Lancashire pub beats Kerridge eaterie into second place

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

Steven Smith’s pub managed to beat Tom Kerridge’s two-Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers – which came second amid a list of strong contenders.

The Lancashire pub 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 à 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.

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 Steven’s successful career took in stints at Michelin-starred restaurants and top hotels, including the Box Tree in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

Steven says: “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.”