What: ‘Knead is an extension of Paul Hollywood’s deep passion for great baking’, goes the PR blurb. More specifically, it is a coffee shop and bakery that has just opened at London’s Euston station in partnership with travel concessions operator SSP.
Who: The aforementioned Mr Hollywood has his finger in this particular pie, having put his name to the venture and been involved in the menus and ingredient selection. He isn’t hiding this under a bushel, either: it may be called Knead, but the cafe’s frontage is actually emblazoned with Hollywood’s name in large letters (Knead appears on the inside wall).
The vibe: Being based in a busy rain station, there’s not much in the way of vibe, although the design on the space has centred on ‘a live interactional kitchen environment’ (returning to the press release). Knead’s design is bright and straightforward.
The menu: The morning option of pastries and bacon and sausage breakfast butties is in keeping with the standard train station offer, although Hollwyood has stepped up his game with sandwiches such as pasrami, and harrisa yoghurt marinated chicken. Salads include teriyaki tuna, cucumber, carrot, edamame beans, spinach, pickled ginger and white sesame seed; and feta cheese with grilled courgettes, red and white quinoa, spinach and pomegranate seeds. Knead also serves tow types of sausage roll (pork and chorizo) by the inch - there’s a rather disconcerting image of Hollywood with sausage roll in one hand, ruler in the other on its website.
And another thing: Like Hollywood, SSP is no shrinking violet - it operates more than 600 retail and catering outlets at 20 airports and 115 rail stations, including brands such as Burger King, Upper Crust and Millie’s Cookies, so Knead is unlikely to stop at just the one location.