Just outside Burnley, in the village of Fence, sits an unassuming pub with a “non-descript” exterior.

However, there is more than meets the eye with this award-winning gastropub.

Since opening eight years ago, The White Swan at Fence has landed a Michelin star and has two AA rosettes to its name.

Lancashire Telegraph: The White Swan at FenceThe White Swan at Fence

The Wheatley Lane Road pub has also featured in Estrella Damm’s top 50 restaurants five times in the last six years; this year it was ranked at number 26.

It has established itself as one of the finest eateries in the county, with an ever-evolving menu that keeps customers coming back for more.

Gareth Ostick, who owns the pub alongside head chef Tom Parker, said: “The pub itself is quite non-descript and it’s just a square block pub… it doesn’t look like much from the outside.

“I like that because it makes the surprise on the inside even better.

“The minute you walk through the door you’re welcomed by the staff and that really sets the tone for the rest of your visit.”

When he took over the pub in 2013, Gareth said he could never have envisioned just how much they would go onto achieve.

Lancashire Telegraph: Owners of The White Swan, Tom Parker (left) and Gareth Ostick (right) with his wife Laura Ostick Owners of The White Swan, Tom Parker (left) and Gareth Ostick (right) with his wife Laura Ostick

He said: “When we took the pub on in August 2013 we weren’t even thinking about Michelin stars.

“We were thinking about improving the quality of the food to a good home-cooked level.

“In eight years we have gone from being a little pub outside Burnley to being a nationally recognised gastropub - top 50 in the country, which is unbelievable.”

Gareth said the pub’s reputation and recognition began to increase when chef, Tom, joined the team.

Tom, who grew up in Fence, used to work at Northcote where he was trained by Michelin star chef, Nigel Haworth.

Lancashire Telegraph: Shorthorn beef, morels and wild garlic - just one dish created by Tom Parker at The White SwanShorthorn beef, morels and wild garlic - just one dish created by Tom Parker at The White Swan

Gareth said: “The first dish he sent out we thought ‘this is next level’ and that’s when things started to change for the pub - he is an exceptional chef.

“Tom is local and grew up in the village of Fence, so this is his home village. And he just puts great food out from the kitchen.”

According to Gareth, fresh ingredients and an evolving menu are the secret behind their culinary success – as well as Tom’s cooking skills, of course!

He said: “Tom buys fresh ingredients daily and doesn’t have set dishes.

“We operate with a set menu and we don’t know day-to-day what will be on that menu. It depends what ingredients are available to Tom.

“Some dishes might stay on the menu for a week or two but the menu evolves.”

However, one classic dishes that makes a comeback each summer is Tom’s tomato consommé – which Gareth recommends people to try.

Lancashire Telegraph: Bar in The White Swan at FenceBar in The White Swan at Fence

Their good reputation, and a generous brewery, carried the White Swan through the pandemic.

Gareth said: “Since May last year, trade has been good for us. We’ve been very lucky and I would like to thank our customers for supporting us through the worrying time.

“Our brewery, Timothy Taylors,  also didn’t charge rent when we weren’t trading which I am thankful for.

“Now we are looking to the future. We’ve successfully managed to thrive in the last eight years - what will the next eight bring?”