Ludlow hotel named country house hotel of year in Good Hotel Guide
A hotel owner has praised his hardworking team after being awarded an 'Oscar' of the hospitality industry.
The Old Downton Lodge, in Downton on the Rock, near Ludlow, has been named country house hotel of the year in the 2020 Good Hotel Guide.
Each year, 10 César awards are presented to a selection of hotels which have demonstrated excellence in their field. Named after César Ritz, these are known as the Oscars of the hotel industry.
The judges said: "Set around parterre gardens deep in the countryside, this restaurant-with-rooms is a conversion of barns and farm buildings, has 10 unique rustic bedrooms and a spectacular Tudor-style dining room.
"The wine list has won numerous awards, and menus are crafted from the finest quality ingredients."
The hotel has been owned for eight years by Willem and Pippa Vlok.
Willem said: "Being a César winner is amazing, we are over he moon.
"The hotel is going through a little bit of a change currently. Our head chef has left and we have got a new chef, Nick Bennett, who was on 'Masterchef: The Professionals' and got through to the final, so he has got quite nice pedigree.
"The award is testament to the staff at the Lodge. I think in south Shropshire, the whole of Shropshire really, the people who live here are nice people and love looking after people."
Old Downton Lodge is part of Shropshire County Hotels group, a collection of nine independent hotels and inns around the county, who work together to promote Shropshire as a tourist destination.