Much has changed in Shrewsbury’s speciality coffee scene since my previous visit almost exactly a year ago, including the closure of The Colonel’s Son and the evolution of The Condor/English Bridge Coffee. Into this mix comes the latest addition, Pont, on Wyle Cop, a lovely little bakery, which opened two months ago, specialising in patisserie.
Pont’s owner, Lauren, can be found in the bakery behind the counter from the small hours of the morning onwards, where she and her team turn out an array of pastries, cakes and a limited selection of loaves and sandwiches. There’s also coffee, from old friends Hundred House Coffee, whose Bon Bon blend and Colombian decaf are available via a concise, espresso-based menu. Although primarily serving the to-go market (so don’t forget to bring your own cup), Pont has an outside table for two in front of the window to the left of the door.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
On the northern side of the Wyle Cop, just before the English Bridge on your way out of Shrewsbury, Pont is on the ground floor of an old, three-storey terrace, occupying a small unit at the left-hand end, just four doors down from The Condor. The layout is simple, with the door on the right and two tall, single windows to the left. In a neat, symmetrical touch, there’s another door on the left, which leads to the two flats above. This is all recessed slightly from the street, leaving space for a sheltered, two-person round table standing on the tiled threshold in front of the windows, Pont’s only seating.
Inside, the layout is equally simple, with a long counter running the width of Pont. In front of you, as you enter, is a rack with loafs and pastries, followed by a large, handsome display case with the bulk of the cakes/pastries. Finally, on the left-hand side, is the till. An extension of the counter runs along the left-hand wall, all the way to the windows at the front. You’ll find the retail selection here, including bags of coffee from Hundred House, hot chocolate, flour and a small range of merchandising.
The smart coffee menu, all gold lettering on a wooden board, is on the wall at the counter’s left-hand end, the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine and its grinders immediately to the right, positioned so that, having ordered, you can stand at the counter and watch your coffee being made. The remainder of the space is occupied by the bakery, including the preparation areas and ovens, clearly visible behind the counter, stretching all the way to the back door.
Although I’ve described Pont as a bakery, it specialises in patisserie, with some lovely looking croissants, pain au chocolate, brownies and cheesecake. You can find the full list, which changes on a regular basis, inside a glass-fronted noticeboard to the right of the door. There’s also a limited bread selection, with Pont selling focaccia by either the loaf or the slice. Even better, from 11 o’clock onwards, there’s a choice of two sandwiches, one meat-based and one vegetarian.
I visited on a Sunday lunchtime, reluctantly declining the tempting array of pastries and cakes in favour of the cheese ploughman’s on focaccia, an interesting combination of textures, the bread in particular being lovely and fresh. I paired this with a flat white in my HuskeeCup, the milk combining with the Bon Bon blend for a sweet, full-bodied coffee. I was also gifted a chocolate cookie when I left, which I enjoyed on the train on my way to Birmingham. This had a wonderful, rich texture and was the perfect send off.
|40 WYLE COP • SHREWSBURY • SY1 1XF|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Hundred House (espresso only)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Cakes, Sandwiches|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||08:00 – 16:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||09:00 – 15:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||13th August 2023|
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