The Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland has said it is proud to represent Lancashire after being crowned the best gastropub in the UK, while two other Lancashire pubs placed in the top ten.

The three culinary venues have put Lancashire on the map after placing in the top seven - with two in the top three - in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 2023 list, at the awards ceremony held in Suffolk on Monday, January 23.

A fourth also made the long list in 56th spot, narrowly missing out on being among the top 50.

Last year, the Parkers Arms, run by chef-patron Stosi Madi and her business partner Kathy Smith since 2007, was second on the list, but went one better in this year’s ceremony by climbing to first place.

Lancashire Telegraph: Stosie and Kathy at the Gastropubs awardsStosie and Kathy at the Gastropubs awards (Image: Top 50 Gastropubs)

This year marks the first time a pub from Lancashire has scooped first place, and Stosi expressed her excitement to put the county on the map.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted.

"We were not expecting to come first place, not because we don’t think we deserve it, but because being on the list is wonderful in itself.

"It is amazing to be able to fly the flag for Lancashire.

“We’re a hands on, small, family run business and we’re in on a daily basis, running the business and working ourselves.

"Our guests come to see us and it’s like their coming home, and what we do is very much part and parcel of what a British pub should be – local, seasonal food.

“We’re a rural, destination pub so our customers come from all parts of Lancashire and the country, and we even have guests from Australia and Japan.

“Being in the top 50 is a wonderful achievement for any pub and it really pushes you to excel.

"I urge serious food pubs to take their cooking seriously and shout out about. It is hard work to make it in, if at all, but it is the best pub award without a doubt so it's worth the hard work.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Owners, Tom Parker (left) and Gareth Ostick (right) with Laura OstickOwners, Tom Parker (left) and Gareth Ostick (right) with Laura Ostick (Image: LT)

The owners of The White Swan at Fence, run by Gareth and Laura Ostick, and chef Tom Parker, congratulated the Parkers Arms on their achievement, and shared their excitement for securing seventh place – an impressive jump from ranking 26th last year.

Gareth said: “It was an amazing feeling.

"I was having my haircut when the results were announced so I couldn’t exactly jump up and down but me and Laura celebrated with a glass and had a cheers.

“This is the highest ever position we’ve been in. It just goes to prove that we’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing end enjoy it.

“Tom is an outstanding chef, so people come for that but also for the service.

"We have a really relaxed social atmosphere where people come for banter, not just over a couple of beers, but a brilliant full course meal.

“Times are hard at the moment and things like this are going to help. Every pub business revolves around people coming through the door, so keep on coming because either use it or lose it.

“I just want to congratulate Parkers Arms for coming first and Freemasons for coming third. To be in that little trio of places is outstanding.”

The Unruly Pig in Suffolk, which came first last year and hosted this year's ceremony, placed second, with the Freemasons at Wiswell, run by owner and head chef Steven Smith and his wife, award-winning front-of-house manager Aga, landing third place - their best position yet and two positions higher than in 2022.

Freemasons at Wiswell wrote on Facebook: "Absolutely super proud of the whole team at Freemasons, awesome achievement by all! Number 3 pub in the UK, not a bad effort at all and huge congratulations to the Parkers Arms and White Swann too.

"Lancashire rules!"

The Higher Buck in Waddington placed 56th, yet another example of the quality food and service Lancashire gastropubs have to offer.

In a Facebook post, the Higher Buck in Waddington said: "It’s been an incredibly tough year for the industry once again and we’d like to thank all our incredible staff, suppliers and customers for continually showing their support. 

"We’re looking forward to another exciting year!"