7 pubs named in UK’s top 100 restaurants list

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Award winner: the Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire was named Gastropub of the Year
Award winner: the Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire was named Gastropub of the Year

Related tags Gastropub Food Branding + marketing

Seven of the best 100 restaurants in the UK are pubs, according to the 2023 Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards.

The list was announced on Monday 12 June at London’s Hurlingham Club where Wales’ Ynyshir was named the best restaurant in the country for the second year in a row. Mark Birchall's Moor Place in Lancashire was awarded second place and named Best Restaurant in England while third place was presented to Rafael Cagali's Da Terra in east London, which climbed 18 places.

The event also announced award winners, one of which was Gastropub of the Year. The Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire – number one on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list – took home the gong and was also the highest-ranking pub on the list at number 12 (up from 44 last year).

Chef-patron Stosie Madi said: "It really didn’t sink in immediately, it never does. I don’t expect these things and when they happen, I am blown away. We feel extremely fortunate.

"We were in a room full of restaurateurs, who do so much with their food, their plates and when the numbers kept going down, I couldn’t take the stress.

"I’ve watched people like Andrew Pern, Angel at Hetton, the wonderful Sportsman [win Gastropub of the Year]. I remember the first time I went to the NRA and I saw the Sportsman getting that award.

"In my mind I thought we will never get there and when it happened, it was very surreal."

Former Top 50 Gastropubs number one the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent was named the 15th​ best restaurant.

Culinary experience

The Angel at Hetton, in Skipton, North Yorkshire, last year’s Gastropub of the Year slipped from number 12 in 2022 to 27 this year while Soho’s The French House was up nine places to 31 for 2023 and Kent’s the Fordwich Arms also fell down the list to 37 from 17.

This year’s number two Top 50 Gastropub the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell, Suffolk was a new entry on the top 100 restaurants list for 2023 and came in at number 77.

Furthermore, another new entry to this year’s list was the Dew Drop Inn, Hurley, Berkshire, which was named 95th​ best restaurant in the UK.

This year’s number one restaurant Ynyshir is located in a traditional country house hotel and provides a culinary experience like to no other, combining a thumping soundtrack wit ha succession of tiny plates, cooked over fire and served directly by chefs to diners’ tables.

Singular vision

The restaurant with rooms is over seen by chef-patron Gareth Ward whose vision for the venue was lauded by experts.

Restaurant​, which organises the awards, editor Stefan Chomka said: “Ynyshir really is a restaurant like no other – where fun and fine dining combine for a truly remarkable experience.

“Gareth Ward’s singular vision for what a restaurant can be and his willingness to break down boundaries, are to be applauded.

“He leads by example by never missing a service and he and his team are very worthy winners.”

The full list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants and award winners can be found on the National Restaurant Awards website​.

Pubs that made the 2023 Estrella Damm Top 100 Restaurants list:

12. Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire (44)

15. The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent (47)

27. The Angel at Hetton, Skipton, North Yorkshire (12)

31. The French House, Soho, west London (40)

37. Fordwich Arms, Fordwich, Kent (17)

77. The Unruly Pig, Bromeswell, Suffolk (-)

95. Dew Drop Inn, Hurley, Berkshire (-)

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