The Berkshire pub made its debut on the Top 50 list last year (2016) and moved up 12 places to number 10 this year.
The Good Food Guide said: “It may appear to be just a textbook country pub – pretty village location, log burner, plain tables, soft lamplight – but it’s got some fabulous dishes (including a magnificent venison pie) on short but appealing menus.
“It also has a genuinely lovely line in hospitality. As a recipe for success, chef-patron Simon Bonwick’s cooking is dead simple, but consistently delicious with a focus on flavour rather than needless innovation or fiddly artistry.”
Spirit of generosity
Delighted with the win, Bonwick outlined how it had made an impact on the pub and thanked the guide for the award.
He said: “I have been cooking for my culinary life at the Crown for five years this October, such is the competition for good eating in our area!
“To be Pub Restaurant of the Year 2018 is special for the Bonwick family in so many ways, as all of us have worked so willingly to give a unique Bonwick offer. An offer we call a ‘spirit of generosity’.
“The Good Food Guide has long been in our hearts since Drew Smith, Tom Jane and now the legendary Elizabeth Carter."
The people's guide
He added: “The guide is the people’s guide which will not be bribed, what more can we say at this historic time, but thank you!”
Just two pubs were named among the top 50 UK restaurants in the country by The Good Food Guide this year.
The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, which came first in 2015 and 2016’s Top 50 Gastropubs, came 42nd in The Good Food Guide’s list, which was announced last week (17 August).
However, the Sportsman, which was a new entry on the guide this year, was knocked off its top spot by Yorkshire pub, the Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire, on this year’s Top 50 list.