Five of the best fine dining restaurants in Shropshire, according to a food critic
Takeaways and pub grub are all very well but sometimes the heart desires the finer things in life... especially during the festive period.
But when it comes to "fine dining" it's sometimes difficult to know what top restaurant to spend your hard-earned cash at.
To make the decision-making process a whole lot easier, Star food critic Andy Richardson has taken some time to outline five of the best fine dining establishments in the county.
You can find the list, which includes key information, a Star rating and links to the restaurant websites, below:
Five of Shropshire's Best Fine Dining Restaurants
1. Old Downton Lodge, near Ludlow
Listed in the Michelin Guide since 2015, Old Downton Lodge serves an ever-evolving seasonal tasting menu, as well as an a la carte. Expect finesse and refinement with such dishes as venison with celeriac, chocolate and quince or a Tunworth crumpet, with pistachio and grapefruit. A brilliant owner, exceptional and enthusiastic front of house team make this a stand-out for Shropshire.
2. Pensons, near Tenbury Wells
The region’s only Michelin-starred chef has a first class owner, Peta Darnley, who in a few short years has created a remarkable estate-to-plate dining experience. Head Chef Chris Simpson has the pick of a remarkable on-site vegetable patch and is one of just 31 restaurants in the country to also boast a Green Michelin star. Menus are inspired by the quality of local, seasonal ingredients.
3. The Haughmond, Shrewsbury
With three AA rosettes and a listing in the Michelin Guide, owners Mel and Martin Board have made great strides since buying The Haugmond in April 2014. Martin, a self-taught chef, achieved his first AA rosette in 2012 and has continued to drive forward. Dishes are playful and inspired by the classics, like cod with brown shrimp, cauliflower, braised baby gem, bater scraps and tartar sauce.
4. The Walrus, Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury’s Michelin-listed fine dining restaurant, The Walrus, recently moved into a spacious new home, at No 2 Lower Claremont Bank, Victoria Quay. Owners Ben Hall and Carla Ernst have a starry pedigree, having worked in some of the UK’s best kitchens, most notably Gidleigh Park. Expect intricate dishes, like roast quail with caramelised onion, carrot and crispy kale.
5. The Checkers, Montgomery
Chef-patron Andrew Birch is no stranger to Shropshire. Having cut his teeth at Fishmore Hall, he returned to the county border, following a stint working for Gordon Ramsay. The Checkers is quickly re-establishing itself as a go-to restaurant with a fairly-priced and good value 8-course tasting menu, featuring such dishes as celeriac velouté with slow cooked egg yolk, smoked eel and lemon.