The Pony & Trap
The Pony & Trap
The Pony & Trap
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SquareMeal Review of The Pony & Trap

Gold Award

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’.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Gastropub
Other Awards
One michelin star, SquareMeal UK Hot 100

Location for The Pony & Trap

Knowle Hill, Chew Magna, Bristol, Somerset, BS40 8TQ

01275 332627

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3.30pm), 7-9.30pm (Fri-Sat 6 - )

Reviews of The Pony & Trap

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1 Review 
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Paul A

Worth the detour
12 August 2016  
Another pub and restaurant which serves a quality of food way above the traditional perception of what will be dished up on the plate in a pub and challenges the old definition. The Pony and Trap is tucked away in the Somerset countryside and is prized for its bar food as much as its Michelin star restaurant. The tasting menu offered with a choice of wine flight is a good indication of the seriousness of the operation, which is also reflected by the quality of the front of house staff, and although there is nothing staggeringly original in most of the dishes they represent a thoughtful variety and balance of ingredients. A nice touch was a table snack of homemade crisps with garlic mayo, just right with the pre-meal glass of fizz, and the canapés got the taste buds going - Porthilly oyster in a deep-fried Guinness batter with chilli mayo, little Yorkshire puddings and steak tartare with horseradish crème fraîche and nasturtium leaf, and flame-grilled mackerel with a tomato compote which dominated at first before allowing the fish to shine. With the tasting menu we had the fine wine flight, disappointingly no sign of any of the bottles. A lightly citrus-cured scallop ceviche with blackcurrant oil, elderflower nib and, almost inevitably, seaweed, made for a lovely taste and texture combination, though this was trumped by the lobster - a remarkable shredded tail quenelle with superb ewe’s milk curd, heritage tomatoes and toasted sourdough. Next came brill cooked on the bone for extra flavour, sweet confit lemon purée, fennel fronds, seaweed and some clams the need for which we were not at all sure about. The main course, which we found fairly ordinary, was best end of lamb with a pollenta chip, slow-cooked breast and with a red pepper purée, broad beans, artichoke and proper gravy. The palate cleanser came in the form of an amusing rocket-shaped ice lolly made of gin, blackcurrant juice, elderflower and cucumber, the latter rather too strong and spoiling the overall effect. Our dessert was a spiced rice pudding, the spice being nutmeg and the rice being almost a crème brûlée, with wild and cultivated strawberries and a very good strawberry sorbet - an extremely clever variation on the theme. All in all it was a bit uneven, but there were flashes of talent which made the detour worthwhile.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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