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AA Notable Wine List 2017-18
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

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining

A short drive from foodie Ludlow, Old Downton Lodge is a rural idyll. The country-chic restaurant with rooms comprises a fascinating cluster of buildings – medieval, half-timbered, Georgian – around a courtyard filled with herbs and flowers overlooking the Welsh Marches hills. 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 a three-course market menu or daily-changing six- and nine-course tasters, all built on superlative produce. What gives head chef Karl Martin's cooking its character is his use of sharp flavours to point up the main item – caviar and lardo boosting roasted celeriac, followed by wagyu beef highlighted with sweet beetroot and dill mayonnaise. There’s an inherent simplicity and intuitive balance in main courses too: perfectly handled cod is counterpointed with hollandaise, kohlrabi, parsley and crisp puffed fish skin, or crisp-skinned duck breast with a bonbon of leg meat, squash purée, crisp kale and grapes. Everything is there for a good reason, all the way to a finale of hibiscus granita, white chocolate ice cream and fennel.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Closed: Christmas
  • Days closed: Sunday and Monday
  • Closed for lunch: all week
  • Dinner served from: 6
  • Dinner served until: 9


  • Chef(s): Karl Martin

Food and drink

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

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from: £60
  • Credit cards accepted


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

Additional information

  • Seats: 25
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 45
  • 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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