Sportsman tops list in Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2015

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

The top three pubs and special award winners celebrate their success
The top three pubs and special award winners celebrate their success

Related tags: Budweiser budvar, Public house, Maida vale, ?eské bud?jovice, Truscott arms, Harwood arms

The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, has been announced as the winner of the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2015.

The Shepherd Neame lease was announced as the champion of these prestigious awards, which are voted for in an extensive poll of industry experts, at an awards lunch today (26 January) hosted by chef Tom Kerridge. The pub has ranked second in the list for the past two years.

Organised by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​, the event was held at Anglian Country Inns’ site Hermitage Rd Bar & Kitchen in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Steve and Phil Harris are licensees of the Sportsman and Steve is also the pub’s head chef. The pub has held a Michelin star for nearly eight years and the menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients including seaweed from the local beach. As well as the main menu, a tasting menu is also available featuring new dishes mixed with classics which have been featured on the site’s menu in the past 15 years.

Best-selling dishes include Whitstable native oysters (£2.95); Slip sole grilled in seaweed butter (£9.95); roast gurnard fillet with a bouillabaisse sauce and green olive tapenade (£21.95); smoked, maple-cured pork loin with wholegrain mustard tartare (£19.95); cream cheese ice cream with pear purée, meringue and ginger cake crumbs (£7.95); apple soufflé with burnt cream (£7.95).

Josh and Holly Eggleton’s Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, Somerset, was voted into second place and James and Kate MacKenzie’s Pipe & Glass in South Dalton, Yorkshire was third. The pub also won the Wine List of the Year Award, selected from all the pubs in the Top 50 and special award finalists, by a panel of industry experts, including Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter and Inn Places managing director David Hancock.

Special awards

The Highest Climber Award went to James Durrant’s Plough at Longparish, Hampshire. He was a winner of BBC Two’s Great British Menu last year.

Highest New Entry went to Andrew and Mary Jane Fishwick of the Truscott Arms in Maida Vale, London. The pub also won the Newcomer of the Year award, which was open to pubs to enter themselves.

The other award from the Top 50 list was Gastropub Chef of the Year which was won by Andrew Hill of the Red Lion in Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire.

Winning Front of House Manager of the Year was Mo Gherras of the Michelin-starred Royal Oak in Paley Street, Berkshire and the Business Innovation of the Year Award went to the Richmond Arms in West Ashling, near Chichester, West Sussex for its WoodFired vintage pizza van and pizza restaurant.

New this year is the Ones to Watch Award, recognising pubs that are not yet in the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards list, but are tipped for wider recognition and ongoing success in the future. The three winners are Dominic Chapman’s Beehive, in White Waltham, Berkshire; the Tanner Brothers' Kentish Hare, Tunbridge Wells, Kent and Nathan Outlaw's Mariners in Rock, Cornwall.

The 2015 Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards rankings in full are:

1. The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2. Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset

3. Pipe & Glass, South Dalton, East Yorkshire

4. Plough Inn, Longparish, Hampshire

5. The Star at Harome, North Yorkshire

6. Freemasons, Wiswell, Lancashire

7. Royal Oak,  Paley Street, Berkshire

8. Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market, Norfolk

9. Gurnards Head , Zennor, Cornwall

10. Truscott Arms, Maida Vale, London

11. Harwood Arms, Fulham, London

12. Hardwick, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

13. Bull & Last, Highgate, London

14. Hinds Head, Bray, Berkshire

15. Kingham Plough, Kingham, Oxfordshire

16. Canton Arms, Stockwell, London

17. Anchor & Hope, Waterloo, London

18. Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh

19. Treby Arms, Sparkwell, Devon

20. British Larder, Bromeswell, Suffolk

21. Cornish Arms, Tavistock, Devon

22. Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire

23. Greyhound on the Test, Stockbridge, Hampshire

24. Vintage, Leith, Scotland

25. Red Lion, Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire

26. Jack in the Green, Rockbeare, Devon

27. Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Wales

28. Nut Tree, Murcott, Oxon

29. Lady Ottoline,  London

30. Wellington Arms, Baughurst, Hampshire

31. Cross, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

32. Longs Arms, South Wraxall, Wiltshire

33. Smokehouse, Islington, London

34.Butchers Arms, Eldersfield, Gloucestershire

35.Olive Branch Clipsham Rutland

36.Broad Chare, Newcastle

37.Anchor, Walberswick, Suffolk

38.Rat, Anick, Northumberland

39.Masons Arms, Knowstone, devon

40.Eagle, Farrington, London

41.Parkers Arms, Clitheroe, Lancashire

42.Three Daggers, Edington, Wiltshire

43.Angel at Hetton, North Yorkshire

44.Glynne Arms, Hawarden, Flintshire

45.Friends of Ham, Leeds

46.Swan at Wedmore, Somerset

47.Fox, Willian, Hertfordshire

48.Old School Bar & Kitchen, Mount Hawke, Cornwall

49.Wild Rabbit, Kingham, Oxfordshire

50. The Parlour, Kensal Green, London

Related topics: Chefs

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