The Braintree and Witham Times’ Café of the Year has been announced.

Pasha café, in Leather Lane, Braintree, has been named as the best café for 2018, according to readers of the Times.

In total, seven cafes across the Braintree area were nominated by the public before readers were asked to cast a final vote on the district’s best.

Pasha café is a family-run business with only a handful of employees.

The eaterie offers customers a variety of hot and cold drinks, along with delicious treats and light meals.

The trophy marking Pasha’s success was presented to café owner Hazel Bellikli by the Times’ Paula Lake.

Ms Bellikli set up the business in 2009 as part of an expansion.

She also runs similar ventures in Bethnal Green and Harlow.

Hazel’s son Shifa spoke to the Times on behalf of the cafe and said all its staff were proud to be named Braintree’s best.

He said: “We were all delighted when we found out we had won.

“I rang my mum to tell her and she was so happy. There are quite a few cafes in Braintree so we’re really pleased to be chosen as the best.

“It’s not easy with the amount of competition but we all work really hard.

“I think people like it here because of the customer service.

“My mum likes to talk to everyone and find out how they are.

“It’s a very friendly place to come and have a coffee.”

Other cafes which made the shortlist were Eatons Tea & Coffe House, Mem Has Cafe and the Coffee Tree, - all in Braintree, the Tea Rooms in Witham, Kelvedon Sandwich Bar and Panners, in Great Notley.