Gastropub the Pony & Trap reopens under new name

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Renovation complete: Josh and Holly Eggleton at the Pony
Renovation complete: Josh and Holly Eggleton at the Pony

Related tags The Pony Chew Magna Food Gastropub Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Chef

Former Michelin-starred gastropub the Pony & Trap has been refurbished and reopened after a three-year planning project.

The Pony & Trap in north Somerset, which was No.8 on the Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2020​, has reopened under the moniker The Pony Chew Valley under the stewardship of siblings Josh Eggleton MBE and Holly Eggleton and has been labelled a “destination restaurant and cookery school”.

As well as hosting courses and volunteer programmes, the restaurant will be used as a flagship training hub for The Pony Group, which includes Salt & Malt (Chew Valley, Whapping Wharf), the Kensington Arms (Bristol) and Root (Bristol, Wells).

At its heart it remains a restaurant serving Josh’s produce-led, modern British dishes, championing local farmers and producers from afternoon tea through to à la carte.

True to pub roots

The site was awarded a Michelin star in 2011 and the menu remains true to its pub roots – and in its new incarnation as The Pony – continues to feature dishes such as a proper Ploughman’s and ham, egg and chips, alongside a more elevated à la carte offering.

Now, Josh and Holly are keen to use the space to feed the community in more ways than one, sharing their knowledge and skills gained from over two decades in the industry.

Garden pony and view (1)

This includes providing access to food education and exploring ways to tackle food inequality, such as volunteer programmes with local charitable partners. The team also regularly hosts local primary schools to inspire a love of fresh food in the next generation.

Key to their efforts is bringing people out of the nearby city of Bristol to experience a rural smallholding, discovering how food is grown and foraged before it reaches the kitchen.

Guided by farmers

The Pony’s new à la carte menu changes daily to reflect produce and seasonality. Josh and his team are guided by local farmers and the produce grown in the on-site vegetable garden.

Garden Tent Sam Gibson Photography

There are fruit trees and beehives, with ambitions to become a ‘micro farm’ for production, inspiration and education.

There will be a midweek set menu available Wednesday to Friday, offering three courses for £25 and a chef’s tasting menu Friday and Saturday evenings, with seasonal specials running alongside à la carte. And Sunday lunch is available every Sunday 12pm to 4pm, serving three courses for £45.

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