Woo I did it. Got to London, ready to spend the next month and a half working (if I find a job, fingers crossed). First day in the big city was to be spent handing out CVs and trying to convince any little juice bar or coffee shop I would pass that even though I’m only here for 6 weeks, they should totally hire me. Of course, none of this could be done before having a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Reason #1 why I love this city? The health + wellness culture is so present I don’t have to make my own gluten-free vegan porridge, they actually have places that sell it. It feels so good to not be an absolute extraterrestrial (I’ve been asked so many times by family members what is this guk I’m eating for breakfast). I’ve had to defend my beloved peanut butter a few too many times, people in France and Switzerland are okay with dousing their food with butter but are shocked that I actually eat peanut butter because “c’est bien trop gras!!!!” (“way too fattening!”). In any case, I am now in the land of readily available health food and damn does it feel good. So day 1 breakfast was spent at 26 Grains, a porridge bar in Neal’s Yard, London. I’ve seen beautiful porridge bowl pics all over Instagram and was therefore eager to try it.
26 Grains is in Neal’s Yard right opposite Wild Foods Café, in what I would consider probably one of the cutest little nooks of London (okay I know I’ve been here for 1 day but still, it’s the cutest so far). The walls are painted bright colours and the open space in the middle is filled with trees and benches.
The menu is not very big with 6 porridge options, 2 cold-bowl options and 2 savory bowl options, but we still spent a good 5 minutes standing in front of it trying to decide cuz mmmm it all sounded so good. In the end I went with the cacao banana porridge (no surprise let’s be honest it’s all I eat ever), and a black coffee on the side (I’m not used to having soy milk be an option so naturally always go for black). Chloe had the hazelnut & butter porridge with a latte on the side. Mine was delicious, nice and sweet with some date syrup on top and a big lump of coconut yogurt in the middle making it wonderfully creamy. Chloe’s smelled really good (I didn’t try some since it had butter in it) but she said it tasted like a better version of those Quaker apple & cinnamon instant oatmeal packets (I used to have those all the time as a kid). I saw that the girls next to us had hot water infusions (one had mint leaves the other had ginger chunks), so that’ll definitely be on my tab next time.
All in all, the food was yummy, servers were really nice and the area was super cute. With pretty decent prices (5 pounds for a big bowl of porridge) I will most definitely be back.