Old Downton Lodge, Ludlow in parts is so ancient that history merges with legend: its renovation so sympathetic and creative that you may confuse fact with fiction.
A mixture of buildings – medieval, half timbered and Georgian surround a herb and flower bedecked courtyard that looks out towards the Hereford hills. This is pure escapism – a chance to immerse yourself in history and enjoy an experience that will live long in the memory.
The sitting room is redolent of its previous incarnation – there is no hiding the fact that this was once an impressive stable. Mighty timbers that once fronted stalls now provide seating from which to watch the roaring log burner, socialise and enjoy a drink from the bar – or in summer to contemplate the spectacular sunsets over the Shropshire hills. The museum is the most mysterious room of all – for a start no one knows the origins of its name. Its huge cider press can still trundle powerfully around its stone trough (with no drain to let the cider out!) and provides a dramatic focal point to a room which is ideal for small conferences and receptions.
Head Chef Karl Martin produces tasting menus for which he draws inspiration from local produce when he visits the Market and from his foraging expeditions in the Herefordshire countryside. Creating a tasting menu that changes every day.
His understated elegance in cooking, treating each locally sourced ingredient with the utmost respect, resulting in delicately balanced dishes unrivalled in the region. A real flavour of Shropshire and the Borders. Much of the produce sourced from their own land.
The Dining Room
The dining room has the feel of a grand medieval hall. In fact, it was built around the time of the Norman conquest. What you probably won’t see is the kitchen, where Head Chef Karl Martin is paring down the choice of stunning fresh local produce – there’s so much to choose from.
Accommodation: Old Downton Lodge can rightly claim that each of their bedrooms is unique. Fashioned out of ancient stables and barns, you certainly won’t encounter uniformity here: A mixture of exposed beams, high ceilings, alcoves, malt shoots and hidey holes have all been incorporated in varying combinations in one room or another. Nor is there anything uniform about the furnishings (apart from the fact that all the beds are wonderfully comfortable). Antique dressers, modern solid oak four posters and contemporary cool have all found their place. Stick with your favourite, or let serendipity guide you to a totally different experience on your visit!
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, with room upgrade, also available.
Bread making courses coming soon! Enquire Here
3 AA Rosettes
Michelin Guide 2016