All smiles for Ben Handley at the Duck Inn in 2019 with a specially commissioned Top 50 beer.

The owners of a West Norfolk pub are celebrating being named among the 50 best gastropubs in the UK.

The Duck Inn at Stanhoe was named number 43 in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list for 2021 and rated top gastropub in Norfolk.

The list was announced via a live stream from London last Friday, hosted by Angellica Bell and Top 50 Gastropubs editor Nicholas Robinson. 

The village pub and restaurant first made the list, created by leading industry experts and fellow gastropubs, in 2019 when it was listed 35th.

Duck Inn proprietors, husband and wife Ben and Sarah Handley, thanked their staff and customers for their support throughout the past year.

Chef Mr Handley said: “Making it onto the list of the Top 50 Gastropubs could not have come at a more poignant time. 

“The past year or so has been a test for so many people and I personally can’t wait to see what the future may bring for The Duck.

“I hope we all have exciting things ahead, we have some incredible new ideas and with our outstanding team, we hope to be able to give our amazing customers something very special.”

Mrs Handley added: “This recognition means so much to us all, particularly our team who have worked so hard over the years. 

“We couldn’t be more proud for them and hope that this is now a time to look forward and build on what we have achieved at our brilliant pub.”

Sam Handley, general manager at the family-run business, said: “I have never been prouder to be a part of this amazing team. 

“Huge thanks and respect to everyone at The Duck, and every one of our suppliers and our customers. 

“We have all been through a terrible year and we cannot wait to see our customers again, many of whom must have struggled with the pandemic an our thoughts have been with them. 

“I can’t wait to get back behind the bar and on the restaurant floor and start doing what we do best once again – being hospitable.”