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Regional Spotlight: Ludlow

12 October 2004
Regional Spotlight: Ludlow

With a population of just 10,000, the medieval Shropshire town of Ludlow has built an enviable reputation for its hospitality, with a host of famous restaurants boasting three Michelin stars between them.

Ian Patrick of Ludlow-based agent Nock Deighton says the town is a gourmet capital, drawing visitors from around the world, who come to sample its restaurants - and that means good occupancy rates for the local hotels and B&Bs.

Unsurprisingly, Patrick says that good businesses rarely come on to the market, and attract keen prices when they do. Freehold pub properties, for example, start from about £500,000.

Patrick recommends that first-time buyers looking to get a foot on the ladder opt for a leasehold pub in a local village, but even then he advises that the standard of competition is very high, with the majority of businesses doing good food as well.

For those intent on getting into Ludlow itself, "Don't give up hope!" says Patrick, whose firm is currently inviting offers for chef Shaun Hill's famous Michelin-starred restaurant, the Merchant House. He adds: "We could really do with a mediocre restaurant because there aren't any at the moment - it's either pub grub or expensive food."

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