Josh Eggleton took over the kitchen in this two-century-old pub following a stint as one of Gordon Ramsay’s protégés.
His scholarship saw him travel and work in various establishments abroad, where he picked up influences which elevates the food at The Pony & Trap way above the kind of thing you’ll find at similar establishments across the country.
The pub is determinedly more modern restaurant than traditional boozer – comfortably low-key in decor, with light, spacious dining areas and smart wooden furniture – and the atmosphere is relaxed and convivial. Proud of the place’s unwillingness to follow trends, the ingredients are taken from trusted sources and suppliers. The philosophy, which can be found on the website and in Eggleton’s blog, focuses more on quality and strong relationships with those who provide the goods than pandering to anything which happens to be a la mode.
Eggleton’s menus focus heavily on local and seasonal ingredients as a result of this, of course, and his dishes take the form of high-end bistro cuisine with a firm fine dining slant. Well-priced ‘pub classics’ like fish and chips and burgers also make an appearance in the lunch menu, alongside loftier fare like venison haunch and wood pigeon with liver, red cabbage and parsnip crisps, a ‘duo’ of char grilled fillet and pressed belly of pork. Or a robust combination of braised lamb shoulder, sweetbread boudin, roast cutlets and sautéed liver livened up with aubergine salad and red wine sauce. An enviable wine list is complemented by a range of beers on draught.
Following the restaurant’s acquisition of its Michelin star, the booking line apparently rang so much that the telephone system broke and had to be replaced. The Pony & Trap’s crowd-pleasing philosophy of good food, reasonably priced, served convivially works well; here's hoping the successes continue to stack up.
Awards & accolades
The Michelin Guide
One Michelin star
Bristol Tourism and Hospitality Awards 2012
Bristol Pub of the Year