A quaint gastropub in the village of Wiswell has been named as one of the best in the country.

Freemasons at Wiswell, near Clitheroe, came in at number five on Estrella Damm's Top 50 gastropub list with judges describing it as an “elegant” gastropub serving “outstanding” dishes.

Steven Smith, owner of the pub, said: “We're thrilled to have come in as the fifth best gastropub for 2022 at the Estella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs awards, one of the highest accolades in our industry.

Lancashire Telegraph: Steven Smith, owner of Freemasons at Wiswell,Steven Smith, owner of Freemasons at Wiswell,

“It’s testament to the hard work and daily dedication of the whole team here at The Freemasons of Wiswell.

“We’re also pleased to see many of our fellow pubs in the north score highly including our neighbours at the Parkers Arms.

“We hope it will encourage even more people to visit us to try our unique style of cooking where we draw from the wonderful food we have in the north of England.”

This year, the business pushed its way back into the top five, having dipped into sixth place in 2020 for the first time in years.

Steven and The Freemasons have held a top 10 position in the Top 50 Gastropubs for over a decade.

In addition, The Freemasons was the first pub to ever receive 7 out of 10 in the good food guide, and has gained inclusion in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants – the only pub to make the list.

A focal point and stand-out feature of the pub for Estrella Damm judges was the unique chef’s table which was built during the business’ revamp in 2019.

Speaking about the extension, he says: “It is a chef’s table but we didn’t want a traditional one, we wanted it to be original and a first and another reason why people will want to come to the Freemasons.”

Smith’s is a true ‘Kitchen Table’ and sits at the very centre of the busy kitchen space so diners are right in the action.

Born in Blackburn, Steven learned his trade in some of the north’s top establishments before going solo and creating a true gastronomic experience in a stylish pub setting. 

The high-end pub continues to reinvent itself, with the a la carté menu drawing on Steven’s love of utilising the finest Lancashire produce, governed by the seasons.

Expertly walking the tightrope between quintessential British pub and a forward-thinking modern restaurant, Steven has aligned his menus with the growing demand for traditional comfort food with added contemporary flair.

Aside from lunch and dinner, guests can enjoy a number of experiences including cookery masterclasses. 

Those wishing to sharpen up their saucepan skills can book in for the chef for the day experience - a guided masterclasses where attendees will learn what it takes to be a professional chef with a morning of cooking, before enjoying a sit down lunch they prepared.

Freemasons at Wiswell also comes with four individually-styled rooms, each with their own personality.

Mr Fox, Mr Hare, Partridge, and Grouse all offer a super king bed, en suite with luxury towels and dressing gowns along with mod-cons including a Sonos Sound System, 50 inch Smart TV, and a Nespresso Coffee Machine.

Steven has high hopes for the future of The Freemasons and has ambitions to be the very best.

He said: “I’ve said many times that we want to be the best pub in the world, so we’ll see where this takes us.”

Find out more about the Freemasons on their website.

View Estrella Damm’s full top 50 gastropub 2022 list by visiting their website.