Taste of success: Four Lancashire pubs named in top 50 Gastropubs

It's more than just food for thought - Lancashire's eating out offer has gained top recognition after four county pubs were named in the Top 50 Gastropubs in the country, with two in the top 10.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:06 am

The accolades confirm what Lancashire residents already knew - that our county offers some of the finest dining and best pubs in the country.

The Parkers Arms at Newton, scooped second place in the prestigious awards.

The Freemasons at Wiswell, near Clitheroe came fifth.

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The Parkers Arms at Newton in Bowland

The White Swan at Fence, near Padiham, came 26th.

Meanwhile Ribble Valley pub The Higher Buck at Waddington came 39th and The Cartford Inn near Great Eccleston was 68th.

A place in the list is keenly contested and many of the chefs share favourite or signature recipes on the Top Gatsropubs website.

Main sponsor for the awards is Estrella Damm.

Stosie Madi of The Parkers Arms

It is not the first time Parkers Arms has impressed judges.

Describing the pub in the Ribble Valley village situated at the top of Waddington fell as "A historic rural Inn in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty serving excellent award winning modern British classics." the entry describes The Parkers Arms steady climb up the list:

It advises: "Possibly the most idyllic pub on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list, the Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland is a real treat.The venue has maintained a position on the list for several years and 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. Now the site sits in second place, making a strong and steady bid for the top spot. What a stunning performance."

It continued: "It is testament to chef-patron Stosie Madi and her business partner Kathy Smith’s dedication to making their pub one of the best in the country.The pub’s isolated location works in its favour, commanding stunning views of rolling hills whether you visit in summer or winter.Madi and Smith took on the Parkers Arms in 2007 and have amassed an equally adoring local and national following, with gourmands travelling on occasion the length and breadth of the country to sample Madi’s cooking."

The Freemasons at Wiswell

.Describing it as a " true gastropub, taking pride in the local produce – foraged and sourced – from the surroundings and the best suppliers" the food is "honest, putting flavour and experience above all else."

The Parkers also featured in a recent Hairy Bikers series on TV.

Madi said: “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.”

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Steve Smith of The Freemasons at Wiswell
Michael Heathcote of The Higher Buck