In the picturesque 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, great beer with friendly and attentive service
Since opening its doors nine years ago after a triumphant refurbishment, the Freemasons has established itself as a dining pub that has attracted much attention from the general public and the hospitality industry resulting in the winning of many prestigious awards.
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 ground-breaking cuisine is key to the team’s success, and this has been mirrored in their most recent achievements – all whilst sticking true to its pub roots.
Celebrating a year like no other, 2015 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 again in both 2016 and 2017 cementing their place as the best pub around. This is undoubtedly one of Steve’s greatest achievements to date but was made all the sweeter by also taking first place in the UK’s top 50 pubs list for two consecutive years and being ranked 41/50 (ahead of Tom Kerridge’s famous 2* restaurant The Hand and Flowers) in the Top 50 restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland.
The successes of 2017 continued with the pub being crowned the AA Restaurant of the Year.
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 priced at just £35 for three delicious courses, 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 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’ ‘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 regular evenings with guest chefs.
The brand new seasonal lunch and early supper menu will run all summer 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.
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 2018 guide serves as testament to this: “The pub has been unfairly overlooked by Michelin and serves some of the finest food in the Ribble Valley – it’s dining of a consistently high standard.”
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 nine short years the Freemasons has earned a big reputation among food connoisseurs nationwide.
Steven Smith Chef & Managing Director
01254 822218 ext 2 / 07794 408887