Ludlow is a beautiful little foodie town on the Welsh borders in Shropshire. Just looking round the town makes you realise why the Ludlow Food Festival is so successful – there is obviously a lot of passion and commitment both from producers and the townsfolk that buy it. There are butchers, bakers and probably candlestick makers – so many independent shops, cafes and restaurants line the streets of Ludlow.
One of my favourites is Price and Sons, a craft bakery headed up by the very talented Peter Cook. They always come up with a new bread for the Food Festival’s popular bread trail, I particularly like their pear and perry sourdough loaf.
There are a few great looking butchers in Ludlow, including D.W.Wall & Son, with impressive meat displays and game strung up outside. On the Saturday of the festival each of the butchers present their festival sausage for the Sausage Trail – they have queues of people lining up to taste their offering, each of them hoping that their’s will be crowned the best sausage in show.
The regular Saturday market was great to look round, with a mixture of food, crafts and usual market goodies. I fell in love with Megg, a little chicken door stop – isn’t she cute?!
I chuckled at this flock of confused looking ducks for sale on the market.
I found a great shop and gallery called Black Bough in the town centre, where I bought a beautiful vintage jug. They have a website which is worth a look, or pop in if you are in Ludlow.
The Feathers has been described as one of the most handsome buildings in England, and I certainly agree there. My problem with this ancient hotel, is that it seems to have lost its soul inside. It has been extended and renovated so that the bar resembles something you might find in a Travelodge, which I found deeply disappointing.
This was my fourth visit to the Ludlow Food Festival and I still haven’t managed to get organised to plan ahead and book at one of the amazing restaurants there. Again this year I ended up alongside the unsuspecting festival goers that find themselves looking for a place to eat after the festival has died down. Obviously I don’t expect to get a table in one of the Michelin starred restaurants last-minute, but I don’t expect to be turned away by all the other establishments in the town and made to feel silly for even imagining they had room to cater for me. The first night we ended up in The Rose and Crown, which actually serves really good, home-made pub grub. The second night we ended up with fish and chips back in our B&B – even the curry houses didn’t have room for us!
So, my tip for Ludlow Food Festival visitors, and one I will remember for myself next year, is to plan ahead, research and book yourselves tables at the local restaurants, or even go self catering and cook up a feast with all the wonderful produce from the show!