Definitely one for Pub Curmudgeon next, as I dive into Ludlow, Queen of the Marches and default daytrip for the Kidderminster pashmina set.

Lovely Ludlow

I arrived in the drizzle, which tends to get pashminas wet, so the town wasn’t quite as hectic as on previous visits, though of course older Dads will insist on dragging bored sons round the castle in rain pointing out stonework.

Quiet streets

As always, Japanese tourists and pub tickers are the hardiest, just ignoring the rain and getting on with it.

Interesting trees

25 years ago the town seemed a bit otherworldly, but these days you’ll find a Costa and a Pizza Express, and that ultimate sign of the blandification;

Oooh, a posh one

Yes, the micropub had arrived.  It was closed, of course.

Sadly, no-one has yet come forward to open the Feathers as a micro.

Not £30 a night

The main attraction in Ludlow remains afternoon tea, though I did see something that would appeal to Pub Curmudgeon and I.

Still time for Mudgie to get down for this

Anyway, I was here for the Rose & Crown.

Potters shop not a Stoke City merch outlet

How had I missed this on previous visits ?

Love a courtyard pub

Joules have done a stunning job, and despite what these photos may suggest, there were already half a dozen (Posh) Old Boys in 2 minutes after the 11am opening, all spreading out around the rooms.

Take the cushions out and it’s perfect
Great fire
Bar stools reused in disastrous BBC Conservative leadership debate

My first new Joules tick since Newport, Salop; I’d forgotten their attention to detail.  They really are the Brunning & Price of Proper Pubs.

Mmm, four beers alert

Polite staff, beer £3.30 a pint, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John (not in person) and seating with views to the courtyard.

At least there’s beermats

A cool, foamy Pale (NBSS 3) left the lacings of the week, but perhaps I’d still pick the Nelson as my favourite Ludlow pub, and that’s not even in Ludlow. 

Luscious lacings

Still, Salop was about to be pinked…



  1. Oooh,I say,what a gorgeous pub.And some great ‘phone pictures.
    Fortunately I fell asleep in front of the telly before the BBC borefest last night – I asked Mrs PP-T about it as she woke me for a trip up the wooden steps to Bedfordshire and she replied ” bunch of w@nkers.”
    To be fair that’s her general critique of any politicians.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We must agree to differ on these new “Joules pubs”.
    Just like his Caffreys “Irish” smoothflow thirty years ago Steve Nutall’s swathe of pubs now might give the impression of being original but they are anything but.
    It’s much cleverer than the plastic beams of fifty years ago but, although reclaimed materials are used, there’s usually little, if anything, of the original pub interior remaining – and ripping out an original historic interior to replace it with a fake one is nothing short of criminal.
    I do though like his beer.


      1. In general it works for me. I don’t care too much for “historic” gloss-painted 1970s wood chip wallpaper, and log-effect electric fires.

        Are there really many occasions where genuine period interiors have been destroyed by this firm?


      2. The only Joule’s pub I really knew before they acquired it was the Cross Keys in Chester, which to be honest wasn’t much to write home about. From vague memory this one was nothing particularly special either.

        And surely a pastiche of something good is far better than something modern and horrible.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Etu,
        “occasions where genuine period interiors have been destroyed by this firm?”
        Just in the next towns to me there’s the Royal Oak, Eccleshall
        and the New inn, Newport – inter-war heritage interior wrecked.
        That’s it for now as there’s an old friend up here from Hampshire, we did several pubs yesterday and we’re starting today at 10am in Tim’s Picture House.


      4. Thanks Paul.

        I’m sorry to say that we see lots of listed buildings, cynically left by their owners literally to rot and to crumble away, to the point where demolition – permitting lucrative redevelopment – would be permitted.

        In this case it looks like the penalties were far cheaper than the renovation and restoration costs. If the position here were as I suggest, then good luck to Joules.


      5. Etu,
        Yes indeed, many listed buildings are not properly looked after by their owners but Eccleshall’s Royal Oak was NOT “dilapidated” and it most certainly was NOT being left by its owners “to rot and to crumble away to the point where demolition would be permitted”.
        The former Burtonwood pub was probably overdue for refurbishment but there’s no reason why that couldn’t have been done with respect to the historic interior of the Grade II listed former coaching inn.
        Had the loss been “gloss-painted 1970s wood chip wallpaper and log-effect electric fires” nobody would have minded but a couple of centuries of history deserves some respect..
        Nuttall’s renovations, with little more subtlety than from a bulldozer, might superficially look okay, or even ‘gorgeous’ to some, and might work well for the next ten or twenty years but proper pubs should be of a greater permanence than that and be safeguarded for future generations.
        Caffreys came and went and Joules has come and might go again – and then a pub with a fake Joules interior is less likely to have future than one with a genuine historic interior.


  3. Beautiful place snuggled betwixt The Old Bakehouse, The Mousetrap cheese emporium, and The Church Inn, I managed to visit all the pubs except The Unicorn when Helen treated the pair us to a night in The Bull (£60 a night! ☺️) for my birthday last November did you spot the Robert Thompson-esque mice in The Rose & Crown?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Missed this one on a recent whistle-stop tour, along with the micropub(s). I chose the bland-but-nice Church Inn, and the Railway Shed, which was surprisingly good for a brewery tap, ie. comfortable, no ex-pallet tables, and not 100% beer focussed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Mrs B & I stayed in The Church over ten years ago. It was good, served excellent Hobson’s Mild, offered us some of their homemade elderflower champagne (lovely) and gave us the recipe. Heard it’s had a bit of a radical makeover, which may explain the blandness.
        I had one of the worst pints ever in the Rose & Crown. Took it back and had it replaced with something almost as bad. Shame, nice pub otherwise.
        I can only speak with confidence about one Joules pub, the Royal Oak in that Wrexham. Although it’s an old pub, it lost a lot of its character over the years and the Joules refurb has improved it beyond measure. It’s known locally as “The Embassy” because it was much used by Polish Forces in the last war and became “The Polish Embassy”.

        Liked by 1 person



    “Lovely Ludlow”

    Priors Halton, top left. Is that where the dyslexic Paris Hilton obtained her name?

    “Interesting trees”

    They look familiar somehow.

    “It was closed, of course.”


    “no-one has yet come forward to open the Feathers as a micro.”

    Hang on. Doesn’t the Feathers have other bits on either side?

    “Still time for Mudgie to get down for this”

    How could you not? 😉

    “Love a courtyard pub”


    “Take the cushions out and it’s perfect”

    See my comment above.

    “Fleetwood Mac and Elton John (not in person)”

    Of course not. The beer would have been at least £3.50 if that were so. 😉

    “Still, Salop was about to be pinked…”

    And so were you; as in, tickled.



  6. Nothing can top the Stockport and South Manchester CAMRA day trip to Ludlow a couple of years ago when, as well as supping in those pubs, some of us bumped into Nigella filming in a butcher’s shop there!


  7. To my mind the Rose & Crown has had a great refurbishment by Joules. It was very rundown before. As for The Church, I much preferred it’s previous unsanitised incarnation. It’s a shame the Blood Bay wasn’t open, as it’s a great facsimile of a basic Victorian era town beerhouse. The Dog Hangs Well is brilliant too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never liked pews in pubs. I first saw them in the late 80s, esp. in Firkins. I guess that’s when churches were starting to get rid of them, so plenty were available.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AP,
      Yes, deliberately uncomfortable to prevent one from dozing off during the sermon but I don’t expect such ‘random furniture’ if I’m paying £3.30 for a pint.

      Liked by 1 person

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