One of Shropshire’s most popular tourist attractions will be offering visitors a warmer welcome than ever from today, as English Heritage’s new tea room at Stokesay Castle, near Craven Arms, opens to the public.
As part of a significant investment in the castle, national heritage charity English Heritage has converted neighbouring Stokesay Cottage – which stands beside the public entrance to the castle grounds – into a welcoming tea room, offering visitors and passers-by a range of locally sourced, fresh and seasonal food with an emphasis on traditional Shropshire fare.
The new Stokesay Castle Tea Room has been designed to reflect Shropshire’s reputation for warm hospitality, with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy summer sunshine with breath-taking views across rolling fields to Long Mynd and the Shropshire Hills, and a log burner giving the tea room a cosy cottage feeling in winter.
Local specialities will be the flavour of the day with Shropshire Fidget Pie, Shrewsbury Biscuits and Shropshire Blue all on the menu, and a range of ingredients sourced from local suppliers. The tearoom will also boast a new outdoor space for play, coupled with meal options for children, making it an ideal spot to visit as part of a family day out.
As well as feeding visitors to the finest and best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England, built at the end of the 13th century by wool merchant Laurence of Ludlow, the tea room will also be open to people in the area who are not visiting the castle. Given the popularity of the area with walkers and cyclists – and the castle’s location close to both the Shropshire Way long distance footpath and National Cycle Network Route 44, the Six Castles Cycleway – the menu has been designed to particularly appeal to walkers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts who may drop in.
Stokesay Castle’s Catering Manager Dan Darcy said:
“We are delighted that our new Stokesay Castle Tea Room is now open. It has been great working with the team to produce a new menu specialising in fresh locally-sourced ingredients. Indeed, such is our focus on local food that we have been distilling our own rosewater from the roses in the castle courtyard for use in our lavender shortbread, and in the autumn we’ll be cooking with apples harvested from the moat. We are looking forward to giving hungry visitors a warm Shropshire welcome.”
The Stokesay Castle Tea Room is now open daily throughout the summer. The castle’s exciting programme of summer holiday events continues with daily Hands on History activities for younger visitors throughout August, a performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on Thursday 24th August and a Medieval Courtly Combat re-enactment event on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August.