Culinary triple threat lands in Somerton

The new venture includes a restaurant, bakery and wine shop

A cluster of 17th and 18th-century buildings in Somerton has been transformed into not one, but three new businesses by former Soho Farmhouse and Babington House director Ben Crofton and wife, Vanessa. 

Set to open 3 January, 28 Market Place is the first solo project from the duo and will house a wine shop, in-house bakery, and 26 cover restaurant with Great British Menu finalist Dan Fletcher at the helm in the kitchen. 

Local producers Ivy House Dairy Farm have been signed-up to provide butter and dairy products for the restaurant and bakery, with fresh vegetables coming from Plotgate Farm, a community farm just over a mile from Somerton, and cider from Burrow Hill Cider.

Dishes earmarked for the restaurant include fallow deer with beetroot, red cabbage and preserved black currants, as well as veggie options like stuffed harlequin squash, hen of the woods mushroom and confit egg yolk. Show-stopping sharing roasts will take centre stage on Sundays with roast ‘Iron Age’ pork chops, and 50-day dry-aged rump of beef with stuffed Yorkshire puddings.

Dedicated bakery manager Alba Lage will be ensuring a plentiful supply of artisan bread and pastries are available for diners (as well as to take away); we’ve already got our eyes on the stuffed sourdough doughnuts with bergamot and white chocolate.

The wine shop has cosy seating for around eight people to sit and enjoy a glass or two, and will stock over 100 additional bottles not available on the restaurant’s wine list. The space, along with the bakery will also be used as an extra dining area when needed.

Speaking ahead of the launch, co-owner Ben 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.”

Table reservations for next year are now live on the 28 Market Place website.