CELEBRITY chef and mother-of-four Emily Watkins said she was absolutely thrilled to see her West Oxfordshire pub voted one of the top 10 best for food in the whole country.

The Kingham Plough has secured ninth place in the Top 10 pubs for food in the UK at the Estrella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs Awards 2016.

Ms Watkins, 37, who runs the pub with her husband Miles Lampson, 38, said: “It’s so exciting. I couldn’t even believe it for a second. I’ve just had a baby so I was not able to go to the awards ceremony and I got a message from one of my friends who works as a chef.

“He said ‘wow, well done!’ and I said ‘well done for what?’ “I was shocked.”

The awards are judged by a panel of experts including food writers, executive chefs, celebrity chefs and pub guide editors.

They said The Plough’s standout dishes included twice-baked pumpkin soufflé with Windrush goats cheese, venison Wellington with parsnip and chestnut gratin, sprout tops and cranberry jelly, and frozen pear parfait with gingerbread and sloe gin jelly.

Ms Watkins also makes her own ice cream, which contributed to her winning.

She added: “We all feel very chuffed to have climbed up the list to be in the top 10, the whole team has worked so hard to get here.

“Every year we creep up further, and to be in the top 10 is so exciting. It’s the biggest leap we have ever done.”

The pub opened in 2007 and quickly gained critical acclaim. It has won numerous awards, including three AA rosettes and being voted Oxfordshire Dining Pub of the Year by the 2015 and the 2016 Good Pub Guide.

Ms Watkins appeared on television last year as a judge on BBC2’s Great British Menu, where she assessed dishes by other top chefs.

The chef said she does not have too many plans for the coming year, as 2015 was so busy.

She said: “Last year we did a huge refurb and launched a new ice cream range. This year we’re taking it a bit easier.”