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Published on February 7, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour

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Broad range in gastropub list

The best food pubs the country has to offer were announced at the prestigious Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 218 event in York – with three from the region making the top half of the competition.

Heading the pile at no14 is The Rat Inn, Anick, Hexham (pictured right) with Broad Chare on Newcastle’s Quayside at no18, and Staith House, North Shields, making no24. The Blackbird in Ponteland was shortlisted in the Newcomer of the Year category.

Partners Karen Errington and Phil Mason run The Rat with Phil heading up the kitchen alongside head chef Kevin MacLean. Kevin has also reached the final of this year’s Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Awards (announced this month). The Rat Inn also features four particularly well-kept ales in its tiny bar.

Broad Chare (18), owned by chef Terry Laybourne, prides itself on being a proper pub, with proper food and proper beer. It holds a Michelin Bib Gourmand for good quality, good value cooking. Beer-wise, a strong range is topped by own-label Writer’s Block.

The Staith House (24) is run by Masterchef: The Professionals finalist John Calton, his wife Kimberley, and business partner James Laffan. Seafood tasting menus feature highly. Beers comes from a wide Heineken range with Theakstons products to the fore.

Britain’s top gastropub for the third time in four years is The Sportsman at Seasalter, Kent.


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Alastair Gilmour



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