Porridge has had a lot of bad press; from Oliver Twist’s hunger fuelled desperation, to Goldilocks’ shenanigans, this humble bowl of breakfast sludge has had to fight against negative narratives throughout history and popular culture. You’ve got to hand it to porridge, it’s weathered the storms of centuries of change to remain a staple of British diets today.
So what is it about this traditional breakfast dish that makes it so resilient to the passing of time? Perhaps it’s the warmth that oozes through your body on a bitterly cold winter morning as you take the first steaming mouthful. Or the versatility of toppings that eradicates breakfast boredom, from glistening honey, fresh berries and cinnamon to thick peanut butter and chunky banana slices.
It’s healthy, it’s hearty, it’s wholesome and it’s literally two ingredients; who would have guessed that milk and oats could transform into a breakfast in its entirety? As well as being perfect for mornings at home, you’d be hard pressed to find a London menu without a mention of this simple dish – here are a couple of my favourites below:
Pret’s deliciously creaming offerings are my go-to breakfast al-desko, and the chain’s monopoly of London means there’s no chance of missing this opportunity enroute to the office. The smooth, thick serving of warming goodness comes with a choice of toppings – I always opt for drizzle of fruity berry compote and can guarantee this little pot of goodness will immediately brighten my morning.
For a modern millennial twist, head to 26 Grains where pimped up bowls of oats are shaping the next generation of porridge. Forget basic, 26 Grains’ show stopping menu is excessive, artistic and indulgent with carefully crafted flavour combinations and exquisitely arranged toppings. Think ‘Nordic Pear’, the restaurants spicy blend of cinnamon, cardamon, tumeric and ginger, that’s topped with a thick dollop of yogurt and a delicate pear arrangement, all finished with a dusting of cacao crumble.
So as a frosty chill settles over London this January, you know what I’ll be eating for breakfast.