A PUB which has been at the heart of a rural Dorset community since the 17th century has won a coveted award.

The White Hart pub in Bishops Caundle, near Sherborne, has announced it has been recognised as a 2021 Travellers’ Choice award winner for restaurants.

The achievement celebrates businesses that consistently deliver fantastic experiences to diners around the globe - having earned great traveller reviews on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months.

Dorset Echo: The White Hart, in Main Road. Picture: Google MapsThe White Hart, in Main Road. Picture: Google Maps

Rachel Paull, co-owner of The White Hart, in Main Road, said: "We were delighted to receive an email from Tripadvisor saying ‘you’re in the top 10 per cent of restaurants worldwide.

"In this particularly challenging year, you stood out by providing great service and experiences to your guests'.

"It certainly has been a challenging year – for all pubs and the hospitality industry in general and of course very many other businesses.

"So this award has given us a welcome boost and is hugely encouraging.

"We have been working hard to provide a friendly, welcoming and safe environment as well as high quality food and great local ales and ciders.

"We offer a unique combination of authentic curries and homemade English pub food.

"We consider ourselves a traditional village pub - rather than a restaurant - and anyone popping by for a few pints will get the same warm welcome as diners.

"As a village pub, this award means so much to us – to be rated along with high class restaurants.

"Thank you to our wonderful customers for these reviews, and of course to our dedicated and loyal staff – we have a great little team."

Dorset Echo: (LtR) Ade & Sarah Nubeebuckus Jones, Scott Wareham, Rachel & Roger Paull(LtR) Ade & Sarah Nubeebuckus Jones, Scott Wareham, Rachel & Roger Paull

Since the 1600s, The White Hart pub has provided a focus for the community of Bishops Caundle – a small thriving village in north Dorset, close to the historic market towns of Sherborne and Sturminster Newton.

Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor, said: "Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards.

"The Travellers’ Choice Awards highlight the places that are consistently excellent… Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience you provided guests in the midst of a pandemic."