VILLAGE watering holes in Dedham and Mistley are named in the prestigious AA Pub Guide 2020.

Dedham’s the Sun Inn and the Mistley Thorn, in High Street, Mistley, have been selected by AA’s experts as just 2,000 across the country to make the guide.

Even better, they have made the list of the “Pick of the Pubs”, making them officially one of the very best AA recommended establishments as selected by expert inspectors, reader suggestions and reviewers.

Emma Anson, manager of the Sun Inn, in High Street, said staff were delighted.

She said: “It was quite a surprise for us and not many people knew we were in the running. It makes all the hard work we put in seem worth it.

“I think part of it is down to the fact we have quite an individual style.

“We put a lot of work into the service, the food menu which is all sourced locally and the drinks lists.

“But part of it is the people who work here, they’re all passionate and we have a welcoming atmosphere.

“We have unique style of hospitality and we have some wonderful regular customers.”

The Sun is a former coaching inn and dates back to the 15th century.

It is well known for its food, holding two AA Rosettes for the quality of its cuisine.

The inn’s hotel offering is also five star rated by the AA.

In May The Sun Inn was announced as the finest pub in the county in the National Pub and Bar Awards 2019.

Ms Anston said: “I think the building itself helps. It has been an inn for all of its history.

“Being in Dedham obviously helps too. The Dedham Vale is an area of outstanding natural beauty and people often come into the pub after a long walk in the country.

“There are only so many pubs in the guide so it puts us on the map which can only be good.”

Piers Baker, who also owns Church Street Tavern in Colchester, took over The Sun in 2003.

The Bell Inn in Castle Hedingham, The Compasses at Pattiswick and The Bull in Great Totham are also named in The Pub Guide 2020

The AA’s Pub Guide 2020 is now online and in bookstores.