Pub operator and brewer Brakspear is relaunching its managed pub The Lion at Wendlebury, near Bicester, with the completion of 13 new bedrooms, a refurbishment of the main bar and a new general manager to drive the business forward.
Brakspear bought The Lion in November last year, adding it to its growing managed division, which now numbers 12 sites. The bedrooms are housed in a Cotswold stone cottage attached to the main building and have been designed to offer maximum comfort while retaining the historical character of the pub, which dates back to the 18th century.
Bedrooms were individually designed by Brakspear’s inhouse design team, using a neutral colour palette of Farrow & Ball paints and floral Cole & Sons wallpapers. Walk-in rain showers, Feather & Black beds, thick wool carpets, luxurious bed linen and soft furnishings are just some of the features ensuring guests’ comfort.
At the same time, the main bar has been given a makeover with soft paint shades to enhance the natural features such as oak beams, Cotswold stone walls, flagstone floors and three open fireplaces. Outside, a new barbecue has been installed on the terrace to extend the al fresco dining offer over the summer months.
New at the helm of the Lion at Wendlebury is general manager Claire Lenkowiec, an experienced hospitality professional who has worked in the sector for 17 years, most recently as GM at Carluccio’s in Bath. She will be overseeing the staff team of 20.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “The opening of these bedrooms is the culmination of a project we started on purchasing The Lion last year. They look absolutely stunning and we’re confident they will be in demand from overnight and weekend visitors to the area, including shoppers at Bicester Village just a couple of miles from the pub.”
“We’re delighted to welcome Claire to the Brakspear team; her experience of managing food, drink and accommodation in previous roles makes her the perfect GM to take the Lion forward and maximise the potential of this terrific pub.”
Brakspear’s managed estate now comprises 12 pubs. The division was formed in 2013 with the opening of the Bull on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames and includes pubs across the Cotswolds and south east, with the Frogmill near Cheltenham announced earlier this month as its newest addition. With the addition of the bedrooms at the Lion, eight of the sites now offer accommodation, with a total of around 115 rooms.
Photo credit for all images: OsborneHollis.co.uk