THE top quality food on offer across Essex has been recognised with a host of restaurants and pubs being named in the prestigious Good Food Guide.

The guide aims to highlight restaurants where chefs have shown "excellence in their field and exceptional talent" - and nine of Essex's finest eateries have been included.

Dating back to 1951, the Good Food Guide is the best-selling restaurant guide in the UK.

All the restaurants which make it into the Good Food Guide then receive a rating between one and 10.

And here are the nine Essex restaurants and pubs who made it in.

The Oak Room at the Hoop, Stock

With specials changing on a daily basis, The Oak Room restaurant at the Hoop pub is renowned for top quality food in a calming environment.

Specialising in A La Carte meals, residents are always welcome at the elegant, spacious and recently renovated restaurant.

With an extensive menu catering to all tastes and dietary requirements, the restaurant caters for everyone, and prides itself on the use of the best known local suppliers.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 1

The Bell Inn, Horndon on the Hill

Nestled in the historic village of Horndon on the Hill, The Bell Inn has been run by the same family for over 75 years, and is well worth a drive from anywhere in Essex.

Based in a 15th century coaching inn, the menu changes on a daily basis, using seasonal and local produce - all to be enjoyed next to the open fire.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 3

The Sun Inn, Dedham

Situated in the heart of the village, The Sun Inn dates back centuries, and has been hugely popular throughout.

Another historical coaching inn on the list, the pub has been independently run since 2013 and specialises in East Anglian produce including wild game, rare breed animals and fish.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 3

Church Street Tavern, Colchester

Serving freshly prepared, wholesome food, the seasonal changing menu is full of meat from British farms, day boat fish and produce from East Anglia and around these Isles.

Set in a gorgeous townhouse, the tavern has a first floor restaurant and ground floor bar, feeling a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Colchester's town centre.

A full range of roasts are on offer on Sundays, while the stand out item on the menu is steak, aged for a minimum of 45 days and is from rare breed animals across the UK.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 2

Le Talbooth, Dedham

The riverside restaurant is all about "great food, great service and a great location."

Based on the banks of the River Stour, La Talbooth insists it is perfectly located, creating an artist's backdrop for lunch or dinner.

Stand out items on the menu include citrus cured hand dived scallops, poached baby monkfish tail and Dedham Vale beef rossini.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 3

The Mistley Thorn, Mistley

Anyone who has eaten at The Mistley Thorn won't be surprised to see it is included.

A well renowned restaurant sitting by the River Stour, its menu is full of seasonal produce and changes regularly.

If you fancy seafood, The Mistley Thorn will not disappoint with a menu packed full of seafood including Mersea Oysters.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 2

Tim Allen’s Flitch of Bacon, Little Dunmow

The Flitch of Bacon is all about celebrating traditional British cooking, with a contemporary twist.

With a well stacked A La Carte menu there is something for everyone at the restaurant - which prides itself on supporting farmers and artisan producers, combining local produce with European larder.

Highlights on the menu include the Flitch of bacon, Duck egg "Florentine", veal rump and Cornish monkfish.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: 3

Grain, Colchester

Boasting the Essex Chef of the Year for 2017, the Grain specialises in small plate dining in Colchester town centre.

A unique concept, every meal in the restaurant is the size of a starter, as well as being the price of a starter.

Diners are encouraged to order as many as they want, picking and choosing from the extensive menu.

Grain is the first of its kind in Colchester, and insists there are "no frills, just good food."

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: Local Gem

West Mersea Oyster Bar, West Mersea

Overlooking the Mersea Island creeks, the Oyster Bar specialises in fresh fish and seafood dishes - including some of the best oysters in the world.

Cultivated in the creeks around Mersea Island, the oysters thrive in the waters surrounded by marshland.

The restaurant sends more than one million Native and Rock oysters a year to restaurants around the world.

But don't be fooled by the oysters on offer, there is much more including whole grilled lobster and fresh scallops.

Good Food Guide 2019 rating: Local Gem