GOOD beer, excellent service and a great atmosphere have helped a village pub secure a prestigious title.

The Saxon Arms at Stratton has been announced as West Dorset CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Pub of the Year.

The announcement was made at the Dorchester Beerex festival at the weekend.

Saxon Arms licensees Rod and Janette Lamont have run the establishment for the past 11 years and say they are totally committed to running a well run, finely balanced, clean pub.

They were thrilled to be chosen as the Pub of the Year by West Dorset CAMRA.

Landlord Rod said: "Given the tough criteria to be recognised for this award we are absolutely delighted to receive this from such a highly respected organisation which makes our training to standards and commitment to the business worthwhile.

"Huge thank you to our staff in helping us achieve this, were all chuffed to bits."

A West Dorset CAMRA spokesman said: "Though only built and opened in 2001, the Saxon’s architecture is idyllic, externally made from flintstone and thatched, complemented inside by a large open plan relaxing drinking area with wooden beams and comfy seating, with a separate dining area to the rear.

"Four cask ales plus a traditional cider greet you as soon as you enter with an excellent gin menu on the bar.

"The pub is family and dog friendly and has a welcoming atmosphere to it be you a local or perhaps someone who has travelled for their renowned food menu.

"A regular in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, which reflects the pubs high beer quality control."

West Dorset CAMRA Chairman Dave Harris added: “Many of our CAMRA members provide feedback on the quality of the beers they drink in our pubs here in West Dorset.

"This year we have received over 5.000 such 'beer scores'. We are delighted to be able to present our Pub of the Year award to the Saxon Arms, which has not only consistently delivered good beer but excellent service and atmosphere during the year."