A country pub in a small village in rural England that gastro-ports diners back centuries with traditional British fare has been named the best in Britain.

Set high on a hilltop with an arresting view of the bucolic Northumberland and Tyneside countryside in the northwest of England, The Feathers Inn took top honors at the 2011 Great British Pub of the Year awards.

The annual contest is organized by trade publication The Morning Advertiser. Judges chose the pub for its “excellent food offer,” drinks range and community focus.

Last week’s win is the latest title for the Stocksfield tavern, helmed by a young couple who took over the pub just four years ago.

Since taking over the kitchen, the Hedley-on-the-Hill eatery has enjoyed almost immediate success with mentions in The Good Food Guide 2009 as well as the Michelin Eating out in Pubs 2009 guide.

Using local ingredients and regional suppliers, the pub’s dinner and Sunday lunch menus read like prose from a Jane Austen novel.

Meat and fish are purchased from ethical suppliers, the restaurateurs say: animal welfare is a priority when choosing meat suppliers; the pub does not serve endangered species or fish in its breeding season.

In addition to locally sourced ingredients, the pub also serves a range of small-scale micro-brewed ales, lagers and bitters, whiskies and bourbons in an intimate setting with open fires and exposed brickwork.

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