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The Sportsman in Seasalter named winner of the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards

By Chris Britcher

A seaside eatery has been named the best gastropub in Britain for a fourth year.

The Sportsman in Seasalter, near Whitstable, scooped the prize at the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards.

The Shepherd Neame-owned pub, run by brothers Stephen and Phil Harris, picked up the title at an awards lunch on Monday, January 28, after receiving the most votes in an industry poll organised by leading pub industry magazine the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

The Sportsman in Seasalter (6913230)
The Sportsman in Seasalter (6913230)

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 for 11 years, previously topped the list in 2015, 2016 and 2018. It has been recognised with numerous accolades in recent years, including winning first place in the 2017 UK National Restaurant Awards.

Phil Harris said: “We are delighted that the hard work of our staff has been recognised with this accolade. We asked two of our chefs, Joe McMahon and Pete Cribbin, to attend the event on our behalf, as this is something to be shared by the whole team. Their talent, dedication and passion for their work is key to The Sportsman’s success.”

Donna and Rob Taylor at the Compasses Inn (6913226)
Donna and Rob Taylor at the Compasses Inn (6913226)

The Compasses Inn in Crundale, near Canterbury, was also named in the list for a third year running, taking 21st place.

Licensees Donna and Rob Taylor took over the Shepherd Neame pub in 2012 and since then it has received numerous awards including a Michelin bib gourmand, two prestigious AA Rosettes, and winning Best Food Pub at last year’s Great British Pub Awards.

Two other Kent pubs featured on the list - the Fordwich Arms, near Canterbury, at 42, and the Kentish Hare in Bidborough, between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, at 43

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