Acclaimed Michelin-starred gastropub The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, Somerset has closed but owner Josh Eggleton has big plans for it and two other new venues in 2021.
When it reopens in the spring under a different name, the building will house a Community Interest Company offering baking, fermenting and foraging courses, according to a report in The Guardian.
Eggleton hopes to offer volunteering opportunities in its gardens with lunch and veg boxes for helpers. People who cannot afford the “refined gastronomy” being served up can eat for free at one of three weekly communal dinners.
The Pony & Trap was opened 15 years ago by chef Josh Eggleton and his sister Holly. It went on to win a Michelin star in 2011, which will now be given up, as well as numerous awards.
Josh said to The Guardian: “It’s a Robin Hood thing. We’re going to charge the rich and give it back to people who need it. That’s the way the world should work: redistribution of wealth. Dining won’t be a simple transaction of ‘pay us loads of money and we bend over backwards’. That’s the old way. I want my staff to enjoy it. It’ll be like coming to my house. The kitchen will be integrated into the restaurant and people can walk in and watch me. I’m not coming to the table to dress the plate.”
Before the relaunch of the Pony & Trap in its new socially-conscious guise, Josh and his sister Holly will open The Pony North Street in Ashton Gate, Bristol. Located by Bristol Beer Factory’s taproom on North street, it will serve “modern British bistro classics”, many with locally-sourced ingredients including whole turbot, southern fired confit duck leg, salt-baked celeriac with mushroom soy, artichoke and crispy root veg, Chew Valley trout and scrambled eggs, and a Sunday roast.
The restaurant’s website says it will be “full of all the charm, passion and deliciousness from of the original The Pony & Trap, but this time in Bristol”. Originally set to open in January, the new restaurant will now wait for the end of the third lockdown.
The Eggletons are also planning to launch The Queen Arms, a new pub in Chew Magna which will be about “sharp pub grub and Sunday roasts”. Again, the opening date will depend on the end of the current lockdown.