Author John Betjeman described Ludlow as “the loveliest town in England”. Perhaps the appeal lies in the 500 listed timber framed or Georgian buildings that litter the town? This would certainly make Ludlow a feast for the eyes, but what has made it a feast for the senses?
Ludlow, the Marches, and other nearby areas, have long been known for their food and drink producers, and the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival, which was formed in 1995 was a key part of the plan to put small and independent producers on the map. Suppliers and festival visitors heralded the festival a success, and it has been growing bigger and better ever since.
The reputation of the local suppliers and their produce also had a knock on effect on the town’s catering trade, attracting some top chefs who set up restaurants in the area. These well-known chefs included Shaun Hill, Claude Bosi, Wayne Vickerage, and Jean Bourdeau. Ludlow now has a reputation for culinary excellence, and has long been the home of some Michelin Starred establishments. Residents and visitors alike are spoilt for choice dining in Ludlow, as Michelin Starred La Bécasse, Overton Grange, and Mr Underhills, serve up some of the best fine dining, alongside other places that have been awarded AA Rosettes.
Many of the restaurants, bistros, tea rooms, and cafes in Ludlow, support and use local produce, and it’s the quality of this produce that has attracted so many top chefs during Ludlow’s long association with food and drink. If you want to seek out products for yourself, then the markets are a good place to start.
Ludlow’s markets are an important part of the town’s history, and have been held on the same site for over 900 years. The town council hope to continue this longstanding tradition, and among their program of markets, there are twice monthly produce markets featuring goods from local suppliers. Along with helping to maintain Ludlow’s reputation as a lively market town, this market also comes under the ‘Local To Ludlow’ project, a campaign to promote food and drink produced in and around the town. Attend one of the markets and you could treat yourself to confectionery, herbs, bakery items, and fresh fruit and vegetables. On the Local To Ludlow website, you’ll also find details of the four bakers, three butchers, two greengrocers, and all the other health food and specialist food or drink outlets that fill the town.
As you can see, whether you are looking for somewhere to eat and drink in Ludlow, or somewhere to shop, meet local producers, and sample local products, then this is a Shropshire town that offers plenty of choice, and with a reputation for quality, you can’t go far wrong.