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AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Creative cuisine in an idyllic Shropshire hideaway

AA Inspector

At a glance

Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass

A short drive from foodie Ludlow, Old Downton Lodge is a rural idyll overlooking the Welsh Marches hills. Originally a farmhouse and cider mill, the country-chic restaurant with rooms comprises a fascinating cluster of buildings – medieval, half-timbered, Georgian – around a courtyard filled with herbs and flowers. Dating from Norman times, the restaurant has the feel of a medieval great hall with its stone walls, tapestry and chandelier. Dinner takes the form of daily-changing six- and nine-course, menus or a three-course market menu, all built on local, home-grown and foraged produce of the highest order. Head chef Karl Martin's cooking is defined by its inherent simplicity, precision and intuitive balance, kicking off with a combo of cauliflower, onion and Parmesan of remarkable depth to pave the way for Wagyu beef boosted with blue cheese, broccoli and walnut. These are highly original compositions where everything is there for a good reason: main courses see lobster counterpointed with cherry tomato fondue, caviar and Thai basil, then a superlative pork medallion is matched with braised gem lettuce, winberries and peas. The results are impressive all the way through to a thought-provoking desserts of Muscovado mousse with blueberries, peanut and sorrel, and rice pudding with elderflower, strawberry and tarragon.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Closed: Christmas
  • Days closed: Sunday and Monday
  • Closed for lunch: Tuesday to Wednesday
  • Lunch served from: 12.30
  • Lunch served until: 1.30
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 8.30


  • Chef(s): Karl Martin

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian dishes available
  • Wines under £30: 20
  • Wines over £30: 142
  • Wines by the glass: 18

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from: £65
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Steps for wheelchair: 5
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 25
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 60
  • On-site parking available

Getting here

From Ludlow take A49 to Shrewsbury. Left to Knighton A4113, left to Downton. Old Downton Lodge after 3 miles.

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