Going slow in Ludlow
Food should taste GOOD: the fast world’s obsessions with unnecessary industrialisation, excessive food miles, standardisation and homogeneity very often result in bland food that simply doesn’t taste as good as food that has been produced locally with care, pride and passion.
Food should be CLEAN: it should be produced in a sustainable way, without any negative impact on our environment, and with a minimum of artificial intervention.
Food should be produced in a FAIR way: its producers should not be exploited but should be paid a fair amount for their skill and labour.
So says the website www.slowfoodludlow.org.uk – an organisation that has certainly put its money where its mouth is – or where your mouths are – if the plethora of fine restaurants and fabulous food outlets in and around Ludlow is any yardstick.
Ludlow, just eight miles from the HPB’s Upper Norton home, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a medieval market town with a rich history dating back to the 12th century. Famously described by John Betjeman as “the loveliest town in England”, with over 500 listed buildings, mainly Georgian or half-timbered, dominated by a 900-year-old castle, Ludlow is a feast for the eyes.
And the tummy: Ludlow has more Michelin-starred or listed restaurants than any other similar town in the country, complimented by a fantastic array of specialist retail outlets, selling an unparalleled range of top-quality, seasonal fruit and veg, meat, fish, bread, cheese… you name it; at surprisingly reasonable prices. And if that weren’t enough, the town also hosts a twice-monthly farmers’ market, a traditional open-air market three or four days a week, and two food festivals a year.
Food, then, is what makes this town tick – particularly high-quality, locally produced food. No surprise, therefore, that Ludlow has such a wealth of fabulous eateries. It’s not just Michelin, other independent restaurant guides come to the same conclusion: in and around Ludlow there are more top quality restaurants than almost anywhere else in Britain except for London. Most of the chefs who started these restaurants chose the location at least partly because of the proximity of local food supplies of the highest quality – produced by people who really care.
It’s not just gourmet meals that Ludlow excels in. At all levels of eating establishments from the humblest cafe upwards, you will be far more likely to experience genuine top quality, non-industrialised food than almost anywhere else in Britain.
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