When we started our gorgeous food festival, we wanted to do a bunch of different things. Firstly, we wanted to shout about Shrewsbury – it’s our home town, we love it and we wanted to showcase just how good it is.

Secondly, we wanted to get kids involved in great food so that they’re aware that chickens come from farms rather than the chiller cabinet of their local supermarket.

Just as important was shining a light on the brilliant local producers who till the fields, tend stock and process beautiful cheeses and chutneys.

And finally, we also wanted to tell the world – okay, the region and the country – about some of the fine, independent restaurants that line the streets of Shrewsbury.

Our partner in sharing information about local restaurants has been Monks, which has generously supported the Monks Lunch Club across Shropshire.

And in the past six years, we’ve been able to steer more and more people to great local restaurants so that they can eat cheaply at lunchtimes before returning at weekends to eat the whole hog.

Judy Bourne, at Monks, has been a proud supporter of the Monks Lunch Club and its predecessor, The Shrewsbury Restaurant Safari.

She says: “We’ve encouraged people to eat at different restaurants over recent years, which has helped bring in new revenues for independent businesses.

“I can’t begin to tell people how important it is for restaurants to welcome new customers and that’s precisely what we’ve been able to do. That’s helped to drive custom and generated profits for local businesses, supporting jobs in the restaurant sector.

“It’s also introduced people to the delights of Shrewsbury restaurants, so that spending has gone up in the town whereas before people might have travelled out of the town or out of the county.”

Chris Burt, from Mytton & Mermaid, has been among the beneficiaries of Monks focus on local restaurants.

He said: “I’ve worked in the town for more than 20 years and been part of the food festival since the first year.

“Introducing a concept where people are encouraged to eat at restaurants across the town has been wonderful. I’ve seen first-hand how positive the effects have been.

“The chefs and restaurateurs in Shrewsbury are all grateful to Monks and the organisers of Shrewsbury Food Festival because they’ve brought about a positive change. Shrewsbury has overtaken some of the other towns that used to be in the spotlight and is now a go-to town for discerning diners. A lot of the credit for that goes to the cooks and restaurants, of course, but it wouldn’t have happened so quickly were it not for Monks and Shrewsbury Food Festival.”

The 2018 Lunch Club, in association with Monks - the town's savviest estate agents, making if the biggest and best dining event Shrewsbury has ever seen. Throughout June, restaurants will offer lunch for a fiver!

The idea of the #LunchClub is simple. Throughout June, restaurants serve a lunchtime menu where your main will cost you a crisp £5 note!

Let us know what you think. Tweet us @shrewsfoodfest using the hashtag #LunchClub


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