A gastropub in East Lancashire is delighted after receiving new AA Rosettes at the Hospitality Awards 2022.

The White Swan at Fence is one of 23 restaurants in England, and the only one in Lancashire, to receive new AA Rosettes.

The gastropub, which is just outside Nelson, has received three AA rosettes, improving on the two it was awarded previously.

The AA inspector described the venue’s regional pub food as “high quality”.

They said: “The White Swan at Fence is a proper village pub in all respects and rather unassuming from the exterior.

“Inside, the decor is traditional with small dining areas and a bar where the locals sup pints.

“The food, however, is far from average pub grub and there is a real passion in the kitchen, with strong technical skills evident in boldly flavoured dishes.

“Start with a delicate broth, made with early tomatoes from the chef’s grandfather’s garden, topped with basil and wild garlic foam and diced Iberico bellota.

“Move on to Morecambe Bay sea bass, peas, tarragon and sweet cicely.”

Gareth Ostick, who runs the pub alongside wife Laura and head chef Tom Parker, said the team is proud to have been awarded three AA Rosettes.

He said: “We are a small team who work hard and to receive that level of recognition is fantastic.

“Our food is outstanding and an award like this has been a long time coming to be honest.

“It’s nice to be singled out as the only business in Lancashire to have received new rosettes, as I know a lot of business out there serve top quality food.

“Now, to be put in with the groups that already hold a three AA Rosette is just amazing.”

Lancashire Telegraph: The White Swan at FenceThe White Swan at Fence (Image: The White Swan at Fence)

Gareth said the quality of Tom’s food is deserving of the award.

He said: “This just reaffirms the quality of Tom’s food.

“It comes down to the quality of food that he’s using and the skillset he has to create the dishes that he does.”

Gareth said it is the boost the business needs as the cost of living crisis squeezes businesses.

He said: “Our gas bill is set to soar, just like everyone else’s.

“Ours has increased tenfold from £2,500 to £25,000 a year - and that’s just the gas, the electricity bill is yet to come.

“But we are going to get back to it. We will put our heads down and keep going.

“This award reaffirms that we have a place in Lancashire’s gastronomy scene – we are here to stay.”

READ MORE: Fence's award-winning gastropub with 'evolving' menu

At the awards, which were held at Grosvenor House on MondaySeptember 26, Obsession, one of the UK’s leading gastronomic events organised by Northcote in Langho, won the AA Outstanding Contribution Award.

The culinary event celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and has contributed over £200,000 to hospitality action over this time.

Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive chef of the four AA rosette and Michelin starred restaurant, said: “We have worked really hard since the inception of Obsession to establish it as one of the UK’s best food festivals.

"After a tough couple of years for the industry, it was amazing to see Obsession 22 exceed all previous years. But the best thing for us was to see people out again, enjoying themselves.

"The feedback we had from everyone who attended was phenomenal. And we were able to raise more than £68,000 for Hospitality Action, a charity which is close to all of our hearts, so that was the icing on the cake."

Elsewhere in Lancashire, Mark Birchall, chef patron of five AA rosette Moor Hall in Aughton, was awarded the coveted AA Chefs’ Chef Award.

This a prize with offers all AA Rosette-awarded chefs the chance to decide which of their peers deserves the ultimate recognition of their performance over the past 12 months.

Simon Numphud, managing director at AA Media, said: “It was great to be back at Grosvenor House after three years and to celebrate the greatest hospitality establishments across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“The past few years have been incredibly tough for the hospitality sector, from lockdowns to travel restrictions, supply chain issues to the rising cost of living, but these awards have highlighted how our industry, time and time again, has worked tirelessly to overcome adversity and create unforgettable experiences for the public.

“We would like to congratulate all the winners and shortlisted establishments for their hard work, passion and dedication to providing hospitality to the highest standards.”