A decade of Great Britain’s best gastropubs

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

10 years of Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs winners

Related tags Food Gastropub Chef

The Unruly Pig in Suffolk was named the best gastropub in the country in The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards just last month in a prestigious ceremony.

But which pubs have taken the prize place in previous years? We take a look at previous winners of the Top Gastropub title over the past decade.

The Unruly Pig in Bromeswell also topped the list in 2022, but in 2023 the Parkers Arms in Clitheroe, Lancashire, bagged first place. 

Chef-patron Dave Wall joined the team upon opening almost nine years ago in his first head chef role and now heads up the kitchen brigade with current head chef Karl Green, with the two of them known as ‘the dynamic duo’.

Out front is general manager Jackie Ha who was appointed in 2023 after the Unruly team had previously attempted to recruit him three times before.

The Morning Advertiser ​spoke with Wall and Ha about how it felt to be named number one gastropub and the impact it has had on the business.

Ha said: “It was an absolute honour and really unexpected. After being second last year, it was a great achievement.

“To be named number one twice in 2022 and 2024 was really unexpected and I’m really proud of the whole team.”

The Parkers Arms is a rural pub in Newton-in-Bowland, headed up by chef-patron Stosie Madi. 

After winning the accolade in 2022, she told The Morning Advertiser: "I was not expecting it, it was the most unexpected thing. Not because I don't think we don't deserve it but because being in the Top 50 list is already a huge win.

The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, has taken the top spot a staggering five times in the past decade - in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021.

Last year, The Morning Advertiser​ paid a visit to the Sportsman, which has been described by chef-patron Stephen Harris as a ‘grotty boozer by the sea’.

With no formal training, Harris, an ex-history teacher, abandoned a lucrative but boring career in finance to see if he could build a career out of his cooking obsession. 

In 1999, he took over the Sportsman with his brother Phil, and in the two decades since has transformed it from a dilapidated shell to a gastronomic haven.

At £80 per head, Harris thinks the Sportsman’s extended menu is very good value. It includes five courses, all influenced by seasonality and British ‘terroir​​' (think: marshland, salt flats, farmland) and is accompanied by surprise snacks and sweet treats.

In 2020, Fulham’s the Harwood Arms, north London, was crowned the country’s best pub, and in 2017 it was the Star Inn, Harome.

In 2014, Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred pub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire the Hand & Flowers was awarded the prime position.

A decade of Top 50 Gastropub Awards winners

2024 - The Unruly Pig, Bromeswell, Suffolk

2023 - The Parkers Arms, Clitheroe, Lancashire

2022 - Unruly Pig, Bromeswell, Suffolk

2021 - The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2020 - The Harwood Arms, Fulham, north London

2019 - The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2018 - The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2017 - The Star Inn, Harome, Yorkshire

2016 - The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2015 - The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

2014 - The Hand & Flowers, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

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