THE owners of a village pub say they have been left “thrilled” after being crowned the best in the East of England.

The Three Horseshoes in Fordham has enjoyed success at this year’s East of England Tourism Awards.

The annual awards celebrate the best tourism and hospitality businesses, quality, innovation and best practice from across Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk. 

The family-run gastropub was one of four businesses in north Essex to have been crowned winners, following a sparkling celebration at Snape Maltings on Thursday night.

The venue beat competition from The Angel at Watlington in Norfolk and The Lion in Suffolk to achieve the award.

Moira Edwards runs the venue with her son Sam, and his girlfriend Abbie.

Gazette: Success - Moira Edwards, Sam Edwards and Abbie Frost outside the Three Horseshoes in FordhamSuccess - Moira Edwards, Sam Edwards and Abbie Frost outside the Three Horseshoes in Fordham (Image: Public)

On the win, she said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named East of England’s Pub of the Year.

“We only opened in the midst of the third lockdown, so to be named Best Pub in The East of England is such a huge achievement.

“Everyone front of house, in the kitchen and behind the scenes work so hard, it’s wonderful for them to receive the recognition that winning this award brings.

“We have continued to build the business over the years, listening to our guests and creating new spaces for them to enjoy such as The Coffee Shed, garden and terrace, and a soon-to-be-launched private dining garden.”

The trio bought the venue a week before Christmas in 2020 and started selling food to go on New Year’s Day 2021.

Gazette: Trio - Moira with son, Sam, and his girlfriend, AbbieTrio - Moira with son, Sam, and his girlfriend, Abbie (Image: Public)

The two chefs who were with them from the beginning have been joined by another 17 members of staff, bringing the workforce to 22.

The award is the continuation of what has been a hugely successful year, with The Three Horseshoes already featured in Estrella Damm’s top 50 gastropubs in Britain for 2024.

It also achieved two AA Rosettes within the first two years of trading.

It was one of four north Essex businesses crowned winners in this year's East of England Tourism Awards.

The others were Colchester Zoo with the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, Wivenhoe House, which was crowned the Large Hotel of the Year and Hasty’s Adventure Farm in Clacton, named Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.