Steven Smith of The Freemasons Arms has been awarded #5 in the Estrella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 list revealed at the awards at Escape to Freight Island in Manchester, where Steven also cooked for guests.

Steven and the hard-working team at The Freemasons Arms are delighted to have climbed one space from last year’s 2021 Awards where they came 6th.

Steven created a three-course lunch and canapé reception at the awards, celebrating the wonderful produce of the north of England. Line caught cod from Morecambe Bay was selected and smoked salmon came from Wellgate Fishmongers in the pub’s nearest town Clitheroe. Ox cheek was sourced from Aubrey Allen and longhorn and shorthorn grass-fed beef from Yorkshire’s Waterford Farm. The fillets were Himalayan salt aged for 65-70 days. Two of Steven’s signatures, truffle cheese hot dog, and lamb fat & rosemary brioche also featured.

Steven Smith and The Freemasons Arms have held a top 10 position in the Top 50 Gastropubs for over a decade. In addition, The Freemasons at Wiswell 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!

Located within the rolling countryside of the Ribble Valley, nestled in the medieval village of Wiswell, just south of Clitheroe, is Freemasons at Wiswell, Steven Smith’s acclaimed Gastropub with on-site boutique rooms.

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.

Born in nearby 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.

Lancashire was well represented in the list with Parkers Arms taking second spot. The Clitheroe pub was described as ‘a historic rural inn in an area of outstanding national beauty serving excellent award winning modern British classics’.

In 38th place is The Higher Buck in Waddington, Lancashire. Renowned for its culinary classics, innovative favourites, which are lovingly crafted from local produce of the highest quality.


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