Chef Patron of Old Downton Lodge Karl Stephen Martin, has a wise head on relatively young shoulders. From his days as a pot wash in Leamington Spa where he became hooked on the buzz of the kitchen, through the acclaimed kitchens where he has gained experience at the hot plate, Karl has picked up valuable tips and experiences.
Heavily influenced by Simon Haigh Executive Chef of The Eden Hotel Collection, whilst he was at Mallory Court in Warwickshire helping achieve it’s Michelin Star, who taught Karl “calmness, focus on flavours, dedication, inner calm and self belief” as well as his own father, who was a restaurant manager at the Angel in Leamington Spa and Imperial Hotel in Torquay. Both have added ingredients to Karl’s repertoire which have led him to the tranquil escape that is Old Downton Lodge.
Located deep in the Shropshire countryside, overlooking the Shropshire and Herefordshire hills and woodlands. A mixture of buildings – medieval, half timbered and Georgian – surround a herb and flower bedecked courtyard that looks out towards the Herefordshire hills. This is pure escapism – a chance to immerse yourself in history and enjoy an experience that will live long in the memory, and on your taste buds.
Popular with game shoots and foragers, the private estate is the perfect terroir to source Karl’s acclaimed menu ingredients. His popular pigeon dish, pheasant and partridge, alongside wild hare, local venison and more conventional meats from Ludlow’s Butchers including goat and Shropshire lamb, who have in the past supplied 4 of the most respected Michelin Restaurants in any town outside London, are all in high demand by the locals. World travellers are becoming regulars as they return to pay homage to Karl’s delicate flavours and the relaxing setting.
Karl’s food speaks for itself – clean flavours, seasonality and sustainability. Fruits, roots and berries are also sourced from their own land, being 40% sustainable in key seasons. The cheeses and butters are all sourced for the renowned ‘Ludlow Food Centre‘ on the neighbouring estate of Lord PLymouth, many of which are made on the premises from their own cattle.
Old Downton Lodge Sommelier (Alexious) previously of Michelin Starred Northcote Manor, Lancashire, has selected a new wine list with over 200 bins.
Daily tasting menus for which he draws inspiration from local produce when he visits the market and from his foraging expeditions in the Shropshire/Herefordshire countryside are changed every day. “We hope that our eXperience guests will feel relaxed and enjoy the journey from the moment they arrive, the feeling of relaxation that we all feel once we enter the courtyard, and throughout their meal. Every day we challenge ourselves so that our guests eXperience is always memorable”.
eXclusive GourmetXperience Whet your appetite with a welcome glass of English Gusbourne, Brut Reserve, Traditional Method, from Kent. You can then sit back, relax and enjoy this wonderful retreat and Chef Karl’s creations from his Tasting menu of the day. Karl will also create you an extra course from the day’s forage OR if you prefer, choose a Shropshire Cheese selection to complete your eXperience.
Overnight break also available
Personalised bread making course with bread matched to your meal coming soon.
3 AA Rosettes