A London pub has been hailed the national pub of the year for its “real ale, real cider and real conversation”.

The Harp, in Covent Garden, serves eight types of real ale and a selection of real ciders.

Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, named The Harp the winner because it’s a “small, friendly, independent free house that has become a haven for beer choice”.

Camra’s pubs director Julian Hough said the pub still “retains its appeal as a true local” despite its bustling location near Trafalgar Square.

Pub owner Bridget Walsh, a real ale pioneer, was thrilled with the award.

“We pride ourselves on the range and quality of our real ale and to be London’s first ever national pub of the year is a real honour,” she said.

What makes a great pub is the ability for it to welcome both regulars and first time customers alike, and this is something it does to perfection.”

Runners-up were Taps in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley, and Salutation Inn, in Ham, Gloucestershire.