In the little village of Wiswell you can find the UK’s number one leading dining pub that has forged a big reputation for fabulous food, fine wine and real ales
Since opening its doors six years ago after a triumphant refurbishment, the Freemasons has established itself as a serious dining pub that has attracted much attention from the industry alongside many prestigious awards.
Chef Steven Smith, his fiancée Aga and their team have meticulously adhered to the ethos of ‘evolution not revolution’, which has allowed the Freemasons to maintain quality and consistency in everything it does. The flawless customer service and development of groundbreaking cuisine is key to the team’s success, and this has been mirrored in their most recent achievements.
Celebrating a year like no other, 2014 saw Freemasons re-writing history by doing what no pub has ever done previously – achieving 7/10 in the revered and respected Waitrose Good Food Guide 2015. No doubt one of Steve’s greatest achievements to date but made all the sweeter by also taking first place in the UK’s top 50 pubs list and being ranked 41/50 in the Top 50 restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland, most notably as a new entry.
All that said there is nothing pretentious about this rural country inn, despite its growing list of accolades, and it is clear that the dishes served rely on the concentrated quality of the ingredients and the expert skills of the chefs, making it the perfect backdrop for every occasion – whether it is a long, lazy Sunday lunch with family, a gourmet dinner or just a good steak and a pint of beer.
There is a confidence on the menu that has enabled the Freemasons to stand out from the crowd and celebrate nature’s natural larder. Over the years, regular events have been introduced and these, as well as the sophisticated, ever-evolving menus, reflect Steve, Aga and their team’s passion for quality produce and service.
The pub retains its welcoming atmosphere and traditional roots, and the introduction of the Freemasons’ ‘Before Our Time’ evening has proved a successful reminder of the traditions that came before Steve’s highly acclaimed gourmet menus.
‘Chippy Tea’, a contemporary version of the nostalgic classic, has proved outstandingly popular and is just one example of the team’s ability to make ordinary food extraordinary.
The Seasonal Sunday Lunch and Early Supper menus mirror all that is good about the season, as well as Game Week, which is a celebration of our rural heritage.
The brand new ‘Gold’ lunch and dinner menu launches at the Freemasons in June and will run until August. With a choice of two or three seasonal courses, this menu offers incredible value for money with no compromise whatsoever on quality – if you’ve never eaten at the Freemasons before, this is a perfect introduction.
With all of these consistent components, the very best seasonal ingredients, attention to detail and exceptional gastronomic offering in a homely setting, the Freemasons has ‘ploughed its own furrow’ and forged a unique identity.
It has evolved into one of the UK’s best dining pubs, with national recognition – in November 2013, the Freemasons was ranked 81 in the Sunday Times Top 100, as a new entry, and the only ‘pub’ in the country to feature in this prestigious list.
The Freemasons excels at serving seasonal ingredients with a flourish of originality, enabling customers to enjoy a truly unique dining experience. A quote from Harden’s 2014 guide serves as testament to this, explaining that while the Freemasons represents itself as a ‘country pub’, its main competition is with the most highly acclaimed restaurants on a national level.
Those already familiar with the pub return time and time again to experience the relaxed ambience and wow-factor food that has become the Freemasons’ hallmark. Tucked away in Wiswell, in just six short years the Freemasons has earned a big reputation among food connoisseurs nationwide.