The Three Horseshoes has added Pub of the Year to its accolades. We find out how it’s made the team hungry for more success. 

Just three years after opening during one of the most challenging times for hospitality businesses, The Three Horseshoes is celebrating winning Pub of the Year at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.  

The family-run, country pub in Fordham, near Colchester in Essex, was taken over by Moira Edwards and her son Sam during the Covid pandemic and opened its doors during the third lockdown in January 2021, initially offering a takeaway service before opening fully in the spring of that year.  

Moira has used her wealth of experience in the hospitality industry to completely renovate the whole pub, including the restaurant, terrace, garden and the coffee shed, which also has its own garden.  

The stunning terraceThe stunning terrace (Image: The Three Horseshoes)

The stunning garden and terrace features a 36 square metre heated parasol under which guests can enjoy drinks and dining throughout the summer months. The adjacent coffee shed rebranded in 2023 with the assistance of a grant from Pub is the Hub and is now open for eat-in or takeaway five mornings a week.  

Moira has created a new, raised kitchen garden with a greenhouse, where the team grows vegetables, fruit and edible flowers to use in restaurant dishes. The team recently trained with a local garden nursery to learn how to grow and manage their crops, which are already featuring on the menu.  

One of the pub's top quality main meals – pork tenderloin and cheekOne of the pub's top quality main meals – pork tenderloin and cheek (Image: The Three Horseshoes)

Last month, the pub’s new private outdoor dining space, The Secret Garden, was unveiled.  

This secluded space, which seats up to 12 adults, offers an exclusive dining experience with seasonal set menus tailored to their guests.  

Open for lunch or dinner Wednesday to Saturday, the area is also available for a champagne and canape reception for up to 20 guests.  

With the expansion of the pub’s offering since opening during a global pandemic, it’s no wonder that The Three Horseshoes won the Pub of the Year category, sponsored by Everard Cole, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.  

The pub’s marketing and PR consultant Jo Harris said the win felt “incredible”, adding that: “The whole team were over the moon.”  

The win has already had a positive impact on the pub, with bookings increasing dramatically, including a large number of first-time diners.

Another of the restaurant’s delicious dishes – Dedham Vale beef sirloin, potato rosti, English peas, roasted red onion, black garlic and hazelnutAnother of the restaurant’s delicious dishes – Dedham Vale beef sirloin, potato rosti, Lyonnaise onion, garlic spinach, peppercorn butter and bordelaise sauce (Image: The Three Horseshoes)  

Whether a visitor is a local, a loyal regular or a first-time diner, the team prides itself on offering a personal service and welcoming everyone to The Three Horseshoes equally.  

An a la carte menu is served for lunch and dinner, with a pub classics and snacks menu served alongside. In the summer, a light menu, which is suitable to share, is served in the garden and terrace area.  

The quality of the food has also been recognised by the Michelin Guide, which awarded it a Bib Gourmand earlier this year in addition to the two AA Rosettes already achieved in the previous year.  

Head chef Josh Dawson and his team have continued to challenge themselves, always striving to be the best in Essex. This was acknowledged earlier this spring when they won Best Destination Pub in Essex with lifestyle guide Muddy Stilettos.  

Over the coming year, the team will continue to focus on their social media presence as well as launching a new website. Their hope is to continue to increase brand awareness and expand the customer base across the East of England.  

A cookbook about the pub’s journey and recipes is certainly a hope for the future.  

Reflecting on the pub’s success at the Tourism Awards, Jo said: “With so much investment put back in to the pub, and the love and passion that goes in every day by each member of the team, it is very rewarding to be recognised, which just spurs us on to do more!”   

For more details, visit