A TRIO of East Lancashire's top eateries have been selected in a prestigious top 100 restaurants league table.

For the Parkers Arms, at Newton-by-Bowland, the distinction from the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards completes a hat-trick.

The rural retreat, where Stosie Madi and Katy Smith have cut a swathe since 2007, has featured in their rankings previously in 2016 and 2019.

Before setting off for the awards night, at the Hurlingham Club in London, staff were looking forward to the bash.

A spokesman said: "It's always a great party and we are so, so proud and excited to make the list again."

Promoters say they have seen a dramatic rise in the number of venues located outside of the capital in the list's 2019 incarnation.

An award spokesman said: "In total, 46 of the top 100 restaurants are situated outside of London, revealing the true geographic spread of the list and the move away from a London-centric restaurant scene.

"This year also sees the highest number of restaurants in the north of the UK, 23 restaurants being located in the north and Scotland."

Bosses at the White Swan at Fence, known to many as The Mucky Duck, were "absolutely flabbergasted" to have been voted into the top 100.

Their inclusion continues a strong 2019 for the Pendle restaurant, after head chef Tom Parker helped them to their first Michelin star.

The Timothy Taylor outpost has also been named in the Top 50 Gastropubs, another Estrella Damm competition, for the second time this year.

This follows a string of AA Rosettes, Good Food Guide and Michelin Bib Gourmand prizes over the past six or seven years.

The Freemasons at Wiswell, where head chef Stephen Moore has been winning new fans by the week, rounds off the East Lancs threesome.

And it could not have come at a more opportune time for Steven Smith and his team, as they launch their new menus this week.

Moor Hall at Aughton, a perennial rival to the trio under head chef Mark Birchall, was named as the nation's top restaurant, by judges las night.

The Grade II listed restaurant with rooms, in Aughton, West Lancashire, has built a strong reputation for its modern British cuisine using, where possible, produce grown on the five-acre estate.

It was bought by Andy and Tracey Bell in 2015 and underwent a multi-million pound renovation before reopening in 2017. Last year the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars. 

“Mark is an incredibly talented chef who has a clear ambition to not just create one of the best restaurants in the UK but in the world,” says Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine, which runs the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards.

“This award reflects that vision. Moor Hall is an almost immaculate experience – Mark’s food is clever and inventive but also delicious, the service is exceptional and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. It’s an outstanding restaurant that deserves its title as the best in the UK.”