The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Bluebelles, Portobello Rd

320 Portobello Road
Kensal Town
W10 5RU
020 8968 4572

by Haulin' Oats

Oh no.

One of the most common and, perhaps, saddest of granola sins. An easily avoidable failure right at the final hurdle. My granola arrives in a glass.

The delights of achieving the perfect proportions of granola, yoghurt and compote according to whim have now been destroyed. The Pollock-esque creative freedom of sometimes mixing elements together in great swathes or perhaps making small, continuing adjustments - flicks and flourishes - is now dismantled. Even doing nothing at all, like Fonzy in the mirror, and eating the granola, yoghurt and compote separately, in the order you so desire, is no longer possible.

In a glass you’re operating in impossibly cramped conditions. Claustrophobia rises as you dig down to try and reach an element. Over mixing is inevitable. Your control has been destroyed.

Also, glasses tend to be smaller than bowls. With granola, especially, there’s nothing worse than being under-served.

It’s a tall glass. It's filled with yoghurt, berry compote and then a meagre sprinkling of sorry supermarket ‘basics’ looking granola on top. It reaches to half-way up the vessel, leaving me feeling hard done by in a, errr, glass half empty kind of way. It looks like an agoraphobic sundae. It’s the last thing a breakfast already struggling under a light-weight, frivolous image needs.

The granola has a supermarket basics taste. The compote is underwhelming and manages the ignominious trick of being not sweet enough and missing a fruity tartness too.

The yoghurt isn’t very nice.

My glass half empty of granola is finished almost as soon as I’ve embarked on my cramped spoon manoeuvring.

I do want to cry a little bit.

So much so, cake rescue needs to be undertaken. And, my, does the pear and almond polenta cake save souls. Moist, delicately sweet with a strong taste of pears complemented by a judicious amount of chocolate and whole hazelnuts on top. Much more like it.

Bluebelles does have a pleasing ambience. That cake was really, very good. The waitress gave me a pick of excellent speciality breads to take home for free because it was the end of the day (perhaps sensing my earlier disappointment?). However, the granola was obviously a careless afterthought thrown in to appease addicts, which is so often the case in London. It really is an opportunity missed though, because if you do get it right that granola addict is your friend for life. AND WE WILL MAKE YOU RICH. So, buck up, London cafes.


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