The Pony Group reinvents flagship restaurant

Siblings Josh Eggleton MBE and Holly Eggleton have reimagined a former Michelin-starred venue into a destination restaurant and cookery school.

The Pony & Trap in North Somerset has been redesigned inside and out following a three-year planning and renovation project, reopening as The Pony Chew Valley. Boasting panoramic views over the hills surrounding Bristol and Bath, The Pony now comprises ornamental and edible gardens, beehives and orchards, on top of the restaurant and culinary school, with further plans to launch wellness experiences.

On top of 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, Wapping Wharf), The Kensington Arms (Bristol), and Root (Bristol, Wells). 

The restaurant

The Pony & Trap, the venue's former iteration, was awarded a Michelin star in 2011 and consistently listed in the UK's top 50 Gastropubs at the movement's peak. The menu has always strived to stay true to the restaurant's pub roots, with The Pony still offering classics such as Ploughman's, and ham, egg and chips.

Other example dishes include wild garlic spelt risotto with hazelnuts and Somerset pecorino; grilled leeks with St Austell mussels and a warm vinaigrette; glazed ham with St Ewe eggs, garden piccalilli and hand-cut chips; Cornish cod with pickled cockles, sea herbs and caramelised whey sauce; New Manor Farm lamb with mint sauce and black garlic; Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout tiramisu; and vanilla set cream with Cheddar strawberry jelly and burnt meringue. 

A midweek set menu is available Wednesday–Friday from 12–2pm and 5.30–6.30pm, offering three courses for £25.

A chef's tasting menu is offered Friday and Saturday evenings, with seasonal specials running alongside à la carte. Sunday lunch is served every week from 12–4pm, with three courses available for £45. 

The restaurant and smallholding sit among the rolling hills of Somerset

The à la carte offering changes daily to reflect produce and seasonality, steered by local farmers and produce grown in the on-site garden. The goal is to become a 'micro-farm' for production, inspiration and education. 

The Eggletons 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. This includes providing access to food education and exploring ways to tackle food inequality, such as volunteer programmes with local charity 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. 

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