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Top 50 gastropubs 2021 revealed

Read on for the steer on where you should be booking for a indulgent post-lockdown feast just outside Warks once lockdown eases and pubs can open again.

What better week for the reveal of the country’s best gastropubs than the start of lockdown easing? Apart from one, you’ll have to hop over-the-borders to book a table at one of the winners though – there’s not many in the Midlands.

Estrella Damm has this year decided to name 100 pubs instead of the usual 50. After what has been the toughest year for many of the nation’s pubs, forced to shut their doors or reinvent themselves as farm shops and takeaways, we feel it’s our duty to work our way around the cream of the crop on our doorstep…


The Boat Inn, Lichfield (No. 20)

What they say: Gastropubs in the Midlands haven’t had a fair repre­sentation in recent years on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list. Hoping to change that is chef-owner of Lichfield’s the Boat Inn – Liam Dillon, whose pub is next to a busy A-road. One year after opening, the Boat was crowned Newcomer of the Year at the Top 50 Gastropubs Awards in January 2019​, in 2020, the chef catapulted his pub into the Top 50 Gastropubs list for the first time and is this year’s Highest New Entry, joining the party at number 20.

Due to increasing enquiries The Boat Inn is now also taking reservations for outdoor dining… Book a table for up to 6 people from April 16 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tables are available from 12pm-9pm and they will be serving a newly created small plates garden menu and their full drinks list!

The Boat Inn, Lichfield


The Wheatsheaf

The Olive Branch, Rutland (No.25)

The Wheatsheaf, Greetham, Rutland (46)

Badger’s Mount, Elmsthorpe, Leics (No. 63)

The Saracen’s Head, Shirley, Derbyshire (85)

The Black Bull, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (97)

The Peacock at Barlow, Chesterfield (91)


The Charlton Arms, Ludlow (No.30)


The Hand and Flowers, Marlow (No.7)

The Coach, Marlow (No. 9)

The Wild Rabbit, Chipping Norton (No. 34)

The Kingham Plough (No. 68)

The Nut Tree, Murcott (No. 69)

The Magdalen Arms, Oxford (No. 72)

The Mash Inn, Radnage (No. 89)


The Bell Inn, Langford near Burford (94)

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