The White Horse Inn, Stoke Ash, crowned Best Bar 2014 by readers

Stoke Ash, Suffolk. White Horse Inn Stoke Ash Best Bar 2014 - owners Shane Aldridge and Anne Cronin pictured with staff and their family ANL-141220-212217009
Stoke Ash, Suffolk. White Horse Inn Stoke Ash Best Bar 2014 - owners Shane Aldridge and Anne Cronin pictured with staff and their family ANL-141220-212217009

The White Horse Inn, Stoke Ash, has been crowned the Best Bar 2014 by Diss Express readers.

It comes as a double-celebration for the pub, which last week had its busiest since partners Shane Aldridge and Anne Cronin took on the 17th Century coaching inn 15 years ago, serving an incredible 1,300 meals.

It pipped The Waterfront, in Mere Street, Diss, in second place, and The Four Horseshoes in Wickham Road, Thornham Magna, in third.

Mr Aldridge, 41, who worked as a pot washer at the pub as a 15-year-old, said they “jumped at the chance” to take on the pub when it became available, and thanked customers for the nomination and votes.

The duo had previously worked in the hotel trade.

“We both wanted to have our own business,” Mr Aldridge explained.

“It is quite a challenge sometimes, living on site, and it is a bit of a 24/7 lifestyle.

“But we have enjoyed it and we have met so many lovely people.

“Our customers have been really nice.”

He added that he was “delighted” at being nominated for the Best Bar award, and paid tribute to the White Horse Inn staff.

“There is an enormous amount of competition and I am delighted that we got nominated for it and it is great that our customers have seen fit to put us forward,” he said.

“Really, it is down to the staff who are here because they work very hard.

“It is the staff who make the place.

“People talk about location, location, location but I think more than that it’s staff, staff, staff.

The White Horse Inn, which already has more than 100 people booked for Christmas day lunch, serves homemade food seven days a week and real ales, and also offers accommodation.

For more information on The White Horse, visit www.whitehorse-suffolk.co.uk

Alternatively, call them to make a booking on 01379 678222