A gastropub owner said she could have burst with pride after it was named among the best in the UK.

The AA awarded Harpur’s of Melbourne four stars for its modern hotel rooms and a rosette for the high quality of its food, putting it in the top 10% in the country.

Harpur’s, on Derby Road, is described by the AA’s guide as using “some of the finest local ingredients” – and almost 200 TripAdvisor reviewers agreed by giving it five stars out of five.

VIDEO: What’s the secret to running a top restaurant? The Harpur’s owner tells Star readers.

Owner Heidi Taylor, who started in the restaurant trade 30 years ago waiting on politicians in the House of Commons, said the secret to running a top-class establishment is attention to detail and understanding what the customer is looking for.

She added: “We have got to be on the ball constantly – we always need to get it right. But also not everyone is a foodie. You have got to understand the area you are in.

“Melbourne is a great destination point for food and we have got some good restaurants around here so you have got to keep on top of the game.”

Harpur's of Melbourne wins AA four stars
Delighted: Staff at Harpur’s showed off the accolade as soon as possible and said they were proud to prove their hard work

Head chef Lee Emerson, who at only 28 has an impressive 14 years’ experience under his belt, said the AA’s award is exactly the kind of positive criticism that kept him going.

He added: “There is nothing better than getting really good comments. You put your heart and soul into the food and it’s great to get that feedback.”

Breakfast chef Kate Freeman has worked at Harpur’s for five years and said the AA’s rosette was a great way to prove how much effort the staff put in.

She added: “We work very hard to produce food to a high quality and it’s really good to have the award to prove that.”