Our New Bees - 17/06/2013
Today we introduced thousands of bees to their new home on our estate. Over the last year we have lost 102 of our 150 hives which is extremely sad. To repopulate our hives we have bought bees from Italy. The estate have invested in enough bees to repopulate our hives so we can hopefully continue honey production.
Richard Lindsey, our beekeeper, came to the estate today and was surrounded by cameras and microphones as he took the bees to their new hives and let them get settled. The feature will be on BBC Midlands Today and ITV Central news along with Radio 4's Food & Farming programme and BBC Radio Shropshire. You can see it if you go to the I-player or watch tonight from 6pm.
We very much hope our new bees settle in well and that can look forward to some better weather over the coming weeks and months to give them a chance of making plenty of honey.
We hope to have a video of the new bees being introduced to their home on YouTube in the next few days.
We are operating a support a hive scheme at the Food Centre. If you want to support a hive then please call or email us 01584 856 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Family Fun Day - 09/05/2013
We had the weather on our side, lots of great food producers and plenty of fun for all the family, not to mention Alpacas! Our Family Fun Day is becoming quite a fixture and this year was the third. We had Trevor Hill's animal encounter including a skunk, snakes and spiders. There was a bouncy castle, rodeo sheep and even model cows that kids could milk. Our friends Mike from Wenlock Pottery and Darren Broome our local blacksmith put on a great show and we were able to raise quite a bit of cash for our charity of the year, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. We could'nt have done it without the help of our local Air Cadets and it was good of the local fire service to bring their fire engine for people to look at and sit in. Thank you to everyone who exhibited and to everyone who attended, it was a wonderful day
The New Ludlow Kitchen - 01/05/2013
Ludlow Kitchen will open seven days a week and will also offer an evening service until 9pm from Wednesday to Saturday.With 140 covers inside and a further 80 covers in a new courtyard garden, Ludlow Kitchen is one of the largest all day restaurants in the region. Manager Ben Crouch says,
‘We were having to turn people away from our old cafe because it only had 60 covers and this showed us that demand for real local food was on the rise. We were lucky to be a situation where we could take advantage and in just three months we have opened a brand new restaurant.’
Ludlow Kitchen replaces the Conservatory Barn Cafe but many of the original features from the barn still remain. Mr Crouch and Food Centre Managing Director Edward Berry have been keen to keep the comfortable and inviting feel to the restaurant. Two extensions have been added to the old Conservatory Barn creating a large open space that includes a new restaurant area, conservatory and a superb open kitchen. Mr Crouch says,
‘We want to show people that we are only using the freshest, local ingredients and our chefs want diners to see the skills being exhibited in the kitchen. This new restaurant is all about fresh, local and seasonal food without being pretentious or complicated.’
Head Chef, Damien McNamara, has a wealth of experience of using local ingredients inventively and sympathetically throughout his menu. He has gone to a few extremes when developing the new menu including sourcing his fish locally even though Shropshire is many miles from the sea. On the menu is fresh, local trout from just over the border in Cheshire. However, this is as far as the food miles extend because Ludlow Kitchen is aiming to serve an almost entirely estate sourced menu. Mr McNamara explains,
‘On our estate we rear our own beef, lamb , Gloucester Old Spot pork and we have a wide selection of game. Lady Windsor’s walled garden can provide vegetables in winter and fruit in summer. Ludlow Food Centre with its dairy, butchery, preserves kitchen, bakery and coffee roasting room can provide pretty much everything else. In short we are serving straight from our estate to your plate.’
Ludlow is renowned for its foodie credentials and stills boasts a large number of Michelin recommended restaurants including the Michelin starred Mr Underhills. Ludlow Kitchen aims to uphold this by filling the gap between good local pub food and fine dining. Dishes on the menu include rabbit terrine with a leek and mustard leaf salad, short rib of beef with seasonal vegetables and spiced rice pudding. This shows Ludlow Kitchen’s commitment to locality but also a desire to give customers variety with little twists in every dish.
Go To www.ludlowkitchen.co.uk to see the website
Winners At Bacon Connoisseurs Week - 21/03/2013
Our butchers have done it again with a category win at Bacon Connoisseurs Week. John and Andrew got to meet Fay Ripley, the face of this year's campaign, in London this week. John created Beetroot and Black Pepper Bacon this year using our own Gloucester Old Spot pork. The cure is very distinctive because the bacon goes purple in colour. It was so distinctive that it featured on Sunday Brunch where Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer loved it!
We're The Best! - 14/02/2013
We've done it! We have been awarded best farm shop in Britain by FARMA.
This really is the highest accolade we can win and we are all so proud to have won it. The amazing giant fork will be displayed in the Food Centre throughout the year.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers, our suppliers and our staff because without them we could'nt have achieved this.
New Restaurant To Open In March: Ludlow Kitchen! - 01/02/2013
We are developing a new cafe/ restaurant called Ludlow Kitchen. For the first time we will be open in the evenings serving a variety of classic, locally inspired food. The new business will increase its covers to 140, from 60, and will create a number of new positions. The Food Centre is already one the largest employers in the south of the county, employing 81 local people and Ludlow Kitchen will increase this to at least 86 in the coming months.
Having recently employed a new head chef, Damien McNamara from Ludlow, Ludlow Kitchen plans to take on a new sous chef, barista, assistant manager and part time waiting staff. Ben Crouch, restaurant manager at Ludlow Kitchen says,
‘The new restaurant will be THE place to eat in Shropshire. The new layout will include soft seating, a log burning stove, a sharing table and a garden room. We are really excited by the new offering but it is essential that we find the best local talent to help make it a success.’
Ludlow Kitchen is marketing itself on the provenance of its ingredients and a unique dining experience which includes a large open kitchen. Almost all the food used to create the new menu will come directly from the Ludlow Food Centre’s artisan producers. The coffee will be roasted fresh on site in the Centre’s coffee roasting room and ground to order by the Ludlow Kitchen’s new barista. All the meat will be from the Centre’s Oakly Park Estate which surrounds the area north of Ludlow. Mr Crouch says,
‘The Food Centre is the ultimate larder to select our produce from. The food is local or made on the premises and we can choose ingredients, cuts of meat, cheese and bread on a daily basis. I am not aware of another restaurant that can claim such provenance across their entire menu.’
Situated on the busy A49, Ludlow Kitchen will also draw tourism to the area. The previous Conservatory Barn was a popular meeting place in the south of the county and the new development, with its increased capacity, will look to develop this further. Mr Crouch adds,
‘The aim is to create a relaxed and diverse dining experience in an environment that is friendly and inviting. Our seating areas have been designed to give people choice and encourage both local visitors and tourists to spend time enjoying the wonderful produce this region has to offer.