Is there such thing as the perfect country pub? If there is, then it’s likely to be the Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, Bristol.
Brother and sister duo Josh and Holly Eggleton’s Somerset boozer has held a Michelin star since 2011, largely due to Josh’s devotion to British cooking and local produce.
Josh has become something of a superstar recently, having appeared on BBC2’s Great British Menu alongside fellow Top 50 Gastropubs alumni Emily Watkins of the Kingham Plough, Oxfordshire, and Dominic Chapman of the Beehive, White Waltham.
Chef-patron Eggleton’s obsession with food is reflected in the Pony & Trap’s daily changing menus. But, despite having won a Michelin-star, the Eggletons aren’t interested in running anything other than a cosy country pub which serves those from all walks of life.
Taking inspiration from the local area, the Eggletons grow a lot of their ingredients in their garden and pride themselves on continuously learning and evolving with the rapidly changing sector.
Keeping with the country theme, when describing the pub in three words Josh says: “Local, homely and fun.”
Holly, a seasoned front-of-house professional, has previously won Top 50 Gastropubs’ Front of House Manager of the Year award for her dedication to making every guest feel welcome and looked-after.
As well as an affordable à la carte menu, which includes Josh’s takes on pub classics as well as high-end options, the Pony & Trap offers a range of tasting menus for those who want a true tour de force from the kitchen.
Menu highlights, past and present, include stuffed Savoy cabbage with puy lentils, polenta and artichoke; neck, fillet and glazed cheek of Blagdon pork with apple and kale; and hot white chocolate fondant with burnt apple and cinnamon.
Josh is known for playing with bold flavours and flexing his muscles when it comes to his cooking technique, almost as if he’s afraid of nothing in the kitchen.
The Pony & Trap has ranked consistently highly among the Top 50 Gastropubs, coming in second in 2015 and fifth in 2016, third in 2017 and second again this year.
The Pony & Trap / CHEF
We’ve been focusing more than ever on the provenance of absolutely everything we use in our dishes