The owners of a family-run pub in Hornchurch have spoken about their attachment to the area after winning another award.

Alison Taffs and husband Phil Cooke have run The Hop Inn in North Street in since 2019 and the venue has recently been recognised with the London Cider Pub of the Year 2024 award.

The accolade, given by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), was won for the fourth consecutive year by The Hop Inn. The venue was also recognised as one of the top 16 boozers in the UK in 2022.

Alison, who is from Hornchurch and has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said they shared a connection with people there.

The Hop Inn is in North StreetThe Hop Inn is in North Street (Image: Andrew Conway Photography)

"We love being here and serving people in the area," Alison said. "Business has been consistent because of our wonderful regulars."

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Phil, who lives with Alison in Upminster Bridge, added that it was a delight to run the pub which he said differs from most establishments.

"We just really enjoy what we have and want to keep enjoying it," Phil said. "Our pub sits in a very different place to high street pubs," he added, referring to the quality of drinks available and table service provided to customers.

But Alison said it had not been easy to win the 2024 award after a rigorous judging process.

A series of visits from anonymous judges meant The Hop Inn always had to be prepared for impromptu assessments, she explained, but credited the quality of their cider for the pub's continued success.

"There's a lot more to it than just a pint of fizzy, mass produced stuff that you might get in a lot of places," Alison said.

Phil felt that the sociable atmosphere in The Hop Inn was important, with no music and casual chat encouraged.

He said they sought to avoid topics which might cause disagreements to keep conversation friendly.

"We don't do football, politics or religion," Phil said. "We discourage any of those particular subjects."

Alison added that The Hop Inn would provide a haven for drinkers who may be keen to avoid the Euro 2024 football crowd.

The couple said they were "delighted" to win another award and reaffirmed their desire to stay in Hornchurch.