An Oxford restaurant has won a sizzling award for being a top rural retailer - despite being in the heart of the city.

The Big Bang sausage restaurant, in Walton Street, Jericho, scooped the top local food category in the south east heat of the Best Rural Retailers competition, organised by the Countryside Alliance and voted for by members of the public.

And it was a double success for the county with the Village Shop at Ascott Under Wychwood, near Witney, claiming the best shop/post office award.

Big Bang owner, Max Mason, said: "We have won this because we support the rural area. This is the way ahead for all restaurants with fuel prices rocketing and environmental concerns topping the agenda."

Sara Rutherford, Countryside Alliance regional director for the south, said: "This wonderful restaurant offers nothing but sausages from the local area, ensuring food miles are reduced to a minimum.

"Food is sourced from within a 20 mile radius, it really supports local farming and production and its carbon footprint is tiny."

Meanwhile, winning the award is a cause for celebration for more than 40 volunteers who run the Village Shop in Ascott Under Wychwood.

Set up by a committee of local people four years ago, it is owned and run by the community and this year faced its toughest challenge yet when the village was swamped by the floods.

The shop escaped being damaged and managed to put together some emergency packs and kept serving throughout the disaster, while acting as a nerve centre for information.

Ms Rutherford added: "Everyone was pleased and proud to have acted as a lifeline in the crisis."

Alan Chubb, chairman of the shop's management committee, said: "This is a wonderful Christmas present."

The businesses will now be entered into the national finals of the awards at the House of Lords on February 6.