Stosie Madi, joint owner and head chef of The Parkers Arms shares her delight in being placed in the 2023 National Restaurant Awards

In 2007, the National Restaurant Awards was launched to celebrate the UK’s most vibrant venues in the foodie scene. The awards are designed to recognise and reward the best restaurants, chefs, and front of house teams in the country for their unwavering commitment to creating exceptional food and custom for their guests. 

The Top 100 list is split into three categories; one to 50, 50-100, plus a handful of awards for those extra deserving nominations. Titles for these awards include ‘Chef of the Year’, ‘Chef to Watch’ and ‘The Sustainability Award’.

What’s interesting, though, is that the votes for the Top 100 list are cast by fellow hospitality heroes; an academy of chefs, restaurateurs and food critics. Meaning that, if you’re included, a peer (or even one of your cheffing idols) believes you deserve to be noticed.

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Over the past decade and a half, Stosie and Kathy have grown the Parkers Arms into the loveable gastropub that you see today Credit: Parkers Arms

Stosie Madi, joint founder and chef owner at the rural Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland spoke about the praise her and her small team have received for building one of the UK’s most beloved gastropubs. The Parkers Arms has not only received a spot in the Top 100 for a few years on the trot, but has also been awarded 2023’s ‘Gastropub of the Year’. 

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Stosie and Kathy celebrating with their 2023 National Restaurant Award Image: @theparkersarms/Instagram

“We’re delighted to have placed in the Top 100 list of the National Restaurant Awards once again," explained Stosie. "We’ve ranked for a few years in a row now, coming in at number 28 last year and, incredibly, at number 12 this year.” 

Since January 2007, when Stosie and business partner Kathy took over The Parkers Arms, the pair have run a very tight ship, with five permanent and six part-time team members who help prepare and serve the award-winning meals for which the pub is so renowned and loved.

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Mackerel, English cox's, cucumber & buttermilk from the Parkers Arms Image: @theparkersarms/Instagram

“It’s a very hands-on, family business. We pride ourselves on being original and always present.” says Stosie.

“We’re so delighted to be recognised with this and other industry awards as it shows that we’re being noticed and supported by our peers. We were surprised to be included at first, as, at the heart of it, we’re a pub. But we're a pub with a highlight on good food done well. It feels great to be flying the Lancashire foodie flag along with Northcote and Moor Hall.

“We’re now in our 16th year and we’ve had many repeat customers over the past decade and a half. They know us by name and we’re proud of the community we’ve built. But when fellow chefs and restaurants are recognising what we’re doing, that’s such a great morale boost. ”

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The Parkers Arms celebrated their 15th birthday back in January 2023 Image: @theparkersarms/Instagram

Along with the Parkers Arms, 11 other North West and Yorkshire restaurants have secured a spot in the 2023 National Restaurant Awards Top 100, including Manchester’s one Michelin star fine dining establishment, Mana, and Liverpool’s wine and seasonal menu bar, Manifest.

By the way, the number one winner of the award was Yynshir, Machynlleth, Powys which is described as 'the antithesis of a boring country house hotel, offering a tasting menu of in-your-face, Asian-influenced food and a rambunctious atmosphere'. 

North West restaurants awarded in the 2023 National Restaurant Awards Top 100

2. Moor Hall

12. Parkers Arms

25. Roots

27. The Angel at Hetton

30. L’Enclume

44. The Black Swan at Oldstead

51. Higher Ground

52. The Man Behind the Curtain

68. Northcote

71. Mana

100. Manifest