28 Market Place to open 3 January

02 December 2019 by
28 Market Place to open 3 January

28 Market Place, the Somerset restaurant, bakery and wine shop from ex-Babington House director Ben Crofton, his wife Vanessa and chef Dan Fletcher, will open on 3 January 2020.

28 Market Place will celebrate West Country and British produce with a modern European menu from head chef Fletcher, formerly head chef of Michelin-starred the Square in London's Mayfair and Fenchurch at Sky Garden, also in the capital, and senior sous chef Matt Heeley, who previously worked with Fletcher at the Square.

Dishes from the opening January menu will include fallow deer, beetroot, red cabbage and preserved blackcurrants; Cornish red chicken, delica pumpkin and chanterelles on sourdough toast; and pollock with wood-fired leeks, St Austell bay mussels and sea vegetables. Vegetarian options will include stuffed harlequin squash, hen of the woods mushroom and confit egg yolk. Prices range from £8 for starters, £22 for mains and £8 for desserts. On Sundays, the kitchen will serve sharing roasts.

Local suppliers include nearby Ivy House Dairy Farm, who will provide butter and dairy products, while vegetables will be sourced from Plotgate Farm, a community farm just 1.4 miles from Somerton, and cider from Burrow Hill Cider.

The bakery will be headed by bakery manager Alba Lage, formerly of Soho Farmhouse, as well as Ettore Mello (formerly of Nopi) and Arthur Stokes (formerly of the Bread Station in London Fields).

Housed in a collection of Grade II*-listed, 17th and 18th century buildings, the Croftons have spent the last year working with Somerset-based Thread architects to oversee the restoration of the buildings.

The 26-cover restaurant will be a relaxed and comfortable space; while a covered courtyard will feature a hanging garden, a geometric tiled floor, and space for a further 28 covers and passages to the bakery and wine shop. The bakery will provide a further 18 covers and there will also be space for up to eight to sit in the wine shop.

Crofton said: "Opening our own concept has been a dream of mine and Vanessa's ever since we met, and so when we found 28 Market Place we knew it was the perfect space for us. It really has been a labour of love bringing the old buildings back to life and establishing a team we're proud of, so now can't wait to open the doors in January. We hope it becomes a place where you can have a quick coffee or pastry from the bakery in the morning, catch up over a few glasses of wine or spend an evening with family and friends in the restaurant. We're excited to have Dan on board as his food and cooking style perfectly reflects what we want to achieve with 28 Market Place."

Fletcher added: "Since making the move to Somerset, I have been so inspired by the impeccable produce being grown and reared across the West Country. I've spent the last few months seeking out the very best this region has to offer, to develop a menu that lets those ingredients shine. We'll play around with dishes as new ingredients come into season, but can't wait for our guests to try out our first menu which makes the best of winter veg being produced at the farms at Plotgate and Bengrove."

Local entrepreneur, Adam Norris of Glastonbury-based Horatio Investments, is funding the project.

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