Top 50 Gastropubs

Get ready for Top 50 Gastropubs 2017

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Top of the chefs: Harris took the top spot this year
Top of the chefs: Harris took the top spot this year

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Eight months ago, 2016’s top 50 gastropubs were named, followed by a whirlwind of national press coverage. Plans for 2017’s event are under way and it’s shaping up to be a belter

Gastropubs across the country have reaped a record amount of recognition after being honoured in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 2016 list and awards in January.

The top 10 of 2016:

1)​ The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2)​ The Pipe & Glass Inn, South Dalton, Beverley, East Yorkshire

3)​ The Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire

4)​ The Coach, Marlow, Bucks

5)​ The Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset

6)​ The Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe, Lancashire

7)​ The Harwood Arms, Fulham, London

8)​ The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Wales

9)​ The Kingham Plough, Kingham, Oxfordshire

10)​ The Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon

Press coverage of the event, which ranks the UK’s top 50 food pubs and recognises businesses in a series of awards, extended from large national titles to local papers and glossy magazines.

Food and drink editor at The Morning Advertiser (MA) Nicholas Robinson says: “It’s been a very busy year since we announced the list and the award winners in January and we’ve had so much positive feedback from the nation’s greatest food pubs as a result.

“It’s amazing how much interest from newspapers and magazines up and down the country there is in what this lively and creative segment of the trade is doing, which makes it all the more important for gastropubs to enter the awards again this year.”

Next year’s event

Preparations for next year’s event, which will be held at Anglian Country Inns’ the Hermitage Road bar and restaurant on 30 January, are under way.

MA editor Ed Bedington says: “This event is certainly a jewel in the crown. It’s rare the gastropub segment is the focus of national media attention and recognised for the pioneering work the chefs and teams in these pubs do.

“It was great to see Michelin-starred Seasalter, Kent, pub the Sportsman, run by Stephen Harris, take the title of top gastropub in the country for the second year in a row in January and I’m eager to see who will take the title next year.”

Harris took the spot from Tom Kerridge, who retired his Hand & Flowers pub from the list after winning three years in a row, for the first time in 2015.

Former awards presenter Kerridge acclaimed Harris as “one of the most talented chefs in the country”.

Hundreds of experts

Hundreds of pub and food experts are already being polled by the MA to find the Top 50 Gastropubs of 2017. Voters include prominent operators; food writers; catering development managers and executives; celebrity and top industry chefs; as well as pub and hospitality company bosses.

Voting is under way and will close on 28 October. If you would like to become a member of the regional voting academy, then please see website details below.


Keep visiting​ to find out more about the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards and list and how to enter the two awards categories, which are open to all dining pubs.

The 2016 list was also a record year for gastropubs from the north of England, with 11 rightly earning a spot as a result of the hard work regional chefs in the likes of Newcastle, Lancashire and Yorkshire are doing to put their areas on the food map.

Meanwhile, the ever-popular Top 50 Gastropubs awards, which high-quality food-led pubs enter themselves into, are back by popular demand.

This year there will be two entered awards (which means pubs be put forward by their licensees), and they are the Newcomer award and the Front-of-House Team of the Year award. Details of how to enter are on the next page.

Entered award categories:


This award recognises stand-out pubs that have been open for 18 months or fewer. Judges will look for details on investment in the business; successful food and drink promotions; strong marketing and PR; and any future development plans.

Last year’s winner of this coveted award were celebrity chef brothers Chris and James Tanner for their Kent-based pub the Kentish Hare.

The new pub, which opened in May 2014 and entered the top 50 list at number 33, blew the judges away with its charm, perfected menu and the fact it’s a ‘proper’ pub.

If you think your pub has got what it takes to be named the best newcomer in 2017, the we want to hear from you. Details of how to enter can be found using the web link below.

Front-of-House Team

If your pub has the best front-of-house manager and team in the trade then they deserve recognition from their industry peers.

Winning teams of this new category, formerly the Front-of-House Manager of the Year award, will be in sync with one another in order to run the best, customer-focused food pub. The team’s contribution to the running of the business will be visible through up-selling, add-on sales and great diner reviews. Those who enter the category will also face a mystery diner, so you must be confident in the skill of your team.

Last year’s winner was Agnieszka Tyczka of the Freemasons in Wiswell, Clitheroe, Lancashire. The winner works with partner and chef-patron of the sixth-best gastropub Steven Smith to run a smooth operation.

Details of how to enter can be found using the web link above.

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