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26th January 2022


The Sportsman in Seasalter has been named one of Britain’s top 10 best gastropubs in Britain for a sixth time at the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards.

The Shepherd Neame-owned pub, run by brothers Stephen and Phil Harris, took sixth place in the list announced yesterday (Monday, January 24) at a ceremony in Manchester.

Hundreds of votes were cast to determine the Top 50 by industry experts including food critics and writers, gastropub chefs and other food influencers.

The Sportsman, which has held a Michelin star since 2008, has previously topped the list in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021.

Judges praised Head Chef Stephen Harris’ menu for being sourced almost exclusively from the land surrounding the pub. Describing his mission to ‘religiously reflect the pub’s surrounding geography, history and produce’, they praised how he picks seaweed from the adjoining beach; makes his own salt from the sea, and uses meat from local farms.

His slip sole grilled in seaweed butter was a “must-try for any visitor”, they commented, adding: “It’s the purest expression of what makes The Sportsman fantastic: simplicity, thoughtfulness and, most importantly, it is delicious.”

“Be warned, however, it remains a tough pub to get a seat in because the popularity of its cooking stretches the world over, so plan before visiting.”

Phil Harris said: “We are delighted to be included in the list again. It is always nice to get recognition, and we never take it for granted – you are only as good as the last meal you served.

“If it wasn’t for the dedication of our staff – some of whom have been with us an awfully long time – we wouldn’t have been here for 23 years. It is that consistency that is terribly important. It requires diligence and sticking to standards, and not compromising. If you cannot do something perfectly, don’t do it.”

You can find The Sportsman at Faversham Road, Seasalter, CT5 4BP, telephone 01227 273370. Or visit


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and is the sole UK distributor for premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Press release from Shepherd Neame

For further information please contact Communications Executive Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit