A porridge bar in Paris? A likely story. But hear us out…
A porridge bar in Paris? Has Oliver Twist hopped the channel and taken up launching hipster businesses? Even with the vogue for single-dish restaurants and farm-to-table grains, it seems unlikely. And the precedents aren’t encouraging: while London’s hit cereal café started a wave of anti-gentrification protests, its version of a porridge café was short-lived. And that’s in a country that knows and likes the stuff.
However, Bol Porridge Bar does something rather different, avoiding the Londoners’ brand of self-consciously ironic nursery food nostalgia altogether. Instead, this pocket-handkerchief-sized space is a dreamy slice of Scandinavian-inspired design, all pastel tones, blond wood, elegant grain-filled glass vessels and piles of interiors magazines. Breakfast porridge flavours are all warming fruit and spice, and can be made with soy, almond or oat milk on request, while jugs of water flavoured with star anise are set on every table. You quickly get the message that here, porridge is a sophisticated lifestyle choice. And you know what? We buy it. We particularly buy it at lunch, where a smooth ceramic bowl of barley cooked with coconut milk and topped with chicken, cashews, carrots and coriander is a comforting, sustaining delight, and a slab of oat-based banana bread comes richly studded with dark chocolate.
Other grains featured include wheat and spelt in different savoury dishes, and you can also order to take away. Fresh fruit juices, a daily soup, beer, granola and brownies complete the picture – and a very nice one it is too. Please, Sir, can we have some more?
|Venue name:||BOL Porridge Bar|
76 rue du Faubourg Poissonière
|Opening hours:||Daily 7.30am-5.30pm|