As if the gorgeous image of my delicious breakkie at 26 Grains wasn’t enough to convince you to go and test the waters for yourself, I thought I’d post a quick review of my experience at the porridge hotspot on everyone’s lips.
Since starting out as a coveted porridge pop-up in various London locations, a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year has seen 26 grains grow into a permanent feature at the ever delightful Neal’s Yard, just metres from the bustling streets of Covent Garden.
As a self-confessed porridge addict (I have it for breakfast at least 3 times a week, come rain or shine) when I heard about a new porridge café opening up 10 mins away from work I was desperate to check out the bowls on offer, especially after reading this review from Deliciously Ella – seriously, does that girl ever get it wrong?! I even roped in a colleague so we could go for a ‘breakfast meeting’ with the promise of premium porridge and almond milk lattes, and its fair to say our experience didn’t disappoint.
Nestled into a corner of the infamous Neal’s Yard courtyard the aesthetics of the café are equally as pleasing as the subtle aromas of caffeine, creamy oats and cacao which greet you on arrival. An open plan affair decked out with wooden tables, low lighting and shelves stocked with essential ingredients, the small space is incredibly enticing and offers the perfect retreat for a quick porridge pick-me-up to see you through the day.
The menu offers a great variety of sweet and savoury porridges and breakfast bowls as well as seasonal specials, and choosing between the delicious dishes was no mean feat. Seeing as it was our first time and still well within what I deem to be the ‘breakfast’ hours (7-10am FYI) we both opted for classic porridge dishes
I went for the Cardamom, Sesame and Salted Honey Baked Apricots, Oat & Barley Almond Milk Porridge and Tahini Yogurt (above, bottom left) and my guest opted for the Almond Milk Oats, Coconut Yogurt, Cacao Nibs, Banana and Maple (above, top right), accompanied by the creamiest almond milk lattes
I think it’s fair to say we didn’t talk for a good few minutes, asides from various oooh-s ahhh-s and yums, so not an entirely conducive for a business meeting, but absolutely 5* for deliciousness. The ingredient combinations of both showed real understanding of how best to compliment the gooey porridge to create a dish which was light, rather than overly dense and heavy, meaning we had clean bowls in no time.
I’ll definitely be heading back to sample more of what 26 grains have to offer, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing how the seasonal offerings adapt going into Autumn and Winter. But for now, next on my to try list is the Tomato Coconut bowl – a blend of coconut and tomato Spelt, avocado, halloumi, almonds and sprouts – delish!