A PUB is celebrating after being crowned the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub of the Year for the sixth time.

Husband and wife team Chris and Benice Ryley have been running the White Hart Inn in Argent Street, Grays, for 12 years and were ecstatic to find out they had won the coveted Camra stamp of approval.

Benice said: “This pub is our proud and joy and we’re really proud to have won the prize for a sixth time.

“It was a real surprise because we thought it would go to someone else this year.”

The pub, which also does food, welcomes a wide range of people from ale afficionados to those just looking for a bite to eat. Benice added: “My husband is very passionate about ales so we always get a good range in from across the country. We let people try if they’re not sure because what’s the point in being stuck with a pint you’re not keen on?

“It means the world to us that we have won Camra’s pub of the year again and we hope to keep repeating our success in the future year’s to come.”

The White Hart Inn was subject to major refurbishment through the entire building when Mr and Mrs Ryley took over and is virtually unrecognisable from its previous state.

Chairman of the South West Essex branch of CAMRA, Alan Barker said: “It’s a great community pub that sells a good selection of real ales in top condition and it caters for all ages.

“We use a national standard to score each pub we visit and it’s based on a lot of things - not just the quality of the ales - but everything about the visit right from the welcome.

“The White Hart is a really good pub and a worthy winner of this year’s prize.”

To find out more about the pub you can visit their website at www.whitehartgrays.co.uk.

For more information about the Campaign for Real Ale and other pubs that have previously won the award visit www.camra.org.uk