Freemasons at Wiswell claims top spot in Waitrose Top 50 Pubs 2016

26 August 2015 by
Freemasons at Wiswell claims top spot in Waitrose Top 50 Pubs 2016

The Freemasons at Wiswell pub in Lancashire has claimed the top spot on the Waitrose Top 50 Pubs list, as part of its Good Food Guide 2016, published today.

It also came in at number 42 in the Guide's Top 50 Restaurants list, scoring 7 out of 10 - a score also netted by sites including London's Pied Á Terre, Restaurant Story, Murano, Hedone and Hambleton Hall in Rutland.

Elsewhere on the pub list, the Pony & Trap in Somerset rose 20 places to number 5, compared to 25 in last year's list. The Sportsman in Kent came in third, while the Red Lion in East Chisenbury, Wiltshire, came in fourth.

Other top pub entries included the Coach, Tom Kerridge's smaller, newer pub in Buckinghamshire; the Pipe and Glass Inn in Yorkshire; the Treby Arms in Devon; the Star Inn in Yorkshire; and the Cross at Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

Part of the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2016, each pub has earned its place thanks to its overall good food score, inspector reports, and strong reader feedback.

Located in the Ribble Valley, Freemasons at Wiswell is owned by chef and former Acorn Award-winner Steven Smith, and bills itself as a country pub focusing on game and quality seasonal, local produce. It opened in 2009. Previously Smith's successful career took in stints at Michelin-starred restaurants and top hotels, including the Box Tree in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

Speaking to The Caterer about the menu in late 2012, Smith said: "It might not sound pubby, but we still do call ourselves a pub because I think that is very important for the part of the world that we are in. We want to be the best we can be."

The pub guide was published alongside the other winners of the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2016, which included Robin Gill from the Dairy and the Manor in London's Clapham as chef of the year; Ox in Belfast as restaurant of the year; and the Lickfold Inn in West Sussex as best new pub entry of the year.

The Top 50 Pubs

1. Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire
2. The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire
3. The Sportsman, Kent
4. Red Lion, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire
5. The Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset
6. The Lickfold Inn, Sussex
7. The Woodspeen, Berkshire
8. The Ancrum Cross Keys, Borders, Scotland
9. The Pipe and Glass Inn, Yorkshire
10. The Royal Oak, Paley Street, Berkshire
11. The Coach, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
12. The Butcher's Arms, Eldersfield, Gloucester
13. The Treby Arms, Devon
14. The Cross at Kenilworth, Warwickshire
15. The White Oak, Cookham, Berkshire
16. The Hardwick, Abergavenny
17. The Star Inn, Harome, Yorkshire
18. The Stagg Inn, Titley, Herefordshire
19. The Harwood Arms, Fulham, London
20. The Plough, Bolnhurst, Bedfordshire
21. The Plough Inn, Longparish, Hampshire
22. The Hinds Head, Berkshire
23. The Nut Tree Inn, Oxfordshire
24. The Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon
25. The Broad Chare, Tyne & Wear
26. The Miller of Mansfield, Oxfordshire
27. The Wellington Arms, Baughurst, Hampshire
28. The Falcon Inn, Withernwick, Yorkshire
29. The Lamb Inn, Crawley, Oxfordshire
30. The Springer Spaniel, Cornwall
31. The Star Inn, Sparsholt, Oxfordshire
32. The Felin Fach Griffin, Powys
33. The Duke of Cumberland Arms, West Sussex
34. The Purefoy Arms, Hampshire
35. The Duke of York Inn, Grindleton, Lancashire
36. The Kinmel Arms, Conwy
37. The Richmond Arms, West Ashling, West Sussex
38. The Five Alls, Oxfordshire
39. The New Inn, Great Limber, Lincolnshire
40. The General Tarleton, Yorkshire
41. The White Hart, Lydgate, Greater Manchester
42. The Sun Inn, Dedham, Essex
43. The Bay Horse, Hurworth-on-Tees, Durham
44. The Kingham Plough, Oxfordshire
45. The Square and Compasses, Essex
46. The Star at Sancton, Yorkshire
47. Bunch of Grapes, Glamorgan
48. Beckford Arms, Wiltshire
49. Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, Gloucestershire
50. The Camberwell Arms, London

Better business - the Freemasons >>

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