UK's 50 best gastropubs for 2023 are revealed – does your local boozer make the list? (2023)

THE UK's 50 best gastropubs for 2023 have been revealed - does your boozer make the list?

Pubs across the country have been vying for the prestige of being the best boozer in the nation, but only one came out on top.

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The bumper list is released annually by Estrella Damm and publisher Chris Lowe to celebrate "excellence" in pub food across the country.

And the big decisions were made by food and hospitality experts - including gastropub operators, who are not allowed to vote for their own pubs.

Of this top 50, 11 this year are located in the South West and Wales, nine in the North West, and 13 in the South East and London.

Did your local pub make the cut? Here are the top 10.

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10) The Red Lion and Sun, Highgate - London

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In the leafy rural haven of Highgate Village, London, sits one of the capital’s greatest boozers – The Red Lion & Sun.

The pub earns a roaring trade from both regular locals and guests looking to indulge in oysters and wine from the site’s extensive list.

The accolade-rich venue offers a menu rich with “rustic, modern British pub food”, with meats supplied by Highgate Butchers.

All other produce is carefully sourced from respected producers and the gastropub can celebrate having reached the top 10 for the second time.

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9) The Fordwich Arms, Canterbury - Kent

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Nestled in Fordwich, Kent, this prize-winning pub is described as "one of the loveliest gastropubs in the county".

Dishes are plated and served in a relaxed and welcoming style, ideal for lunch or dinner at any time of the year, whatever the occasion.

Guests can choose from a plethora of food menus including à la carte, tasting menus and two vegetarian tasting menus.

The full tasting menu, which costs £11 a head for six courses and petit fours, includes duck liver parfait; raw Orkney scallop; and turbot with crisp potato, grape and lobster sauce.

8) The Hand & Flowers, Marlow -Buckinghamshire

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This popular boozer was the first in the UK to earn two Michelin stars and is spearheaded by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.

A friendly and comfortable pub, it is visited by thousands of eager foodies from across the country and world each year.

Judges listed Brittany guinea fowl breast with poultry tart as well as chocolate and ale cake as examples of the dishes that might appear on the gastropub's menu.

For special occasions, the Hand & Flowers also features a private dining room, The Shed, which can accommodate up to nine pre-booked guests and has a four-course menu priced at £155 per person.

7) The White Swan at Fence -Lancashire

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This one-Michelin-starred restaurant is helmed by chef Tom Parker who is described as a "mischievous genius".

Billed as a pub like no other, the eatery has been known to serve dishes such as lobster soup with tarragon and Whitewell partridge with smoked bacon

In terms of prices, two courses have, in the past, cost £30 and three £40

Punters should also keep a look out for special menus served throughout the year, with previous ones including a sell-out Japanese-themed night.

6) The Angel at Hetton -Yorkshire

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The one Michelin-starred Angel at Hetton, Skipton, offers pub food reimagined in a cosy environment that looks out across stunning landscapes.

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Run by chef Michael Wignall, the Yorkshire pub has a dedicated restaurant area but still remains a boozer in spirit and image.

Branding the menu "glorious", the judges note that you might dine on a monkfish main followed by Tahitian vanilla cheesecake with salted granola and roasted beetroot puree.

5) The Kentish Hare, Tunbridge Wells - Kent

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This "homely and inviting" Kent boozer described as a "labour of love" is run by brothers Chris and James Tanner.

The gastropub serves modern British cuisine using "fresh, seasonal and local ingredients".

According to the judges the pub’s menus are tastefully curated with dishes including White Lake Farm goats’ curd with heritage beetroots, as well as Bramley apple crumble with clotted cream.

The pub is split almost fifty-fifty into dining and bar space, which the judges believe has been done purposefully so the pub can have a real community feel.

4) The Sportsman, Seasalter - Kent

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Chef-patron Stephen Harris makes sure that produce served at the pub is sourced almost exclusively from the surrounding land.

The completely self-taught chef picks seaweed from the Sportsman’s adjoining beach, makes his own salt from the sea, and uses meat from the bountiful farms of the Seasalter area.

Harris’s slip sole grilled in seaweed butter is famous and a must-try for any visitor.

Menu highlights from the past have included roast saddle of Monkshill farm lamb with mint sauce; thornback ray with brown butter, razor clams and sherry vinegar dressing; and braised brill fillet with mussel and bacon tartare.

3) Freemasons at Wiswell - Lancashire

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The elegant pub in Lancashire serves outstanding dishes to patron with owner Steven Smith fusing locally sourced ingredients and his love of classics with wild, sharp world flavours.

Menu highlights have included foie gras with beer vinegar, blackberry and smoked eel; roast loin and kofta of Nidderdale lamb with BBQ gem lettuce, miso aubergine, mint and yoghurt

Last year the pub had pushed its way back into the top five, and pushed even further to top 3 this year.

They also host summer barbecues, regular “chippy teas” and more delectable tasting evenings.

2) The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge - Suffolk

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Taking second place was The Unruly Pig in Suffolk who came out top in 2021.

The welcoming boozer serves dishes that are a pleasant cross between British and Italian cuisine, giving diners a "refreshing change from the usual pub fare".

Menus change at least monthly and there are more than 60 wines available by the glass as well as hand-pulled beers.

The judges at this year's awards said: "Head chefs Dave and Karl are known as the “dynamic duo” and are the real powerhouse behind the entire kitchen team."

1) Parkers Arms, Newton-In-Bowland - Lancashire

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This year's winning boozer was the Parkers Arms near Clitheroe in Lancashire.

The country spot wowed judges with its talented kitchen staff and impressive menu - which changes twice a day - to scoop the top prize.

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It is especially well-known locally for its pies and has been rising up the ranks for some time, moving up from 48th place in 2017 when it made its debut entry on the Top 50 list.

The judges note that the eatery is "possibly the most idyllic pub" on the list and commands stunning views.

UK's top 50 gastropubs

Here's the top 50 in full

1. Parkers Arms, Newton-In-Bowland

2. The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge

3. Freemasons at Wiswell, Wiswell

4. The Sportsman, Seasalter

5. The Kentish Hare, Tunbridge Wells

6. The Angel at Hetton, Hetton

7. The White Swan at Fence, Fence

8. The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

9. The Fordwich Arms, Kent

10. The Red Lion and Sun, London

11. The Mariners, Rock

12. The Cornish Arms, Tavistock

13. The Harwood Arms, London

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14. Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax

15. The Coach, Marlow

16. The Beehive, Great Waltham

17. The Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton

18. The Pack Horse, Hayfield

19. Pyne Arms, Barnstaple

20. The Black Swan, Ravenstondale

21. The Moorcock Inn, Sowerby Bridge

22. The Guinea Grill, London

23. The Baring, London

24. The Masons Arms, Knowstone

25. Canton Arms, London

26. The Rat Inn, Anick, Hexham

27. The Pipe and Glass, Beverley

28. The Longs Arms, South Wraxall

29. The Dog at Wingham, Canterbury

30. The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon

31. The Hardwick, Abergavenny

32. The Loch and The Tyne, Old Windsor

33. The Bull & Last, London

34. The White Horse, Brancaster

35. The Black Bull, Sedbergh

36. The Swan, Bampton

37. The Bell Inn, Langford

38. Scran and scallie, Edinburgh

39. The Dog & Gun Inn, Skelton

40. The Duck Inn, Stanhoe

41. The Duncombe Arms, Ashbourne

42. The Black Bear Inn, Usk - Wales

43. Heft, High Newton

44. The Broad Chare, Newcastle

45. Woods, Dulverton

46. The Gunton Arms, Norwich

47. The French House, London

48. The Eagle, Farringdon, London

49. The Butchers Arms, Hepworth

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50. Royal Oak, Whatcote

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