Good food, good booze and not a fruit machine in sight – the best gastropub in the UK has been crowned. *Drum roll please*

Ah, the gastropub.

 

It’s time to raise a foaming pint or two as the winner of the Top 50 Gastropub Awards has been announced and the winner is: The Sportsman near Whitstable (and they won’t bat an eyelid if you walk in wearing muddy wellies. Oh yes).

 

So, where should you be homing in on this weekend for some tasty pub grub? Here are the top 20 gastropubs, according to the awards:

 

1. The Sportsman

Where: Seasalter, Kent
The food: roast gurnard fillet with bouillabaisse sauce and green olive tapenade; smoked and maple-cured pork loin with wholegrain mustard tartare; dark chocolate and salted caramel tart with vanilla ice cream
Why go: for fine dining without the poncing about and the tables are generously spaced (yes, it’s important)

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2. The Pony & Trap

Where: Chew Magna, Somerset
The food: chestnut gnocchi with confit salsify and walnut and cavolo nero pesto; lamb rump with burnt onion and artichoke and potato cake; 31-day dry aged rib-eye with ox cheek ragù, watercress, pickled shallot and chips
Why go: this 200-year-old Michelin-starred pub serves classic Sunday grub and the veg comes from a nearby community farm

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3. The Pipe & Glass

Where: South Dalton, east Yorkshire
The food: Gloucester Old Spot potted pork with stick apple, crackling salad and warm spelt toast; Harrogate blue cheese croquettes with cauliflower champ, romanesco, baby leeks and hazelnut milk; pork sausages with bubble and squeak, ale and sage and onion gravy
Why go: for Michelin-starred pub grub

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4. The Plough Inn

Where: Longparish, Hampshire
The food: mac & cheese with smoked bacon, wild mushrooms, winter truffles, sourdough and cured ham; roasted monkfish with cauliflower, bok choi and chicken broth; slow-cooked pork shoulder with dark ale, burnt onion ketchup and a jacket potato
Why go: for a traditional village pub

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5. The Star at Harome

Where: North Yorkshire
The food: turbot with black truffled bubble and squeak, poached langoustines and curly kale; locally shot game with savoy cabbage, braised chetnuts, lardons, beans and smoked sausage; steamed fig roly-poly pudding with forgotten autumn fruits
Why go: if you've an occasion to celebrate, this is the place to go

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6. Freemasons at Wiswell

Where: Wiswell, Lancashire
The food: maple-glazed pork belly with sausages, kimchee, rhubarb, Lancashire cheese potatoes and sauce of mead; fish of the day grilled with lemon and brown butter served with leek fondue, Southport potted shrimps and potatoes
Why go: it’s located in the picturesque Ribble Valley, perfect for a ramble to shake down that food

 

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7. The Royal Oak

Where: Paley Street, Berkshire
The food: 
Roasted red pepper, buffalo mozzarella and tomato pearl barley risotto; Scottish halibut with mussels and cockles; entrecôte steak with braised baby onions and red wine sauce
Why go: for the seasonal menu that changes daily

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8. The Gunton Arms

Where: Thorpe Market, Norfolk
The food: rose veal meatball linguini; slow roast shoulder of lamb with winter bubble and squeak; farmhouse chicken, bacon and leek pie
Why go: for the beautiful setting in the historic park near Cromer in north Norfolk

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9. The Gurnard's Head

Where: Zennor, Cornwall
The food: fried duck eggs, puy lentils, turnips and hazelnut dressing; duck breast, braised savoy, pressed potatoes and blackberry
Why go: the magical coastline and log fires

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10. Truscott Arms

Where: Maida Vale, London
The food: 
herb gnocchi with wild mushroom, pumpkin puree, pesto and leaves; roasted Cornish cod with new potatoes; smoked mussels and cider sauce
Why go: a good option for those on a gluten-free diet – they also have one of the largest selections of gluten-free beers too, don't you know. ‘Nuff said, really

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Truscott Arms

Via Facebook/thetruscottarms


11. Harwood Arms

Where: Fulham, London
The food: Roast and braised pork with garlic mashed potato, carrots and tarragon mustard; Cornish pollock with grilled leek, kale and brown shrimp; eggy bread with marmalade; earl grey and brown bread ice cream
Why go: it's the only Michelin-starred pub in London. Oh yes

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12. The Hardwick

Where: Abergavenny, Monmouthsire
The food: beef burger with Swiss cheese, cowboy pickles, skinny chips and coleslaw; salmon and cod croquette with smashed peas, tartar sauce and lemon; medjool date loaf with sticky toffee sauce and crème fraîche
Why go: for a great pitstop on an outdoorsy Welsh weekend

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Hardwick, Abergavenny

Via Twitter/_StephenTerry_


13. Bull & Last

Where: Highgate, London
The food: traditional Sunday lunch grub such as roast pork belly with roast potatoes, celeriac, roast pears, black pudding, greens and crackling
Why go: for gastropub dishes in a surprisingly pubby setting (in a good way) – think heavy wooden furniture and stuffed animals

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Bull and Last

Via Facebook.com/thebullandlast


14. The Hinds Head

Where: Bray, Berkshire
The food: wild mushroom macaroni with a slow-cooked hen's egg; fillet of duck with beetroot, barley, turnips and duck sauce; tea-smoked salmon with sour cream butter and soda bread
Why go: for Michelin-starred British pub grub

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15. The Kingham Plough

Where: Kingham, Oxfordshire
The food: 
Cornish mackerel burger with a beetroot muffin and orange and beetroot chutney; hanger steak with bone marrow butter, onion rings and Daylesford salad; pheasant wellington with roasted and pureed parsnip, braised red cabbage and caramelised apple
Why go: for something in between pub grub and fine dining

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Kingham Plough,

Via Facebook.com/kinghamplough


16. Canton Arms

Where: Stockwell, London
The food: the menu is small and meat pays a big part: roast venison tagliata via deep-fried lamb sweetbreads (a highlight); crisped pork smothered in a slightly spicy rub and then barbecued over woodchips in the garden
Why go: for modern British cooking with a few continental influences thrown in for good measure

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Canton Arms, Stockwell

Via Instagram/lslex


17. The Anchor & Hope

Where: Waterloo, London
The food: grilled Orkney kipper and tatties; cassoulet for two; slow-cooked Swaledale lamb shoulder with gratin dauphinois for three
Why go: for hearty dishes you can share

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18. The Scran & Scallie

Where: Edinburgh
The food: Home-cured salmon & rye bread; Roasted hake & artichoke barigoule; Spelt & lentil burger & chips; Roasted monkfish, pancetta & Puy lentils; Sticky toffee puddin' & vanilla ice cream.
Why go: for Michelin-starred chefs Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack’s fancy pub grub

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Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh

Photo: Marc Millar


19. The Treby Arms

Where: Sparkwell, Devon
The food: roast duck breast with duck leg fritter, peppered swede and micro carrots; celeriac, truffle and aged parmesan risotto with goat’s cheese bon bons; haddock in white wine batter with chip shop treats
Why go: this is not your average pub grub from former MasterChef winner Anton Piotrowski. It's fancy. Very fancy

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Treby Arms

Via Facebook/trebyarms


20. The British Larder

Where: Bromeswell, Suffolk
The food: Confit duck leg with crispy duck pastille and honey roasted carrots; lamb cutlets with lamb croquettes, crushed minted potatoes and broad beans; pan-fried hake, potato gnocchi, chard broccoli and smoked prawn bisque sauce
Why go: the food is all about local, seasonal ingredients

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See the full results at top50gastropubs.co.uk

Where's your favourite gastropub? Let us know in the comments box below ...