opular village pub has won a top prize as the best watering hole in Mid Sussex.
The Half Moon Inn in Balcombe has come first in the Best Pub 2014 competition, after being voted for by regulars.
Manager Micki Strahan, said: “It is my first time running a pub. For me, winning the competition is the most amazing thing ever.
“I’m over the moon. I’m a single mum with two kids. I lost my husband six years ago and I needed a break.
“The village and the people have really supported me with the pub and we have fantastic regulars.
“We get everyone coming in – all age groups.”
Micki also praised the pub’s chef who she called ‘fantastic’.
The award was presented to the pub by Balcombe parish councillor Alan Deardon and parish clerk Rosemary Robertson.
The Half Moon has been a pub since the early 1800s.
Farmers in the area used to stop for a pint and used the pig pen on the side of the pub to tie up their livestock. Any lost animals would be put there until they were claimed.
The pretty pub boasts a warm and friendly atmosphere, attracting regulars from the village and bringing people in from further afield.
It is also renowned for its open mic nights and live music – which attracts singers from around Mid Sussex – quiz nights and special themed events.
Emma Angell, Regional Promotions and Marketing Manager for JP South, the Middy’s parent company, said: “The Half Moon is a worthy winner of the Mid Sussex Times’ Pub of the Year contest.
“It is a prize worth having, especially as it is voted for by the public and those people who have visited the pub.
“We were very pleased with the response which this competition received and anticipate a just as positive response to the competitions which we will run throughout 2015.”
The competition was launched last October when the Middy asked its readers for nominations and then put those shortlisted to the public vote.