Eating Out: 26 Grains
One of the best things about my job is the incredible and inspiring people that I get to meet. I am so fortunate to have built up a wonderful group of like minded friends who are all creating amazing things in the world of health and wellness. Not only are they the most supportive people to be around, but you can always guarantee that when we get together we eat well too! But now I don't even have to wait until we can get a date in the diary to enjoy some of my favourite dishes, and neither do you! This week saw the opening of the porridge fanatics dream, the first permanent 26 Grains shop in Covent Garden. Located in the beautiful Neal's Yard, I am finding any excuse to pick up a delicious bowl of creamy porridge or bircher muesli at the moment and you'll only have to try it once to understand why!
The gorgeous (I'm not just biased, I promise) Alexandra Hely-Hutchinson created 26 Grains after falling in love with the Scandinavian concept of Hygge; which roughly translates to "coziness" or relaxing with friends and loved ones. Alex is a real foodie at heart and trust me when I say she's a very talented chef. Since she introduced me to the concept of savoury porridge a few months ago I've spent hours in the kitchen trying to recreate it! The menu is heavily inspired by Scandinavian cooking using grains, fresh ingredients and spices. According to her site, "26 Grains is all about bringing you delicious wholesome grain based dishes" and I can definitely vouch for how well she does that! The menu is created using fresh, local and seasonal produce which make up an exciting choice of both sweet and savoury dishes that will leave you struggling to choose your favourite.
The lovely little shop is tastefully decorated with reclaimed wooden tables and stools, simple potted cacti, a bar made from the original 26 Grains pop up and functional sacks to store all the grains. Behind the counter, you can spot the girls busy flaking grains, creating beautiful bowls and pouring coffees. The team are full of Alex's contagious energy and their is a real welcoming feel when you warm through the barn doors.
I am making my way through the whole menu - so far rhubarb gets my number one vote but it is a very close call. When I went in to take these pictures, Alex treated me to a bowl of each of the rhubarb, carrot cake and blueberry porridge bowls as well as delicious almond milk lattes and delicious teas. Luckily I had my best friend, Will, in tow to help me make my way through the bowls. Without him, I think I would have had trouble not demolishing all three bowls which I would have seriously regretted in my spin class later that morning, and I think he agreed it was a pretty good job for the morning!
26 Grains have also just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get the shop off the ground. So if you love supporting cool brands, are excited by a new healthy eating spot or are just as porridge obsessed as I am, please check out the campaign and show your support. You might even get a bowl in the store with your very own name on... That's pretty cool, right?! She also has a beautiful instagram where you can drool over the most incredible porridge bowls and keep up with all her news.