Edward's stepmother, the Dowager Queen Catherine Parr. At the announcement of her pregnancy in late 1547, Thomas began to renovate the castle for Catherine's use, but only one room that he built remains today. Lord Seymour and Queen Catherine decided that Catherine should move to Sudeley for the final months of her pregnancy. At about six months, Catherine was accompanied by Lady Jane Grey and a large retinue of ladies to attend on her, as well as over one hundred gentlemen of the household and Yeomen of the guard. Catherine's sister, Lady Pembroke, also came and attended upon her as her chief lady and groom of the stool. Catherine would give birth to her daughter, Lady Mary Seymour, on 30 August 1548 only to die on 5 September of that year. Catherine was buried in the Chapel. Her grave was discovered in 1728 after the castle and the chapel had been left in ruins by the English Civil War. She was later reinterred by the Rector of Sudeley in 1817 and an elaborate tomb was erected in her honor.

In 1549, Seymour's ambitions led him to being arrested and beheaded; after which, Sudeley Castle became the property of Catherine's brother, William Parr, Marquess of Northampton. After Parr's involvement with the plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne, he was stripped of his property and title by Queen Mary. Parr would regain his titles under Queen Elizabeth but the Castle remained property of John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos.

In 1554, Queen Mary gave Sudeley Castle to John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos, and it remained his property throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was at Sudeley that Queen Elizabeth was entertained three times and in 1592 a spectacular three-day feast to celebrate the anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada was held.

- Current ownership: The current owners are Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, widow of Henry Cubitt, 4th Baron Ashcombe, and her two children — Henry (who married his wife Lili Maltese at the castle in 1998) and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst. After the death of Lady Ashcombe's husband Mark Dent-Brocklehurst in 1972, she owns 50 percent of the equity, while her children each own 25 percent.

Mark inherited Sudeley in 1949 after the death of his father. His mother decided to stay at the castle though until 1969. It was at this time that Mark and his American born wife, Elizabeth decided to open up the castle to the public.  It took two years to convert the home into a tourist attraction only to see the death of Mark in 1972. With this event his wife and children were beset with massive debts and death duties. It was then that Lady Ashcombe decided to take on a 20th-century renaissance of the castle. After her marriage to Baron Ashcombe, the couple made major renovations to balance a visitor attraction with what is primarily a private residence. Lady Ashcombe and her children have since taken over the management of the castle as a visitor attraction.

The castle is sometimes used for high-profile events, such as the 2007 wedding of English actress Elizabeth Hurley to Indian textile heir Arun Nayar, which took place in the private chapel.

- Tourist Attractions:
In March 2014 the castle opened up more private rooms including rooms which have never been open to the public before.

These rooms form part of an extended and revamped route around the castle, which includes the ‘20 Treasures of Sudeley’ – a collection of unique artefacts and works of art of great historical importance.

Katherine Parr Exhibition: Rare copies of original books written by Katherine Parr, the first queen to have her own work published, are displayed in an exhibition to celebrate this remarkable queen. The exhibition also features her love letters to Thomas Seymour and the eye-witness account of the discovery of her body at Sudeley in 1782. These, together with items taken from her tomb, help to illustrate Dr David Starkey’s film ‘The Life and Loves of Katherine Parr, Queen of England and Mistress of Sudeley’, which is shown alongside the exhibition. Guests can also visit Katherine Parr’s tomb in St Mary’s Church – Sudeley is notable for being the only private castle to have a queen buried in its grounds.Parr was the first woman and Queen to publish a book in English in England.

Richard III Exhibition: In April 2014 the castle was one of seven venues across the UK to host the official 3D facial reconstruction of Richard III, whose remains were found in a Leicester car park in February 2012. Sudeley Castle & Gardens was the last stop on the tour before the head returned to its final resting place in Leicester’s new King Richard III visitor centre, however a permanent Richard III exhibition remains at the castle.

Textiles Exhibition: The castle is notable for its textile collection, The Threads of Time exhibition. This features a collection of textile treasures from Sudeley’s history displaying textile techniques spanning over 400 years. This fine exhibition has been described as one of the best in the country and includes a 17th-century stumpwork casket, delicate lace and a Sheldon tapestry.

Seasonal Events: 2012 was the 500th anniversary of the birth of Queen Katherine Parr and a series of events took place at Sudeley Castle to commemorate its most remarkable former resident, including an exhibition with a film introduced by David Starkey, talks by writers and historians and Tudor Fun Days.

The castle hosts regular events including talks from historians, children’s days, seasonal events, family fun days, jazz performances, picnics and book signings.

- Gardens: Sudeley Castle’s nine individual gardens are world-renowned, providing variety and colour from spring through to autumn.

The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once admired the hundreds of varieties of roses found in the garden.

St Mary’s Church, in which Katherine Parr is buried, is bordered by the White Garden, rich with peonies, clematis, roses and tulips, where Katherine and her companion, Lady Jane Grey would have entered the church for daily prayers.

The Knot Garden is based on a dress pattern worn by Elizabeth I in a portrait which hangs in the castle. Over 1,200 box hedges form its intricate geometric design, interspersed with coloured gravel and a Moorish mosaic fountain at the centre.

The ruins of the 15th Century Tithe Barn form the centre of a beautiful romantic garden, featuring a tranquil carp pond surrounded by wisteria, primroses, hollyhocks and cardoons.

Other gardens at Sudeley include the Secret Garden, the Mulberry Garden and the Herb Garden Walk. In the Mulberry Garden, country flowers and cool greenery surrounds the mulberry tree planted in 1865 by Emma Dent. The Herb Garden Walk takes visitors through a fine collection of plants which have been cultivated for their medical properties for thousands of years – even though many are poisonous.

- Cottages: Sudeley Castle Country Cottages are located on the edge of the estate, midway between the castle and the historic town of Winchcombe. This small attractive complex of Cotswold stone cottages is set around a central courtyard with landscaped gardens and parking

The eleven cottages are all named for royal or significant people associated with the castle, and are available all year round.

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