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The Sportsman at Seasalter once again recognised for its top food

By John Nurden

An out-of-the-way Kent pub has been named as one of Britain's top restaurants.

The award-winning Sportsman at Seasalter, between Faversham and Whitstable, has made the top 50 list in the 2017 Good Food Guide.

It has been ranked at number 42 with a score of seven out of 10 and is the only Kent restaurant to be included.

The award-winning Sportsman in Seasalter
The award-winning Sportsman in Seasalter

Topping the list is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall with a magic 10. The second best eaterie is L'Enclume in Cumbria, also with top marks.

Heston Blumenthal's renowned temple to innovative modern British cuisine The Fat Duck at Bray, Berkshire is at number five with Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London at number six.

The Ritz comes in at number 28.

In the list The Sportsman owned by Kent brewer Shepherd Neame beats top London restaurants Murano and Michael Roux's Le Gavroche.

Stephen Harris, head chef at The Sportsman Pub
Stephen Harris, head chef at The Sportsman Pub

The pub in Faversham Road, just 100 yards from the beach at Seasalter, is run by brothers Phil and Stephen Harris. Stephen is head chef.

Over the years it has built up an enviable reputation for excellent food cooked using local produce and has become a popular haunt for celebrities.

Gary Lineker was pictured there in June with sous chef Joe McMahan.

Gary Lineker at The Sportsman with sous chef Joe McMahan
Gary Lineker at The Sportsman with sous chef Joe McMahan

The football legend tucked into a meal just hours before it was crowned national restaurant of the year. The Match of the Day host tweeted: "Had as good a lunch as I’ve ever had here on Saturday. Well played @Sportsmankent thoroughly deserved.”

The Sportsman, which scooped the national award for the second year in a row, was also named gastropub of the year for the second time.

Some customers have been known to fly in by helicopter and land in the nearby fields.

In February it was listed by The Sunday Times’ as one of the top 100 places to eat - the only Kent pub to reach the list.

The restaurant has held a Michelin star since 2008.

Top 50

The top 50 restaurants and their score out of 10, as ranked in the 2017 Good Food Guide, are:

1 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10)

2 L'Enclume, Cumbria (10)

3 Pollen Street Social, London (9)

4 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9)

5 The Fat Duck, Berkshire (9)

6 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9)

7 Hedone, London (8)

8 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8)

9 Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London (8)

10 Casamia, Bristol (8)

11 Bohemia, Jersey (8)

12 Ynyshir, Powys (8)

13 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (8)

14 Fraiche, Merseyside (8)

15 Marcus, London (8)

16 Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (8)

17 Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (8)

18 The Ledbury, London (8)

19 Andre Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8)

20 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)

21 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)

22 The Peat Inn, Fife (8)

23 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7)

24 Sketch, Lecture Room and Library, London (7)

25 The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye (7)

26 Moor Hall, Lancashire (7)

27 The Greenhouse, London (7)

28 The Ritz, London (7)

29 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7)

30 Forest Side, Cumbria (7)

31 Orwells, Oxfordshire (7)

32 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7)

33 Restaurant Marianne, London (7)

34 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)

35 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7)

36 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7)

37 The Raby Hunt, Durham (7)

38 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (7)

39 Restaurant Story, London (7)

40 Simpsons, Birmingham (7)

41 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7)

42 The Sportsman, Kent (7)

43 Adam's, Birmingham (7)

44 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (7)

45 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7)

46 Le Gavroche, London (7)

47 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7)

48 Murano, London (7)

49 The Whitebrook, Gwent (7)

50 The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds (7)

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