East Lancashire gastropub 'proud' to be named best in the north

·4-min read
The Parkers Arms has been named as the best gastropub in Lancashire
The Parkers Arms has been named as the best gastropub in Lancashire

Estrella Damm has revealed the UK top 50 gastropubs and one in Newton-in-Bowland has been named as one of the very best.

The Top 50 Gastropubs list, now in its 13th year, ranks the UK’s best gastropubs according to the votes from more than 400 owners, food critics and other industry experts.

The 2022 award ceremony took place last night (24 January) and crowned The Parker’s Arms in Newton-in-Bowland as the second best gastropub in the UK.

This impressive ranking also makes The Parker Arms the best gastropub in Lancashire and the north as a whole.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Parkers Arms has been named second best gastropub in the UK(L-R) Kathy Smith, co-founder and licensee, AJ Nolan, manager, Stosie Madi, chef and co-founder
Lancashire Telegraph: The Parkers Arms has been named second best gastropub in the UK(L-R) Kathy Smith, co-founder and licensee, AJ Nolan, manager, Stosie Madi, chef and co-founder

The Parkers Arms has been named second best gastropub in the UK(L-R) Kathy Smith, co-founder and licensee, AJ Nolan, manager, Stosie Madi, chef and co-founder

Stosi Madi, head chef and co-owner of the business along Kathy Smith, said the team are “proud” to be “flying the flag” for Lancashire.

She said: “To be placed at number two in the country is wonderful.

“We are proud once again to help promote the Ribble Valley and Lancashire as a gastronomic hot-spot.”

This is the former coach house’s eighth year in the Estrella Damm top 50 and the venue has maintained a position on the list for several years.

Lancashire Telegraph: Stosie Madi (middle) at Estrella Damm's gastropub awards
Lancashire Telegraph: Stosie Madi (middle) at Estrella Damm's gastropub awards

Stosie Madi (middle) at Estrella Damm's gastropub awards

In 2017 was awarded Highest Climber after shooting up a whopping 35 places from 48th to 13th.

Then in 2020 it sprung into 7th place before climbing to 4th last year.

Stosi said: “We could not have wished for a better result. It is a great reward for our hard working team.”

The multi-award winning venue is known for its modern British food using the finest regional produce, an eclectic selected wine list, real ales and ensuite rooms with views.

Estrella Damm judges said it was “possibly the most idyllic pub on the list”.

Stosi is clear about what she is trying to achieve in running the venue.

She said: “The Parkers Arms is a country pub that welcomes everyone and their dog.

“Our menu is also ruled by what’s local. We made a decision a long time ago that, if it doesn’t grow in the area or within a 30-mile radius, apart from something like chocolate, vanilla or spices, we don’t want it on the menu.”

Stosi said their good-value food and “hands on” approach may have helped to secure them the number two spot.

She said: “We are hands on in the day-to-day running of the business, so for our guests It's like coming home to a familiar face.

“Most of all we celebrate Lancashire's produce, seasonality and our surroundings with largesse on a plate.

“We give top notch innovative quality gastronomy for unbelievable value.”

The Parker’s Arms wasn’t the only business to feature in the top 50.

The Freemasons at Wiswell, Vicarage Fold, Wiswell, came in at number five.

Owner, Steven Smith, said a focal point of the Freemasons is his new chef’s table which sits at the very centre of the busy kitchen space so diners are right in the action.

Speaking about the extension, he says: “It is a chef’s table but we didn’t want a traditional one, we wanted it to be original and a first and another reason why people will want to come to the Freemasons.”

He adds: “I’ve said many times that we want to be the best pub in the world, so we’ll see where this takes us.”

Also on the list is The White Swan at Fence which was ranked at 26.

Gareth Ostick and Tom Parker run The White Swan and say it is “fantastic” to have been mentioned.

Gareth said: “It’s great to have been mentioned. It’s great to represent the north west and be in the mix with some of the biggest names in the area.

“We are a food-based pub and would have made the list without head chef Tom Parker's great food.”

Finally, The Higher Buck in Waddington also received a mention and was ranked at number 39 in the list, jumping 53 places since last year.

Speaking about their entry into the top 50, a spokesperson said: “It’s a testament to the hard work of the whole team after a tough year for everyone in the industry.”

Top 50 Gastropubs, Publisher, Chris Lowe said: “After a tough two years for the hospitality industry, we are thrilled to see such a strong list of contenders this year, including a new number one and several new entrants.

“The Top 50 Gastropubs provides a platform for food-lovers to explore the very best offerings across the UK.

“We are delighted to host this year’s event in Manchester for the first time, highlighting the range of talent across the UK.”

View Estrella Damm’s full top 50 gastropub 2022 list by visiting their website.

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