Royalling it up with cream tea in Ludlow (Michelin ‘Red Hotel’)

After yet another lazy morning in our lovely wee cottage we finally decided to take a drive through to Ludlow (the prettiest town in England or so it says on all the tourist info!)

We’re only about 20 miles from Ludlow so it took about 40 minutes to drive there. Once there we wandered into the centre. It’s a beautiful town (the tourist info just might be right) and is full to the brim with gorgeous Tudor buildings jutting out into the road and over the pavements. It has a sleepy feel to it and isn’t heaving with people or cars which is always nice if you like walking.

After a brief walk we headed to De Greys, a Victorian tea room dating back 450 years where all the staff are in old fashioned black & white attire. Being an avid cook I wanted to try Michelin Star restaurant and as I also love anything Tudor this seemed the perfect place to try (Note: I have been rightfully informed this isn’t Michelin starred after all…ah well, it’s still worth a visit!). As the title of this post might suggest I opted for a cream tea (thinking it was the right thing to do) and Stuart opted for a chicken roast. Turns out I effectively had a sandwich and two cakes for my lunch (scone and millionnaires shortbread) washed down by four cups of loose leaf tea. Very tasty it all was too I might add although I did feel a little ill at so many cakes in one day. I’m not sure what I was expecting from a Michelin Star place, probably poncy wee portions and fancy presentation but this was just good old fashioned food that tasted good and did a good job of filling us up for our blustery walk over to Ludlow Castle.

Our walk over to Ludlow Castle was interrupted by little book stores and a food market but I’m not complaining. The Castle itself is well signposted and right in the centre of the town so very easy to find. You pay to get into the castle (£4.50 for adults, £4.00 for concessions and £2.50 for children) and the ticket is valid all day so you can nip in and out as you please. They also have some self-catering apartments on offer which would be pretty cool to stay in.

The Castle has an impressive history:

  • It began to be constructed in the 11th Century and was extended into a Palace in the 14th Century.
  • It was owned at one point by Richard, Duke of York and was involved in the War of the Roses.
  • It was the seat of Government for Wales and the Border Counties.
  • Prince Arthur Honeymooned there with Cathering of Aragon.
  • Mary Tudor lived there for a time.
  • It was abandoned shortly after 1689 once the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were founded there.

There is quite an area to look around. It took us about an hour but it was a cold and snowy day, had it been sunny we’d have taken more time. I liked that you can get up into the turrets and along the castle wall – I can’t think of many other castles that allow this (and I grew up in castle country!) Once at the top you get fantastic views across Ludlow and can see for miles. Seeing the castle in the snow like that I can’t begin to imagine how cold it would have been in a big castle with no double glazing! Despite the obvious remains of fireplaces up and down the walls I imagine it would be quite a grim place to wake up in in -10 degrees.

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