THE food at a Ribble Valley pub is the best in the north west – and that’s now official.

The Assheton Arms, in Downham, has won the ‘Best Food Pub’ for the North West in the BT Sport Great British Pub Awards 2013.

Now it is going up against five other regional winners to be crowned the best food pub in the country.

Landlady Joycelyn Neve said: “I’m really proud of what the team here has achieved in such a small space of time and I think we have a real shot at the national title.

“It’s great to get recognition for our work and I hope it continues for many years to come.

“The reaction to the relaunch has been amazing and it’s great to get praise for the food that we offer here.

“It has made all the hard work pay off and the award is a great honour.”

The historic pub, which reopened in April last year after a refurbishment, will compete against The Dovecote Inn, in Laxton, Nottinghamshire, The Somers Town Coffee House in Euston, London, The Treby Arms, Plymouth, The Punch Bowl Inn, in Marton-cum-Grafton, North Yorkshire, and The Bell, in Alderminster, Warwickshire.

The winner will be announced on September 12 at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London, at a ceremony hosted by comedian Greg Davies.

Rob Willock, editor of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: "Since the pub reopened in April 2012 it has gone from strength to strength, with the quality of its food, value and its commitment to service excellence at the heart of its success.

“It is a very worthy winner of the award."

The pub, opposite St Leonard’s Church, was first used as a public house in the 19th century, when it was known as the Cross Keys.

It changed its name a number of times before becoming The Assheton Arms in the 1950s. The pub is still owned by the Assheton family.