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25th January 2022

Suffolk’s Unruly Pig voted best gastropub in UK for first time

Suffolk’s Unruly Pig has been crowned the UK’s finest, moving up from last year’s Highest Climber category to become the very best in the Estrella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 list today.

Described as winsome, warm and witty and loved by many, The Unruly Pig is one of five East Anglian pubs topping this year’s list, more than ever before – with a further ten in the Southwest, five in the Northwest, four in the West Midlands and Wales and 18 in the Southeast and London.

Head chef, Dave Wall, prides himself on his locally sourced, unfussy, seasonal menus whilst owner, Brendan Padfield, believes the pub’s atmosphere reflects his own personality, being a bit of a maverick. Having completely transformed the pub into the phenomenon that is, the Unruly Pig, has moved up 9 places this year, moving former and multiple time winner The Sportsman to 6th place. Brendan said, “For any UK gastropub this list is the ‘gold standard’. It’s the business. To be a part of such a prestigious group is a huge honour and a very real privilege. There are some very famous chefs and talented operators here… and for us to be a small part of this amazing list means so very much to all our team. They can rightly hold their heads up proud yet again as our listing is because of their dedication, loyalty and sheer hard graft”.   

Top 50 Gastropubs, Publisher, Chris Lowe said: “After a tough two years for the hospitality industry, we are thrilled to see such a strong list of contenders this year, including a new number one and several new entrants! The Top 50 Gastropubs provides a platform for food-lovers to explore the very best offerings across the UK. We are delighted to host this year’s event in Manchester for the first time, highlighting the range of talent across the UK. I’m incredibly delighted for Brendan and everyone at The Unruly Pig to get the number 1 spot.”

The Top 50 Gastropubs list, now in its 13th year, ranks the UK’s best gastropubs according to the votes from more than 400 gastropub owners, food critics and other industry experts.

This year there were 10 new entries on the list with the Highest New Entry revealed as Adam Handling’s The Loch and The Tyne, in Windsor. Adam’s take on the traditional pub menu showcases the best of British produce with a huge emphasis on sustainable practices and features ingredients on the menu from its own vegetable garden and orchard. He is passionate about the best quality British ingredients and bringing their true flavour to life. Adam said “I’m so happy and proud that our little pub with guest bedrooms has made it in to the Top 50. This is our first time opening a pub and it’s been great fun to adopt our restaurant style into a super informal setting. Co-chef proprietors, Steven and Jonny, have worked for me for 13 years and have always wanted a pub, so to give them an opportunity to run one and for it to go straight into the Top 50 is bloody fantastic.”

New for 2022, Sally Abé’s The Blue Boar in central London was voted One to Watch by the judges for its menu reflecting the very best of British pub dining, whilst Dylans The Kings Arms in St Albans won Front of House team of the year and The Princess of Shoreditch in East London, headed up by Great British Menu’s Ruth Hansom, earned Newcomer of the Year.

James Healey, UK Country Manager for Estrella Damm, said: “As the authentic premium beer of Barcelona, Estrella Damm is proud to continue to support the UK’s gastropubs. This is the seventh year that we have sponsored the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards, an awards ceremony that celebrates high calibre ingredients, culinary excellence and innovation, qualities that are also shared by Estrella Damm. We want to extend our congratulations to all 50 gastropubs on the list and hope more pub-goers are lucky enough to experience their talent in 2022.”

The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 list is as follows:

1              The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge

2              Parkers Arms, Clitheroe

3              The Star Inn at Harome, Harome

4              The Angel at Hetton, Hetton

5              Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe

6              The Sportsman, Whitstable

7              The Guinea Grill, London

8              The Fordwich Arms, Canterbury

9              The Mariners, Rock

10           The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

11           The Beehive, White Waltham

12           The Kentish Hare, Bidborough

13           The Coach, Marlow

14           The Cornish Arms, Tavistock

15           The Harwood Arms, London

16           The Red Lion and Sun, London

17           The Pyne Arms, Barnstaple

18           The Rat Inn, Anick

19           The Broad Chare, Newcastle Upon Tyne

20           The Hardwick, Abergavenny

21           The Bull & Last, London

22           The Masons Arms, Knowstone

23           The Pipe and Glass, Barnsley

24           The Longs Arms, South Wraxall

25           The Swan, Bampton

26           The White Swan at Fence, Fence

27           The Loch and The Tyne, Old Windsor

28           The Duncombe Arms, Ashbourne

29           The French House, Soho

30           The Moorcock, Norland Moor

31           The Shibden Mill Inn, Shibden

32           The Pack Horse, Hayfield

33           Heft, High Newton

34           The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon

35           The Five Bells Inn, Cullompton

36           St Kew Inn, Bodmin

37           The Castle Inn, Castle Combe

38           The Canton Arms, Stockwell

39           The Higher Buck, Waddington

40           The Duck Inn, Pett Bottom

41           The Hovingham Inn, Yorkshire

42           The Plough, Coton

43           The Three Hills, Bartlow

44           The Hind’s Head, Bray

45           The Dog at Wingham, Wingham

46           The Bell Inn, Langford

47           The Black Bear Inn, Usk

48           The Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton

49           The Bailiwick Free House, Egham

50           The Cross, Kenilworth

For the full list, visit


Note to editor:  

The awards should always, in the first instance, be referred to as the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs.

The full list is online or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with the handle @Top50Gastropubs.

 About Top 50
The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list is compiled using hundreds of votes from food critics and writers, gastropub chefs and other food influencers. is brought to you by pub trade magazine The Morning Advertiser with headline partner Estrella Damm.

The brand is sister to Top 50 Cocktail Bars, which ranks the UK’s top bars through votes. For more information visit

Both Top 50 Cocktail Bars and Top 50 Gastropubs are consumer-facing brands owned and produced by William Reed title The Morning Advertiser.    

About The Morning Advertiser:

The Morning Advertiser (MA) was launched in 1794 and is one of the longest running publications in the world. Now firmly in the 21st century, MA continues to be the definitive voice for the pub trade – offering the latest pub news and unique advice-driven content for publicans, delivering powerful insights and robust information to help their businesses succeed.

Our team of award-winning journalists deliver daily news, analysis, online and face-to-face events, podcasts and video coverage of the issues and stories impacting decision makers in the licensed trade. Attracting online readership from across the licensed trade, we’re the go-to hub for access to the latest news, analysis and insights from the UK pub sector, providing pub operators with invaluable advice to grow their business.

Press release from Top 50 Gastropubs

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