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02-05-2016, 17:34
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The Barley Mow, Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire

I recently spotted an article from Esquire magazine listing sixty of the best pubs in Britain (http://www.esquire.co.uk/food-drink/bars/a9866/the-best-pubs-britain-summer-2016/). Not surprisingly, as with most such lists, there’s a noticeable bias towards the South of England and more upmarket pubs, although it does include plenty of good ones.
So, in response, entirely off the top of my head, and possibly slightly under the affluence of incohol, I thought I would draw up my own list. I think there is only one common entry between both lists.
As caveats I would say that this only lists places I have actually been, so doesn’t pretend to offer a balanced national coverage. Some of them made an impression on me in the previous century, but I haven’t visited them in this. There’s probably at least one on the list that has now closed, and equally a blindingly obvious one I’ve missed off. There will also probably be one that you consider to be utterly crap.
I’ve also omitted some well-known classics such as the Square & Compass at Worth Matravers and the Pandora at Restronguet Creek on the grounds that I haven’t actually been there for twenty-five or more years.
Not surprisingly, Sam Smith’s and Robinson’s are represented more than any other brewers or pub operators. There’s not a single Wetherspoons. I rather wanted to include a Donnington pub in the Cotswolds, but none really stood out from the pack in recent memory.

Admiral Benbow, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Albion, Conwy, Caernarfonshire
Anchor, High Offley, Staffordshire
Arden Arms, Stockport, Cheshire
Armoury, Stockport, Cheshire
Barley Mow, Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire
Barrels, Hereford
Bennet’s Bar, Edinburgh
Bird in Hand, Mobberley, Cheshire
Black Boy, Winchester, Hampshire
Black Horse, Clapton-in-Gordano, Somerset
Blue Bell, York
Boar’s Head, Stockport, Cheshire
Boat, Penallt, Monmouthshire
Boot, Chester
Cock, Broom, Bedfordshire
Colpitts Hotel, Durham
Cresselly Arms, Cresswell Quay, Pembrokeshire
Cricketers, Berwick, Sussex
Cross Keys, Chester
Crown & Anchor, Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire
Crown, Churchill, Somerset
Crown, Stockport, Cheshire
Davenport Arms, Woodford, Cheshire
Digby Tap, Sherborne, Dorset
Dolphin, Derby
Dolphin, Plymouth, Devon
Eclipse, Winchester, Hampshire
Farriers Arms, St Albans, Hertfordshire
Fleece, Bretforton, Worcestershire
Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, Manchester
Grape Vaults, Leominster, Herefordshire
Great Western, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Gresley Arms, Alsagers Bank, Staffordshire
Griffin, Heaton Mersey, Lancashire
Half Moon, Durham
Harrington Arms, Gawsworth, Cheshire
Horse & Farrier, Gatley, Cheshire
Horse & Groom, Scarcliffe, Derbyshire
King’s Arms, Heath, Yorkshire
King’s Arms, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland
Loggerheads, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Nursery, Stockport, Cheshire
Old House, Ightham Common, Kent
Queen’s Head, Stockport, Cheshire
Queens Hotel, Carmarthen
Railway, Marple, Cheshire
Red Lion, Dayhills, Staffordshire
Salutation, Ham, Gloucestershire
Snickleway Inn, York
Star, Bath, Somerset
Swan, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire
Talbot, Tregaron, Cardiganshire
Travellers Rest, Alpraham, Cheshire
Victoria, Cleveleys, Lancashire
Vine, Dunham Woodhouses, Cheshire
White Horse, Clun, Shropshire
White Lion, Barthomley, Cheshire
Ye Olde Vic, Stockport, CheshireYew Tree, Cauldon, Staffordshire

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