This update is written in April 2021, with Covid restrictions still in place, so it’s a much reduced list, as the indoors is still largely out of bounds.
Takeaways – Bill’s kitchen or the Green Cafe. Both have limited hours and menu, so study their websites, but the food is excellent.
Drinks – it’s been a year now of missing the best of our pubs and places to eat. Particularly missed are two pubs, the Dog in Corve Street, and the Blood Bay, both cosy, communal, and warmly welcoming. They are both small indoor spaces which persuade us into close contact with staff and strangers, so by their nature they are hardest hit by the virus – proper life won’t be back till they return.
The Apple Tree at Onibury and the Boot at Orleton have good gardens and beer.
The South Shropshire area has some fantastic small breweries with some of my all-time favourite real ales. These are:
Wood’s Shropshire Lad, brewed about 10 miles away at Wistanstow. Wood’s brew a good few other beers, but if Shropshire Lad is in one of the handpumps, that’s first choice. A darkish, unusual bitter.
Three Tuns XXX. This brew can be difficult to find in Ludlow – some of the pubs sell Cleric’s Cure from the same brewery, which is also excellent, but strong enough to shorten your evening (5% or so). XXX is a light golden colour, very hoppy, and delicious. The Three Tuns, next to the brewery in Bishop’s Castle, is also a great pub, and not bad for a meal. They also own a pub in the middle of nowhere – the bridges at Ratlinghope, an hour or so away from the cabin, but a lovely drive on a summer’s evening over or around the Long Mynd
Hobson’s Twisted Spire (3.8%). The brewery is about 15 miles away in Cleobury Mortimer, and if you want a pint fresh from the brewery, try the King’s Arms. Hobson’s Bitter is also excellent.
Ludlow Brewery is an excellent addition to the choice, especially ‘Best’, and the stronger ‘Stairway’. The Brewery is in an old Engine Shed near the station, and it’s a temptation towards daytime drinking, as you can go for brewery tours or try beers at their bar, usually till about 5pm. The Brewery also has regular evening dos, music, beer festivals and plays etc.
There’s a similarly wonderful choice of locally brewed ciders – I’d particularly recommend Dunkerton’s and Dragon Orchard ciders.