If you like historic buildings, cute colourful cottages and good food and drink you’ll love Ludlow. This market town in south Shropshire is credited as having the first successful food and wine festival in the U.K. and its centre is made up of dozens of independent cafes, tea rooms, cheese shops, butcheries, bakeries and providores style shops.
Earlier this week, on a particularly dark and damp day, Adam and I made the trip north to Ludlow for a visit. Adam’s told me dozens of times about the Ludlow Food Festival and it’s already marked in the diary for this year (September 8-10 if you’re interested).
We parked the car and wandered down narrow streets and walkways full of character filled shops, finding our selves in the high street. Ready for something after our drive, we walked into a tea-room full of lounges, golden lamps and a rather fabulous collection of eclectic tea cups and saucers. After slices of cake (orange and lavender for me – unusual but tasty, coffee and walnut for Adam) and a pot of tea each we were ready to explore.
Ludlow’s the sort of place I think you need to keep visiting, in order to try all the dining choices on offer. While we weren’t disappointed in where we visited, we walked into or past a handful of other tempting options. The baker in Adam also got rather excited when we found a small shop where you could buy scoops of flour, oats and other grain straight from the big brown bags the mills use.
The local farmer’s market was also on when we visited. The drizzle meant we perused quickly, but there was still a nice selection of fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese and flowers on offer – not bad for a weekday in January.
Visiting during the off-season meant we often had little laneways to ourselves and it was lovely to peek at the some of the beautiful homes that are right in the centre of Ludlow.
If you like shops with character, I’d recommended having a nose about in Rickards – a kitchen – outdoors – gardening mecca. It’s the sort of place where you can never find anything, but the shopkeeper knows exactly where ‘it’ is. How great is the front counter?!
I’m looking forward to heading back to Ludlow again – one word of advice though, arrive with an empty stomach!