Josh and Holly Eggleton, The Pony & Trap’s brother and sister duo, were all smiles yesterday as they swept the prestigious Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropubs Awards, winning Front of House Manager of the Year, Chef of the Year and being named third best gastropub in the UK.
With the winners determined by votes from the UK’s top chefs, food writers and journalists, it was 27 year old Holly first up on stage as she picked up the coveted Front of House Manager of the Year award.
In a year that has also already seen the pub retain its Michelin star rating for 2014, Holly has helped take The Pony & Trap from strength to strength since taking charge front of house at just 19 years of age in 2006.
And with news of Holly’s win barely sinking in for the assembled Eggleton family, next up was Josh, Holly’s brother and Head Chef at The Pony & Trap as he scooped the title of Gastropub Chef of the Year.
Receiving his accolade, Josh was praised by Great British Menu judge Matthew Fort for his ability to deliver consistently high standards at The Pony & Trap and still find the time to set up complementary ventures such as Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and the Yurt Lush Cafe situated behind Temple Meads at Creative Common.
But there was yet more still to come from The Pony & Trap and by the early afternoon there were around 450 people in attendance to witness the pub pick up an amazing third place position in The Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub list. Climbing a huge nine places from number 12 in the 2013 awards, The Pony & Trap made up the top three alongside Tom Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers and internationally renowned pub, The Sportsman in Whitstable.
Commenting, Holly said:
“To pick up three awards is unbelievable; at the ceremony I was shaking like a leaf! Of course we’re delighted but real thanks must go to our staff whose dedication and hard work is the mainstay of The Pony & Trap.
“We’re very much a family run pub so this makes the awards all the more special”
Josh Eggleton added:
“It’s fantastic for us everyone connected to The Pony & Trap but I’m particularly pleased for Holly who has been here with me from the start and has helped make the pub what it is today.
“Most people hear about the Chefs at top pubs and restaurants but I want people to recognise the Front of House team in equal measure.
“I’m delighted to get in to the top three of these awards, it’s fantastic. Now we have to press on and improve for 2014.”