A TOAST was raised today to the “surprised” and “overwhelmed” landlords of a pub voted the best in the Chiltern district.

The Jolly Cricketers in Seer Green scooped the top prize in the Chiltern District Pub of the Year – and was also named Best Community Pub in the seventh annual competition.

Landlords Chris Lillitou and Amanda Baker received the Chiltern Trophy and certificates to mark the occasion in a ceremony at the pub this morning.

They were presented with the awards by Cllr Jeremy Ryman, the chairman of Chiltern District Council, who said the Jolly Cricketers was “outstanding in all categories”.

He said: “This is a place people return to again and again and this pub truly deserves to win.”

Mr Lillitou said he was “surprised” to have won the award, with Mrs Baker adding she was “overwhelmed”.

She told the Bucks Free Press: “Considering we've only had it for 16 or 17 months, we were never expecting to win the best overall pub.

“When we bought it we shut it for 12 days and re-painted it and re-did the floor.

“We re-opened on Easter Sunday and didn't tell anyone we were going to open – within ten minutes it was full and it's stayed full ever since.

“It's become popular through word-of-mouth.”

Mr Lillitou added: “It's a very welcoming pub. Everyone makes you feel welcome when you come in and there's always somebody to talk to.”

Prizes were also given out to three other pubs during the presentation at the Jolly Cricketers.

The Hit and Miss and the Squirrel, both in Penn Street, won the awards for Best Food Pub and Best Family Pub respectively.

The Full Moon in Little Kingshill was also highly recommended for its food.