The Clive Arms, just west of Ludlow, has just reopened following an extensive refurbishment. The business has been closed since January whilst the team have been busy creating fresh new open plan dining and bar areas, as well as an additional three bedrooms for hotel guests and the creation of an impressive outdoor al fresco eating terrace.
Previously known as The Clive Restaurant with Rooms, the relaunch sets the Georgian coaching inn, part of the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakly Park Estate, on its new journey as a genuine ‘farm to fork’ dining destination.
The new layout includes a main 40 cover restaurant with further dining opportunities offered in the extended bar area, snug and lounge. A new courtyard to the rear of the building provides year-round eating and a festooned area to the side for socializing under the stars. A variety of seating options are available from comfy tub chairs in canary yellow to deep blue leather upholstered booths.
Farm to fork inn
The menus – from breakfast, lunchtime sandwiches, through to dinner, desserts and cheese- feature food predominantly from the estate’s own farms and Walled Garden, as well as making the most of the inn’s proximity to its sister business, Ludlow Farmshop, which houses an array of artisan producers including the bakery, dairy and butcher.
Overnight guests can start the day on a breakfast that takes bespoke to the next level – for veggies and vegans there are beetroot sausages and beetroot hash browns, avocado and broad beans on the menu, while meat eaters can choose from three choices of bacon.
On the lunch and dinner menus not only does the beef, lamb and Gloucester Old Spot pork come directly from the estate but also the milk used to make butter and ice cream. Asparagus is currently in season and local, bread from the farmshop and leaves and edible flowers from the Walled Garden.
The cheese and dessert menu don’t stray far either with all Ludlow and Shropshire cheeses including Oakly Park, named after the estate, a classic, robust, raw milk cheddar. Ice creams are from the farmshop and the honey tart uses the single estate honey from the collection of over 100 hives on the land surrounding the inn.
Design and Artwork
In keeping with the ‘buy local’ ethos of the estate wherever possible furniture, furnishings and fittings have local connections. Books from the Earl of Plymouth’s main residence Oakly Park House adorn the shelves, as well as a plethora of paintings and botanical prints which have been restored
There is a painting and bronze of garden designer Capability Brown who was involved in the landscaping of the estate gardens. In fact, art lovers are in for a treat, with many originals on show in the main dining areas from Shropshire artist John Napper, who lived on the estate for many years.
Classic British interiors brands such as Lewis & Wood, Colefax & Fowler and Nina Campbell have been used, with lighting from Jim Lawrence and Pooky. Nearer to home, Ludlow ceramics company Marches Pottery have designed bespoke lampstands and the bedrooms have Welsh blankets from Hay-on-Wye based Great English Outdoors.
There’s a further nod to the Oakly estate with Ilex Studio table vases where diners will observe an acorn geminating and growing into a sapling which will then be replanted outside in the park and the vase reused.
An additional three bedrooms have been created on the first floor of the main building, two impressive suites named Plymouth and Windsor, with spoiling freestanding baths in the main room and bathrooms with double drench showers and 100 Acres toiletries. There is one further standard double room in the rear of the building called Teme furnished in soft greens.
These join the existing 14 courtyard rooms which have all been completely refurbished, to really boost the accommodation choice offered for overnight guests, positioning the hotel as a gastro destination for weekends and short breaks. Doubles are flexible and can mostly be made up into twins, with a dedicated family room with a double and adjoining twin room.
Guests are treated to Ludlow Farmshop’s own roasted and ground coffee and Hereford based Trumper Teas in the rooms as well as hand baked shortbread biscuits.
The new paneled private dining room called The Plassey seats up to 14 and is perfect for both leisure and corporate clients, for events such as birthday celebrations, private dinners or even company training days.
To book ahead for a stay or book a table go to www.theclive.co.uk or call (01584) 856 565 / 856 665
The Clive Arms is just five minutes from the train station and centre of Ludlow. It can be reached in just over 3 hours by train from London Paddington or 150 miles by car via the M40. Birmingham sits 40 miles away, Manchester 100 miles, Bristol 80 miles, and Chester is 70 miles away.
To book for a stay or book a table go to www.theclive.co.uk or call (01584) 856 565 / 856 665.
Rooms (comfy doubles/twins) start from £95 a night with the new suites (large comfy lux) starting from £165 a night on a B&B basis.