Wednesday, 27 April 2016

26 Grains

The 26 Grains formula is to bring customers delicious wholesome grain based dishes or Bowls of Hygee as its termed. Hygge is a fundamental concept in Scandinavia with no direct English translation implying the notions of "coziness" or relaxing with friends and loved ones.

I've seen so many pictures of bowls of porridge over the last few months so after a Lulu Lemon yoga class one Sunday I decided to join Sarah for a visit (apparently this is termed 'basic' by Generation-Y and is a super trendy combo for a Sunday morning!!). I may or may not (definitely may) have already had breakfast so was really only accompanying but ended up persuing the menu and I was more than a little bit tempted!

Tucked away in the beautiful Neals Yard in Covent Garden, the cafe is small but definitely well-formed. A large counter area and a series of low wooden tables with stalls fill the space and there is greenery on every table. Jugs of cucumber and lemon water adorn the surfaces and even on a chilly April morning there were people sitting outside tucking into famously artistic bowls in all kinds of colours!

While we queued we browsed, and I gave in and went for what is fast becoming my favourite meal of the day: breakfast pudding! An amazing banana bread served with coconut-yogurt and decorated with gorgeous flowers. The flowers weren't that tasty but the bread was delicious and I wouldn't hesitate to order again. 

26 Grains is the brainchild of Alex Hely-Hutchinson. After spending a year immersed in the culture of Copenhagen, she returned home intent on bringing back a bit of that special Danish something to London. Taking a dish as past it as porridge, she transformed it with a little love and care, into something unrecognisably great. The rough and ready decor, an array of kilner jars that look rather like my kitchen shelves and a friendly team definitely help.

The porridge is made from a variety of grains - oats, quinoa or rye; milks include almond and coconut and then there's the delicious toppings: oats with hazelnut butter and almond milk, honey, cinnamon, cacao, a summer berry smoothie bowl with granola and bee pollen or tomato, coconut, avocado and halloumi brown rice bowl for a savoury tooth.

I can see why London had developed a new found taste for porridge, and why it doesn't seem like a craze that'll disappear anytime soon. 

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