Helen Browning's Royal Oak in Bishopstone listed among nation's best pubs

By Barrie Hudson - 16 September 2022

  • Tim Finney, co-owner of Helen Browning's Royal Oak in Bishopstone

    Tim Finney, co-owner of Helen Browning's Royal Oak in Bishopstone

A new book called Great Pubs of England features Helen Browning's Royal Oak in Bishopstone.

The book, due to be released in early October, is by Horst A Friedrichs and Stuart Husband, and lists 33 of what are described as the country's finest and most distinctive inns.

The venue, whose widely-praised menu features Helen Browning's organic produce, is in often referred to as Helen Browning's Royal Oak because its menu features her acclaimed organic produce, is in Bishopstone's Cues Lane.

Co-owner Tim Finney said: "It's fantastic! Everything like this comes as a surprise to me - I never assume anything at all. I never assume we're good from day to day or minute to minute.

"It's very nice when other people, completely out of the blue, tell you you're good at your job."

A spokesperson for the new book's publisher said: "Great Pubs of England by Horst A. Friedrichs and Stuart Husband explores the best of England's illustrious pub culture in all its idiosyncratic glory and infinite variety. 

"Whittling it down to 33 of the country’s finest and most distinctive inns, this book takes an in-depth look at pubs in every corner of the country, featuring striking photography by acclaimed photographer Horst and text by seasoned journalist Stuart.

"Great Pubs of England illustrates the range of pubs we have in England from old-school saloons to modern reimaginings of traditional hostelries and Michelin-starred gastro-temples. It brings together 33 of England’s finest and most distinctive examples, from Yorkshire dining destinations to Cornish beer shrines. 

"It features expertly lit photographs of centuries-old snugs, elegant marble bar tops, rich wood-paneled anterooms and pressed tin ceilings that convey the warmth and deep tradition that’s kept these establishments going for nearly 500 years.

"An artistic statement, social hub, foodie pilgrimage site, personal fiefdom of legendary landlords and landladies and repository of history - the English pub remains the ultimate happy place for those seeking refuge, recreation or refreshment and this book shows its readers why.

"As in their previous collaboration, Bookstores, Horst and Stuart showcase the beauty and singularity of their subject matter. They delve into what makes English pubs so inviting. 

"The result is more than just a travel guide but a virtual pub crawl, which documents and memorialises an important and rapidly changing aspect of Britain’s national heritage."

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