Pub food

Pioneering pub 'patisserie' hopes to taste sweet success

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Touch of 'luxury': pastry chef Marco Pilloni of the White Hart/Patisserie Venga
Touch of 'luxury': pastry chef Marco Pilloni of the White Hart/Patisserie Venga

Related tags: North somerset, Baking

A north Somerset pub has debuted a patisserie serving pastries, artisan breads and chocolate in a bid to tempt customers ‘from far and wide’. 

Mike Yeatman, who owns and manages the White Hart, Weston In Gordano, with wife Chris, admitted the concept is "pretty quirky" but added "it’s what we do here”.

Previously cooked for Queen

Situated in a restored outbuilding that was once part of a blacksmith’s forge, Patisserie Venga is being run by pastry alchemist Marco Pilloni, who has cooked for the Queen and previously worked as head pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Club Gascon in London.

Pub customers will be able to buy food​ items to take home, order special occasion cakes or enjoy their chosen patisserie on-site.

“There is something rather fantastic about luxury where it’s unexpected,” Yeatman insisted. “It is hard to meet anyone who doesn’t enthuse about great cake and pastry treats." 

'Beautiful, unique and delicious'

He continued: “Baking is the new rock ’n’ roll and our patisserie will take that to another level. We know we’re going to have to pull people in from far and wide, and we deliberately want an ‘inconvenient store’ that people will want to make that extra effort to travel to because what’s on offer is beautiful, unique and delicious.” 

Pilloni, whose first role in the world of patisserie was at the Royal Opera House (ROH) in London, revealed he enjoys making brioches, bread, doughnuts, macaroons and mousse cakes and described the venture as "exciting".

“Visitors to our patisserie will be able to see lots of tasty and colourful creations, the union of traditional and contemporary pastry, lovely artisan breads, and lots and lots of chocolate,” he declared.

The Yeatmans’ renovated the White Hart in 2015. It had previously been closed for two years after falling into a state of disrepair.

Artisan bakery

Chris Yeatman added: “We took the site on as a wreck in 2015 and have since invested significantly in the building and the business, and have now created a ‘destination’ or ‘go to’ food pub serving the three towns we sit between, as well as holiday travellers seeking refuge from M5 motorway queues.

“There was a demand for a 21st​ century pub​ in the area and we’ve proved this. Now we’re branching out with an artisan bakery and the evidence suggests this will be a winner too.” 

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