COLCHESTER pubs are officially the toast of the county.

The Victoria Inn, in North Station Road, and the Odd One Out, in Mersea Road, have taken the top spots in prestigious countywide Campaign for Real Ale awards.

‘The Vic’, run by Andy Pilgrim and Sheena Valentine, was crowned Pub of the Year for Essex, while ‘the Oddie’ picked up Cider Pub of the Year.

The pair will go on to compete in the East of England awards, in August.

If they are successful, they will be considered for the National Pub of the Year, which is announced in either February of March, in 2015.

Alan Wareham, Colchester and North East Essex branch chairman, said: “We're proud and honoured that two fantastic Colchester pubs have been voted best in the county in their categories in the same year.

“It's a first for the town and we're wishing them both every success in the wider regional rounds.”