A restaurant which opened just 10 months ago has shot to the top of the leader board for customer satisfaction.

Haywards in Bell Common, Epping, is now number one on the Trip Advisor website above long-standing restaurants in the district.

Managers Amanda and Jahdre Hayward say that business is booming - and that the key to that success is fresh food.

Mrs Hayward said: “We are fully booked on Saturday evenings for two to three weeks; during the week is a bit quieter.

“We are doing something different, fine dining that is fresh and seasonal. Everything is made in-house.”

Haywards is owned by Mrs Hayward’s parents Robin and Jane Stokes, with Amanda running the front-of-house and Jahdre taking care of the kitchen.

In fact, the Stokes family has owned and run the 17th century free house which houses the restaurant for more than 50 years.

A stable converted into a private dining room is also available for customers with an original green stable door and partition, seating up to 15 guests.

In October last year Mr Hayward also won Chef of the Year in the Essex Life competition.

Mrs Hayward said she was delighted that her husband’s efforts have been recognised

She said: “It was a great accolade to be nominated and win after being open for just a few months.”

As yet the family has no plans to extend the restaurant business.