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Items up for grabs as owners of Ludlow's Michelin-starred Mr Underhill's owners call it a day

It's not often you get the chance to own a set of plates from a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Items up for grabs as owners of Ludlow's Michelin-starred Mr Underhill's owners call it a day

But everything from tableware to the tables themselves went up for sale at Mr Underhill's in Ludlow that closed its doors after 35 years in December.

Owners Chris and Judy Bradley opened up one more time at the riverside restaurant on Dinham Weir, but this time to serve up the dinner service rather than the dinner, in a closing-down sale that continues today.

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They had a steady stream of interested buyers, from restaurant owners after a bargain to loyal customers after a souvenir at the fondly-remembered eatery, which was Shropshire's only remaining restaurant with a Michelin star when the couple decided to call it a day.

Among those walking away with items were regulars John and Marjorie Leonard, who simply wanted something to remind them of the good food and good times.

Mr Leonard, 88, from the village of Hopesay, near Craven Arms, said: "We've got a set of milk jugs and a sugar bowl. We've been coming here several times a year for 20 years, as a special occasion for the family."

Mrs Leonard added: "Judy has got such a lovely personality and is so welcoming and Chris is just a great chef."

She said they had come along prepared to buy something, "but our souvenir has ended up being a generous gift from them."

Others at the sale had a professional interest, with Andrew Brookes and Wayne Smith of Mortimers on Corve Street, formerly La Becasse, there to pick up a haul of glassware for their restaurant.

Chris Bradley gets ready for the sale

Meanwhile Carolyn Joplin who runs The Farmer's Arms in Wellington Heath, near Ledbury, Herefordshire, said: "There are a lot of restaurateurs here.

"We've bought all the beautiful, comfortable and long lasting chairs.

"We've eaten here ourselves on several occasions , it's a real sad loss for Ludlow that it has gone, and it's such a beautiful spot."

Inside Chris was showing the various interested parties what was on offer with, cutlery and crockery laid out next to stacked tables and chairs.

He said the contents of the kitchen, where he conjured up the restaurant's magical dishes, were among the few things they couldn't sell, despite costing about £70,000.

"The kitchen is fitted, so technically it's worthless," he said. "There are companies that will come and take it out, but they'll give you peanuts for it."

But, Judy added, it was wonderful to have a top-end restaurant-standard kitchen for personal use in the home.

She said: "I'm not sharing a kitchen for the first time in 35 years – and now I'm cooking for Chris. I love it, I've always loved cooking.

"But he's still playing around in the kitchen, he'll never be not cooking new things.

"It feels very strange with no staff and no guests for the first time ever.

"The first month after closing was just a blur, it didn't seem real. By the time we finished we were the most exhausted that we've ever been, so we didn't do anything.

"Then in February we started sorting through everything, which wasn't all that uplifting."

John and Marjorie Leonard look for a memento

But, Judy said, they were taking the time to have a breather and look after their health while considering their next step.

The Bradleys' restaurant was a key player in the gastronomic boom that made Ludlow the gourmet capital of rural Britain back in 2000, and outlasted three other Michelin-star holders in the town, to be given the Harden's Award for Britain's Best Restaurant in 2010. Now Judy is preparing for a hip replacement, and Chris is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder that is not expected to be fully healed until about August.

Judy said: "I can't see us doing nothing, but we're giving ourselves until July time to decide what.

"We're very fond of Ludlow and we've got some of our gang here that we've worked with before that we might like to do something with again."

She said the sale had been busier than they expected.

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