It's the charming Midland market town that's achieved international acclaim as one of Britain's best places to dine. Fionnuala Bourke visited Fishmore Hall in Ludlow to find out why.
Any visitor to Ludlow in Shropshire will rightly have high expectations of its food.
The town is especially renowned for its local produce.
Being situated in the heart of the countryside away from the grime and industrial slog of the city gives it a natural advantage.
But being home to a host of fresh food and drink is more than just a geographical aside for Ludlow.
The town has taken the trend for local produce to its heart and is most passionate about its deliverance.
And one of its more recent additions to the restaurant and hotel scene has taken this love of fresh honest food to its heart. Indeed Fishmore Hall, which opened about six years ago, has been so successful in creating its own version of this passion that it has recently being awarded a three Red Star status by the AA for outstanding accommodation and three Rosettes for its food at its restaurant Forrelles.
The independently-owned boutique hotel began life as a reformatory school for young boys.
It was renovated with skill and dedication by owner Laura Penman, who was also honoured with Caterer Magazine’s Acorn Award in 2009, for her excellence in the industry while aged under 30.
It is situated on the outskirts of the town, quietly tucked away towards the top of a hill.
My double bedroom was cosy and comfortable with ample space to spread out and unwind.
The views over the surrounding countryside aided the naturally healthy outdoorsy atmosphere.
There was plenty of information available too on the wide range of walks available and activities in the town and neighbouring villages.
And to ensure I got a good night’s sleep I was also offered a pillow menu.
But, of course, the highlight of my stay was the food. It can be difficult to make your mind up about what dishes to go for when you find yourself in the foody haven of England.