A 200-year-old cottage boozer in the heart of the Chew Valley, The Pony & Trap is prized for its bar food, which has been labelled ‘as good as it gets’ by guests, as well as its Michelin-starred dining room – although there’s not a starched tablecloth or fawning waiter in sight you might be pleased to know.
Family-run and dependant on chef Josh Eggleton’s foodie pals for many of its ingredients (note the list of local suppliers on the menu), this prestigious hostelry is known for serving up food that’s ‘a little bit special’. His commitment to providence doesn’t stop at out-sourcing either, with the chef having created gardens on the pub’s land where his team grow much of what ends up on the restaurant’s plates.
If joining the team for dinner you can expect classic ingredients given a modern twist in the likes of barbecued Cornish mackerel, parfait and tartare, cucumber, charcoal mayonnaise; potato dumplings, ricotta, garden greens, thyme, oregano, sesame; whole Cornish plaice, brown shrimp, sea vegetables, butter sauce. After that, we suggest bracing yourself for desserts like the ambiguously titled anise, blackcurrant and cultured cream or the chocolate, beetroot and orange.
If you’re in the area around the middle of the day some of Josh Eggleton’s signature dishes feature on the lunch menu, and you’re more likely to bag a table then too, so it’s worth keeping in mind. We’d suggest a portion of the hand cut chips are a must, whatever you end up ordering.
An ‘excellent’ tasting menu wraps up the whole repertoire in a desirable seven-course package, while the place shows its pubby roots with a cracking Sunday roast. Service is warm and friendly without becoming overbearing, and in the words of one fan, ‘Josh Eggleton has got to be a chef to watch right now’.