Top 50 Gastropubs

Sportsman retains top spot on Top 50 Gastropubs list

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Tom Kerridge (left) with the Sportsman's Stephen Harris
Tom Kerridge (left) with the Sportsman's Stephen Harris

Related tags: Estrella damm

The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent, has been named the top pub for food in the country for the second consecutive year at the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards 2016.

The Michelin-starred pub, run by chef-patron Stephen Harris and his brother, Phil, was revealed as the UK’s top gastropub by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge at an exclusive awards ceremony hosted by the Publican's Morning Advertiser​ and held at Hermitage Road Bar & Restaurant, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, today (25 January).

Kerridge said: “Stephen is one of the most talented chefs in the country and it’s a genuine honour to present him with this award for the second time.”

James and Kate Mackenzie’s Michelin-starred East Yorkshire pub the Pipe & Glass Inn, at South Dalton, near Beverley, rose from third to second place this year, with Andrew Pern’s iconic North Yorkshire pub the Star Inn, at Harome, North Yorkshire, rising from fifth place to third.

Highest new entry

Kerridge’s second pub the Coach, at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which opened in late 2014, was named as highest new entry in fourth place, in a category sponsored by Appletiser and Schweppes.

Head chef Nick Beardshaw, who previously worked under Kerridge at the Hand & Flowers, collected the award.

The Coach was followed on the list by the Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset (5th​), the Freemasons at Wiswell, near Clitheroe, Lancashire (6th​), the Harwood Arms, Fulham, west London (7th​), the Hardwick, Abergavenny, south Wales (8th​), the Kingham Plough, Kingham, Oxfordshire (9th​), and the Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon (10th​).

There were a total of 17 new entries on the list this year, including two pubs in Hackney, east London, the Marksman and the Empress. 

Publican’s Morning Advertiser ​food editor Nicholas Robinson, said: “Seventeen new entries is, I believe, the highest amount we’ve ever seen on the list. It’s a sign the sector is becoming more vibrant than ever and that it doesn’t pay to stand still.

"It's great to see Stephen at the top of the list for a second year, as he is really setting the pace for the rest of the trade to follow."

Specialist category winners

A range of specialist category winners were also announced and included John Calton, chef-patron of the Staith House, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, who was named Gastropub Chef of the Year in a category sponsored by Nestle Chef.

Agnieszka Tyczka of the Freemasons at Wiswell, near Clitheroe, Lancashire, was crowned Front of House Manager of the Year.

The Kentish Hare in Bidborough, Kent, run by celebrity chef brothers Chris and James Tanner, won the Newcomer of the Year title.

The Port Gaverne Hotel, Port Isaac, Cornwall, the St Tudy Inn, Bodmin, Cornwall, and the Grantley Arms, Wonersh, Surrey, were also named as Ones to Watch.

The top 10 of the UK’s Top 50 Gastropubs 2016 list:

  1. The Sportsman​, Seasalter, Kent
  2. The Pipe & Glass Inn​, Beverly, East Yorkshire
  3. The Star at Harome​, North Yorkshire
  4. The Coach​, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
  5. The Pony & Trap​, Chew Magna
  6. Freemasons Arms​, Wiswell, Lancashire
  7. Harwood Arms​, Fulham, London
  8. The Hardwick​, Abergavenny, Wales
  9. The Kingham Plough​, Kingham, Oxfordshire
  10. The Masons Arms​, Knowstone, Devon

To see who made this year’s Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and who won the specialist category awards, visit www.top50gastropubs.com​.

Top 50 Gastropubs 2016 was sponsored by headline sponsor Estrella Damm in association with Nestlé​ Chef, Appletiser and Schweppes and Berkmann Wine Cellars.

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