Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge has two sites that make it into the top 50 – the Hand and Flowers and the Coach, both in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which steal 26th and 49th spot respectively. Both boast Michelin stars, and balance friendly service with seasonal dishes.
North Yorkshire gastropub the Angel at Hetton comes in at 39th place. The venue, which was taken over by chef Michael Wignall in 2018, also holds one Michelin star, and features dishes such as Loire valley rabbit loin and merguez, salsify, trompette and poached pear to start.
The head-chef told The Morning Advertiser that the pandemic provided an ideal chance to transform the 15th century venue, which is regarded as the UK’s original gastropub, from a “pubby-pub” into a more modern restaurant.
West Country boozer the Masons Arms, headed by chef Mark Dodson, in Knowstone, Devon comes off the heels of Kerridge’s site in spot 52, with Berkshire’s the Waterside Inn, based in Maidenhead, taking 67th spot.
Home to top-end French gastronomy, the riverside venue was founded by Albert and Michael Roux in 1972, and was taken over by Michael’s son Alain in 2002.
Northern Irish pub Balloo House in Newtownards closely follows the venue in spot 69. The site has been awarded a Michelin Big Gourmand, and has over 400 years of entertaining guests.
Several pubs also climbed into the 70s: Hjem, which can be found inside the Hadrian at Wall pub in Hexham, Northumberland, is a Michelin-starred restaurant, that with a focus on Scandinavian cuisine, took spot 71.
What’s more, gastropubs the Moorcock Inn, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire and Sculthorpe Mill Norfolk, in Fakenham, respectively bag spots 75 and 76.
Later in the list
The former offers an ever-changing seasonal menu which uses local ingredients which are often cooked over fire. The latter, a prior watermill built atop the River Wensum in 1757, is headed by executive chef Elliot Ketley and head chef Dominic Aslett, who serve breakfast, pastries, a restaurant menu and a bar menu.
Cardiff gastropub the Potted Pig was crowned the 82nd best restaurant, with the Cornish Arms in Tavistock, Devon, which operates under chef proprietor John Hooker, bagging 84th place.
Rounding off the list for pubs is the Double Red Duke in Bampton, Oxfordshire. Executive chef Henrik Ritzen serves dishes including apple-glazed bacon ribs or cod with wood-fired swede at the 17th-century coaching inn.