The Sportsman, Fordwich Arms, Kentish Hare, The Duck at Pett Bottom and Wingham's The Dog all rank highly in Estrelle Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards 2022


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A number of the county's top outlets have been named among Britain's best gastropubs in a prestigious awards.

The Sportsman in Seasalter, near Whitstable, which has held a Michelin star since 2008, was named in sixth place in the Estrelle Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards, published this week.

The Sportsman in Seasalter was ranked high once again
The Sportsman in Seasalter was ranked high once again

Just behind it in eight is the Fordwich Arms near Canterbury, which also has a Michelin star, while the Kentish Hare in Bidborough, near Tunbridge Wells came in 13th.

The Duck at Pett Bottom, near Canterbury, came in 40th while The Dog at Wingham, also near the cathedral city, was ranked 45th.

The Fordwich Arms in Canterbury was ranked in the top 10
The Fordwich Arms in Canterbury was ranked in the top 10

The list is compiled by collecting votes from more than 100 industry professionals including pub businesses, editors of media brands and food writers.

For the Shepherd Neame-owned The Sportsman, it was another top ranking in the annual list. It has topped the rundown in five of the last eight years - including scooping the crown in 2021 - and is regularly rated one of the best in a competitive market.

Run by brothers Stephen and Phil Harris, judges praised head chef Stephen's 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.

The Sportsman head chef Stephen Harris. Picture: Philip Harris
The Sportsman head chef Stephen Harris. Picture: Philip Harris

The judges added: "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."

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