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The Unruly Pig crowned best gastro pub in the UK!

The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs have been revealed – and Suffolk & Cambs triple cooked chips stacked up very nicely, with three foodie pubs included and the number one spot!

This year’s competition for gastropub greatness has been hotter than a freshly fried, triple-cooked chip. After much scoffing, quaffing and deliberating the UK’s top foodies and pub pros have agreed on the best of the best: Suffolk’s The Unruly Pig, which they describe as ‘winsome, warm and witty.’ 

Two more local hot spots to make the list are Cambridgeshire-based The Plough in Coton and The Three Hills in Bartlow, both commended for taking advantage of great local, seasonal ingredients and offering outstanding plates of food in a relaxed, rural setting. 

Ready for some award-winning food? Read on to discover why you should visit all three this year! 

The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge, Suffolk (No. 1)

They say: Winsome and warm, Suffolk’s Unruly Pig serves filling and well-crafted pub food in an environment that reflects the personalities of the people behind the stunning venue. Dishes are a pleasant cross between British and Italian (Brit-Italian) cuisine, giving diners a refreshing change from the usual pub fare. Ensuring everyone is catered for, the Unruly Pig offers ‘free from’ menus and has gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options always available.”

We say: The menu is a mouth-watering combo of seasonal British food with Italian influence. We love the sound of Stout braised beef feather blade, Jerusalem artichoke, truffled mash, and cavolo nero or the crab tonnarelli pasta, chilli, spring onion, and brown crab emulsion. Regarding the atmosphere, it’s a modern, quirky pub with brightly coloured dining rooms, funky art and an extensive decked terrace and fire pit. For little ones not interested in a fancy splatter of sauce, there’s a dedicated kids’ menu.

The Plough, Coton, Cambridgeshire (No. 42)

They say: The leafy village of Coton is a stunning place to find yourself, only improved by the appearance of the Plough, which is owned by Pasquale Benedetto and his family. The kitchen is led by Carl Dempster who serves a menu of modern and seasonal dishes along with the classics many diners would expect to see from a pub, like ham hock terrine with homemade piccalilli with pearl barley ice cream and sesame tuile; chicken liver parfait with onion chutney and toasted sourdough; and Benedetto gin cured salmon with beetroot and fennel.

We say: Lots of love for this smart gastropub which lies just outside Cambridge and serves the kind of quality Sunday roast with all the trimmings we’re willing to drive many miles for. The menu’s full of classics like pork tenderloin with braised cheeks, broccoli and black pudding, and dishes are pretty as a picture too – literally, they’re all over Instagram. Great outside space too including a play area, massive terrace and private meadow, which is probably why it came 4th in The Times’ Top 40 outside dining spots in the UK last year. 

The Three Hills, Bartlow, Cambridgeshire (No. 43)

They say: As well as great food, the pub offers a stunning atmosphere with lots of comfy places to hide out on cold wintery days, including the snug or library which features a roaring log fire. There are also six wonderfully decorated bedrooms to stay in at the pub, with dogs welcome in the four annex rooms for a small additional cost. Meanwhile, onto the food and the Three Hills does not disappoint, serving dishes that have included grilled mackerel with apple, miso and horseradish.

We say: We’ve enjoyed many a lunch, the odd dinner, and copious glasses of very good wine at this super friendly, but hugely professional pub. The Sunday roast is legendry, including the option to share a roast chicken, with the most flavoursome stuffing, roasties and Yorkshires too, all served in the roasting tin– so good. Whether you want a light lunch, classic pub fare like fish and chips or a burger, or something more ‘restauranty’ like beetroot tartare followed by pan-fried halibut – you will not be disappointed.

Click here to see the full list of Top 50 Gastropubs.

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