A Culinary Journey in Shropshire: Exploring the Delights of the Old Vicarage Hotel

Published: 2023-08-07 / Author: James Tomlinson
Exploring the Delights of the Old Vicarage Hotel

A Culinary Journey in Shropshire

In the picturesque countryside of Shropshire, where the rolling hills meet the fertile farmlands, lies the culinary haven of the Old Vicarage Hotel. With 23 years of experience in the industry, Chef Patron - Paul Downes has cultivated a culinary style that beautifully blends classic traditions with a modern twist. In this blog, we delve into Paul's culinary journey, explore the philosophy behind the exquisite menu, and discover how the Old Vicarage Hotel stands out as a unique dining destination.

With over two decades of experience, Paul has dedicated his entire career to the culinary wonders of Shropshire. Embracing a variety of venues, each offering diverse types and styles of cuisine, he has honed his craft in the heart of this beautiful region. Being surrounded by farms and local producers, Shropshire has provided the perfect backdrop for him to master his culinary art.

Paul describes his cooking style as "classical with a modern twist or influence." He prefers to call it "fun dining," a term that perfectly encapsulates the essence of his creations. Focused on fresh, seasonal, and, most importantly, local produce, he insists on sourcing ingredients from nearby independent suppliers. For him, the journey from the farm to the plate should be as short as possible to ensure the flavours and appearance remain pristine. From eggs a mere two miles away to cheese from the renowned Moydens of Newport, every element of his menu sings the praises of Shropshire's local bounty.

As the culinary heart of the Old Vicarage Hotel, Paul’s style seamlessly integrates with the rural Shropshire location. Surrounded by farmland, the hotel's menu boasts dishes celebrating the region's rich agricultural heritage. Paul transforms local ingredients into delightful culinary masterpieces that enchant diners and transport them through the flavours of Shropshire. 

Excellence is the foundation of every dish. Paul insists on using only the finest ingredients to ensure an unforgettable dining experience. With a commitment to consistency, the kitchen staff meticulously prepares each dish to replicate flavours and textures daily. Whether guests enjoy a meal twice a week or months apart, they can expect the same exceptional quality with each visit.

Paul acknowledges food trends; he avoids being swayed by their ever-changing nature. Instead, he harnesses his creativity to develop unique and original culinary delights. The Old Vicarage Hotel's cuisine stands out for its inventiveness, making each plate a delightful surprise that takes diners on an enchanting journey. Using local produce is not just a preference; it's a passion. 

He cherishes the abundance of exceptional local producers in Shropshire and wholeheartedly supports them. From Bennett and Dunn's rapeseed oil to Neil France's fruits and vegetables, the chef's dedication to local heroes is a testament to his love for the region and its people.

The Old Vicarage Hotel sets itself apart from other establishments with its signature blend of creativity and fun. Diners are treated to a memorable and delicious experience, with each dish crafted to evoke emotions and spark curiosity. The hotel's culinary journey is only just beginning, with a constant evolution of new ideas, themes, and tantalising tasting menus that continue to attract an increasing number of delighted regular visitors.

A visit to the Old Vicarage Hotel is more than just a dining experience; it's a culinary journey through Shropshire's bountiful fields and rich traditions. The restaurant celebrates the region's local produce while adding a modern twist to classic dishes. As the hotel's unique identity continues to evolve, diners can expect to be delighted and surprised at every turn, making it an unforgettable destination for all food enthusiasts and adventurous souls alike.

Don't miss out, book your table.