London is a beautiful city but full of tourists.
So if you want to experience an empty London, the only way is to wake up early.
Unfortunately, I’m not a morning person. But last week, I woke up naturally at 6:30 am. The sun was shining so I decided to take a stroll.
Among others, I went to Somerset House, Covent Garden and Neal’s Yard.
And I had all these places only for myself!
In Neal’s Yard, I discovered a little place that looked like the perfect spot for breakfast: 26 Grains.
I already had my breakfast on that day but I swore to come back. And I came back this week with my father.
26 grains is specialised in porridges.
It claims to find its inspiration from Scandinavian cooking traditions and spices and to serve bowls of “hygge”.
Being Norwegian and having discussed the subject with my father, I think that it’s only a marketing approach as Scandinavian food is seen as being healthy.
Let me explain:
1.Scandinavians do eat grøt, even a lot of grøt. But grøt is nothing else than porridge, which is also very popular in UK. So why speaking about a special Scandinavian influence?
2.”Hygge” in Danish or “kose” in Norwegian and Swedish is a Scandinavian concept with no direct English translation implying the notion of “coziness” or relaxing with friends and loved ones. But what about if you come alone in the middle of the afternoon? I don’t think that it will be a particularly cozy moment.
However, I have to admit that the decoration is very Scandinavian: minimalist with light wood benches and tables, and Ikea cutleries and cups.
The 2 dishes that I found the most appealing and that we ordered were:
-the Blueberry Porridge (served hot): Coconut Milk Oats, Blueberry Compote, Strawberries, Almond Butter, Rye Granola and Coconut
-the Summer Berry Bowl (served cold): Summer berries, Banana, Coconut Milk, Cardamom Granola, Coconut, Raspberries and Bee Pollen
Altough I don’t really agree with the Scandinavian inspiration, I have to admit that both dishes were excellent and very healthy.
I had a preference for the Summer Berry Bowl, perfect for a summer morning.
The choice of drinks was limited: coffee (from Monmouth coffee), tea and lemonade. I was surprised that they didn’t served juice but there is a juice bar called Blend & Press a few meters away.
26 Grains is a great spot to start the day and will put a smile on your face even if you had to wake up early!
TIPS: If you want to be alone in Neal’s Yard, I recommend to come a weekday from the opening at 08:00 and no later than 10:00.
2 Neal’s Yard
London WC2H 9DP