A "traditional" countryside pub is thankful to its customers after taking home pub of the year.

This year's winners of The Gazette's Pub of the Year 2019 has been revealed as The Ship Inn in Maldon Road, Tiptree.

Owner, Michael Beard expressed his happy surprise when his pub was selected as the pick of the bunch in North Essex.

Mr Beard said: "We are so overwhelmed, it is all down to the customers who supported us.

"We did not think we would win, but the customers voted for us and we could not be more thankful.

"We did win another competition with The Gazette around five years ago, and that was also down to the customers writing in and supporting us.

"They keep coming which is a good thing and our regulars are happy, so it's great."

Mr Beard feels the result is due to the fact the pub has remained a traditional pub that makes "good home cooking".

The pub has visitors from all around the county, but they still have a loyal group of regulars that always support them.

So far though, plans to celebrate are on hold.

Mr Beard added: "We are thinking about having a big celebration later in the summer, around the time of August bank holiday.

"We want to do it once we can have all the staff together for the event."