South Shropshire castle gets new tea room
One of the county's major tourist attractions will open its new cafe and tea room tomorrow.
The Stokesay Castle complex has expanded into a cottage next to the 700-year-old building, to create a new tea room planned to be unveiled for the first time from 1pm today to invited guests only.
It will officially open to the public for the first time tomorrow at the English Heritage castle, which known for being one of the best preserved of its kind and was shortlisted as one of BBC Countryfile’s heritage sites of the year in 2016.
The new tea room is hoped to serve not just visitors to the ancient building, with its 700-year-old great hall and 17th century timber-framed gatehouse, but also draw in walkers from what is popular hiking territory. The site is just down the road from the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre on the edge of Craven Arms.
Tom Jones, speaking for English Heritage, said: "The ambitious project has seen English Heritage convert Stokesay Cottage, which stands beside the public entrance to the castle grounds, into a welcoming venue for visitors to enjoy locally sourced, fresh and seasonal menu with an emphasis on traditional Shropshire fare.
"Local specialities will be the flavour of the day with Shropshire fidget pie, Shropshire biscuits and Shropshire Blue cheese all on the menu.
"Reflecting traditional Shropshire hospitality, the new tearoom has been designed to be welcoming, with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy summer sunshine and a cosy cottage feeling in winter.
"The tearoom will also boast a new outdoor space for play, coupled with meal options for kids, making it an ideal spot for families.
"The tearoom will not only feed visitors to the finest and best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England, built at the end of the 13th century by wool merchant Laurence of Ludlow, but also – given the castle’s location right on the Shropshire Way long distance footpath – the menu has been designed to appeal to walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts who may drop in," he added.