Living in Birmingham has plenty of benefits, but I like to venture out to our surrounding counties when I can. Not too far away is Shropshire which is a really beautiful area and home to many fantastic places to eat.
I’ve been to Ludlow a couple of times to visit the market, the independent shops and a handful of the restaurants, but I’d never been to Fishmore Hall. When I spotted they offered afternoon tea, I thought it would be a lovely place to venture out to for a treat for myself and my mum. I owed her a very belated Mother’s Day meal, so I had high hopes for this beautiful hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel, I noticed the surrounding area is really lush and green, and you feel relaxed just from being there. The gardens of Fishmore Hall are equally stunning, and clearly well looked after. On a practical note, there is plenty of parking.
We were greeted in reception and shown through to a lounge area, before being taken to our table in the bright and airy conservatory. While the hotel is Georgian, it has been lovingly renovated with carefully chosen, sophisticated decor.
So hopefully that’s set the scene, so onto the food. The afternoon tea menu is very thoughtful, with a wide range of teas and coffees to choose from. I had an elderflower tea, which I was worried would be a bit sweet (I guess I was thinking of presse) but it wasn’t at all, it was light and refreshing. The food came out in different stages which I really liked, as sometimes those towers of cakes and sandwiches can feel a bit overwhelming! Also it’s harder to regulate yourself when it is all there in front of you…
The amuse bouche was a game sausage roll served with mango ketchup. I’m generally indifferent to game (although when it’s good, it can be very tasty) but this would definitely win over any doubter. The meat was rich and full of flavour, and the pastry was light and crisp. There was also a perfect ratio of meat to pastry; I get really annoyed when sausage rolls are just pastry with a tiny bit of meat inside (yes, I have eaten a lot of sausage rolls in my time).
Next up were four different sandwiches, all on a variety of breads. I thought this was a really nice touch, as it made each sandwich even more interesting. My favourites were the tuna and red leicester melt on a crunchy slice of bread (my guess would be granary) and the salami, cucumber and salad cream slider on a delicious brioche roll.
More tea was served and consumed, and then the cakes arrived. They looked so beautiful it was almost a shame to eat them (I said almost). The Turkish Delight macaron was divine – I’m not even a big fan of macarons as I find them sickly with no real flavour, but Fishmore Hall have created an absolute treat with this. The chef’s take on a jaffa cake was also pretty special, with dark, dark chocolate topping an orangey, creamy cakey tower of loveliness. This is at the back of the photo, have a closer look to see what I’m talking about!
Afternoon tea at Fishmore Hall is £24.50 and it is worth every penny. I have paid roughly the same price elsewhere for much less impressive offerings, and with much less love and attention to detail in the food. If you’re local to Ludlow then you have no excuse not to go, and if you’re a bit further away it is definitely worth the journey! They also have 15 bedrooms and a lovely spa which we had a look around and while it’s small, it is very tranquil and the staff are very professional.