After my visit to Mayfield Station I remembered I wasn’t far from Pollen Bakery where they sell delicious sourdough breads and Viennoiserie pastries. It was about 12 30 and I expected it to be closed. They do sell out really fast. It’s in an arch underneath the massive viaducts that take the trains out of Piccadilly Station. It’s not a place of beauty and the routes you take under the station are dank and I wouldn’t wander down there late at night. Even on a sunny Saturday afternoon they have an edge to them and people hurry through. Cool, little businesses like Pollen are setting up here but it has a way to go before it joins the Northern Quarter and Piccadilly Basin as places to hang out. 

To my delight, Pollen was still open and had some things left. The bread was thin on the ground but I managed to secure a sourdough baguette, some salted caramel brownies and a couple of their delicious vanilla custard tarts that are so popular in Lisbon in Portugal. 

Pollen is found in an arch at No2 Sheffield St. Walking back towards the busier parts of town, the arch at No13 Sheffield St. was buzzing. I’m usually there early for Pollen and this arch has never been open at that time of day. Investigating, I found it was the Barrel Store Tap Room for the Cloudwater Brewery that brews artisan beers in the city. To say that their beers are good is an understatement. They have been voted the 5th best brewery in the world! 

They make their beers a couple of hundred metres away on the Piccadilly Trading Estate. And they store the barrels of beer they lovingly make at the Barrel Store, here at No13 Sheffield St. On Friday (1600-2100), Saturday (1200-2000) and Sunday (1200-1700) they open the store as a kind of pop up bar, or tap, so people can sample and buy their beers.

I was driving later so I couldn’t have any but the young woman I got talking to poured me a tiny taste of two of them. One, name has gone, smelled of fruit and tasted of an India Pale Ale. The second, called Mormora Sour was a revelation. Utterly delicious, it smelled of freshly brewed coffee and had a delicious fruity aftertaste. I bought some to take home. I noticed that the brewer does tours. I’ll have to book myself on one.

Here’s my haul from Pollen and Soundwater Brewery.

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