The best 25 pubs where top chefs eat

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Nationwide: the pubs featured were spread across the UK
Nationwide: the pubs featured were spread across the UK
Pubs from across the country have featured in a book called Where Chefs Eat, which claims to be a guide to chefs' favourite restaurants.

The book, which was published by Phaidon, includes choices from more than 660 chefs around the world, with recommendations spanning more than 570 cities in 70 countries, across six continents.

The Morning Advertiser​ plucked out the pubs where chefs eat.

The Hinds Head in Bray, Berkshire

The book said: “The Hind’s Head is what happens when someone as talented and obsessive as Heston Blumenthal opens a pub.

“That is, we end up with something superficially resembling a pub, but serving food so extraordinarily well-tuned and shining with perfect technique that it’s certainly a closer relation to the Fat Duck over the road than any local.

“Dishes are traditionally British on paper, but brimming with invention – pea and ham soup arrives in an ethereally light velouté​ (French white sauce), and salmon is cold smoked in lapsang souchong tea.

“A refurb removed the à la carte option, but the famous triple-cooked chips are still lurking on one of the set menus.”

Shuko Oda, head chef and co-founder of Japanese Udon noodle restaurant Koya, recommended the pub and said: “Blumenthal’s take on a gastropub – could be an expensive weekend depending on where you stay, but lunch or dinner here make it all worthwhile.”

The Horseshoes Country Pub & Dining Room in Upshire, Essex

Chef Lee Tiernan said the Horseshoes was perfect for a big lunch with family before a walk in nearby Epping Forest. He added that he was always met with smiles and a warm service.

The Gumstool Inn, Calcot, Gloucestershire

Whatley Manor executive chef Niall Keating recommended the Gumstool Inn for being a “local favourite”.

The Waggon Inn, Oldham, Manchestser

Manchester’s the Waggon Inn was described as “informal and cosy” by chef Adam Reid

He added that the pub had good honest food and welcoming service.

The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

Recommended by a plethora of chefs including Mark Dobbie, Isaac McHale, Andy Oliver, Luke Vandore-Mackay, the Sportsman was described in the book as “high end”.

Mark Dobbie said: “Whitstable is a great day trip from London. Chuck in some technically really impressive cooking with brilliant ingredients in an unpretentious atmosphere and you’ve got all the boxes ticked for any special occasion.”

The Gunton Arms, Norwick, Norfolk

Chef Ben Tish nominated the Gunton Arms and said: “Beatirful pub with rooms, with the greatest modern art collection outside a gallery.

“Remote location on a Norfolk game estate, a great area for walking. The staff are brilliant – very professional but also fun and friendly.”

The Wollaton, Nottingham

British chef Sat Bains described the pub’s breakfasts and Sunday roast dinners as “great”. The book said the Wollaton was “affordable and casual”.

Nut Tree Inn, Murcott, Oxfordshire

Similarly to the Wollaton, the Nut Tree Inn, was hailed as affordable and casual in Where Chefs Eat​. The pub also features on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list at number 17.

The Cross, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

Recommended by chefs Paul Foster and Adam Stokes, the Cross serves modern British food in a smart casual style.

Foster said: “This pub-restaurant serves some of the best food in Warwickshire; the comfortable, warm setting is very fitting for the stunning, countryside location.”

The Boot Inn, Solihull, West Midlands

Part of the Lovely Pub group, the Boot Inn was recommended by chef Adam Stokes. This gastropub was described as casual and affordable.

The Orange Tree, Solihull, West Midlands

Another Lovely Pub venue also in Solihull, the Orange Tree has stone-fired ovens and log-burning fires. The pub was also recommended by Adam Stokes.

Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, Birmingham

Adam Stokes also recommended Purecraft Bar & Kitchen and said: “Homely classics likes Scotch eggs and fish and chips, done in a very accurate way.”

The Potting Shed, Crudwell, Wiltshire

Niall Keating recommended Crudwell’s the Potting Shed in the book. He added: “Cost, dog-friendly pub with exposed brick and wooden beams, fire places, good cask ales, hospitable staff, and good food.”

The Butchers Arms, Eldersfield, Gloucestershire

Shaun Hill recommended the Butchers Arms, and described the gastropub as affordable and causal.

The Duke of Sussex, Chiswick, west London

Chiswick’s The Duke of Sussex was recommended by Sami Tamimi in Where Chefs Eat​. The pub serves English-Spanish cuisine and has a casual style, according to the book.

Ealing Park Tavern, Ealing, west London

Vineet Bhatia recommended the city pub and said: “Ealing Park Tavern is anything but your average gastropub. One of the best restaurants in the area, I have a special fondness for this place – it is unpretentious yet classy, offers great food that is affordable and is always incredibly charming.”

The Anglesea Arms, Hammersmith, west London

Hammersmith’s Anglesea Arms was recommended by Allegra McEvedy, who called the gastropub affordable and casual.

The Pear Tree, Hammersmith, west London

Also in Hammersmith, the Pear Tree was recommended by Cary Docherty who highlighted the pub’s breakfast offer.

The Victoria, Sheen, south-west London

Chef Martin Morales recommended the Victoria and said: “A comfortable, super-friendly pub that serves interesting, delicious takes on classics as well as some creative dishes.”

The Windmill, Mayfair, west London

Iconic chef Jason Atherton recommended this Mayfair pub, but added that trying to get in on pie night was impossible.

The Jugged Hare, Barbican, City of London

Just down the road from the Barbican Centre, the Jugged Hare is part of pub group ETM. Chef Michael Reid said: “A great English pub using terrific seasonal produce.”

The Marksman, Hackney, east London

Hackney’s the Marksman​ was recommended by more than one chef. Harneet Baweja, Henry Harris, Miles Kirby, Thomasina Miers, Mark Rosati and Tim Speeding were all fans of the pub.

Rosati said: “The Marksman public house is another one of my favourite restaurants these days. The menu exemplifies modern British cooking at its finest, while also maintaining the charm of an old pub.

“Their rotating selection of pies is not to be missed, from oxtail to chicken and wild garlic, they are always masterfully crafted.”

What Chefs Eat ​added: “Oddly, considering the dynamism of its restaurant scene otherwise, London does not have a great deal of gastropubs.

“Places where you can turn up and have a pint at the bar, maybe have a Scotch egg and if you fancy, stay for lunch – so common up and down the country, yet strangely absent in the capital.

“So thank the heavens for the Marksman, at once a gorgeous wood-panelled old Victoria boozer and proper restaurant.”

The Drapers Arms, Islington, north London

Another Top 50 listee, the Drapers Arms​ was recommended by Elizabeth Haigh and Hus Vedat.

Vedat said about the pub: “Always seasonal, their Sunday roasts are banging, and the landlord Nick [Gibson] is a great host.”

The Pig & Butcher, Islington, north London

Elizabeth Haigh not only recommended the Drapers but its neighbour, the Pig & Butcher too. She hailed the gastropub as affordable and casual.

The Canton Arms, Stockwell, south London

Stockwell’s Canton Arms​ was recommended by Andi Oliver, who said of the pub: “Imaginative, flavoursome, colourful, heart-warming food – just gorgeous pub food.”

Related topics: News, Chefs

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to The Morning Advertiser

The definitive voice for the pub trade

Get the latest news, analysis and insights from the uk pub sector straight to your inbox!

Listen to The MA Podcast