Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“It looks like a typical local inn, set in a pretty village in the Forest of Bowland”, but Stosie Madi’s cooking “is on another level” – “it’s simply the best food ever” – at this “just amazing” destination, which is “worth travelling over the Pennines for”. “Exceptional ingredients are cooked with skill and flair” from “a constantly-changing, hyper-locally-sourced menu” and Kathy Smith oversees “the friendliest, efficient service”. “While the real gems come in the dishes with Middle Eastern inspiration” (reflecting the chef’s heritage), it would be wise not to ignore the pub classics, especially pies. Top Menu Tip – “the wild garlic custard tart was probably the best thing I have ever eaten!”
“In a beautiful village in the deepest wilds of Bowland”, this “idiosyncratic” and “joyous” destination – “a proper, big, slightly ramshackle country pub” – serves “exciting” fare that’s “truly exceptional” and “well worth a (long) detour”. “Stosie’s classical cooking is influenced by cuisines from all over the world, with a real focus on local ingredients (wild produce, game, etc)” to create “something not too fancy and full of terroir”. “Hospitality like hers, AJ’s and Kathy’s is a rare thing”, and though service “can come under pressure when it’s busy” the overall effect is “engagingly wonderful”. And “my god, they feed you!” – “you’ll have to undo all trouser buttons and not eat for another 24 hours afterwards!”. Top Menu Tips – “the best game pie ever” and “anything that sounds Middle Eastern”.
“The awards keep coming” for Kathy Smith & Stosie Madie’s “totally authentic and unaffected” pub, which benefits from a “beautiful” country location; it offers “absolutely top-notch” cooking – “a lot of places may pay lip service to local sourcing, but it really means something here”.
Kathy Smith and Stosie Madie’s venture, in a rural pub, takes local sourcing “almost to an extreme”, to produce “quality, unfussy food” at “unbeatable-value” prices; “if you found this on a byway in France, you'd come back saying things like ‘only in France’!”
The Parkers Arms Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Discovered this glorious place when son went to Lancs Uni. I'm no more than eager to visit/collect him despite it being a 10 hour round trip just so we can get a Parkers Arms hit. It's just how I want a good gastro-pub to be (and they rarely are). The food is fantastic - original and perfectly executed; or traditional and perfectly delivered - using authentically local and bang-on super-fresh seasonal ingredients. The ever-changing menu really reflects what's good and how well Stosi creates great dishes balancing texture, colour and taste. Service is brilliant, it's welcoming - even on our first visit we felt like regulars - and precise. Informed and helpful advice on what's great today and what to drink with it, where the food/wine is sourced, what else to do in the area. And despite the five star food and service it's got a great, welcoming, relaxed pub vibe. Terrific!"
"It's not often a country pub will allow you to book for almost 30 people but The Parkers Arms did... We arrived to be greeted with a roaring open fire in the main bar area while a log burner radiated in the tap room. Drinks were quickly dispensed - real ale tastes offered to our US, SG and EU visitors - and we sat down to a full 3 courses that, not only looked delicious but tasted delicious. Not a single murmur of disquiet was heard from our party - quite the opposite, all I could hear was the joyous sound of people laughing and talking throughout their meal. Having eaten there a few weeks earlier - my sons 16th birthday meal with his friends - and had a similar experience I just can't fault the place for its attention to detail where the customer an their food is concerned."
Hall Gate Hill, Newton-in-Bowland, BB7 3DY
12pm - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 8.30pm, Sat: 12.30pm - 4.30, 6 - 9pm, Sun: 12pm - 6.30pm
Last orders: Mon & Tue closed, Wed - Fri 8.30 pm, Sat 9 pm, Sun