Making your own breakfast cereal might seem insufferably smug, but I’ve just made my first batch of granola and am basking in the autumnal glow of cinnamon-scented toastiness that’s emanating from my kitchen. I don’t know what came over me: one minute I was idly flicking through Nigella’s Feast; the next I was in Mother Earth, splashing my hard-earned cash on organic nuts and seeds.

Nigella’s recipe is pretty straightforward and makes 2.5 litres. All you need to do is mix together rolled oats, almonds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, along with apple compote (I used Clearspring’s version, which you can buy in 100g tubs), ground cinnamon, ground ginger, a little Maldon salt, sunflower oil, and a lot of sweet things: golden syrup, honey, and light brown sugar. Give it a good mix to coat everything in sticky goodness, then bake it in two large baking tins for anything from 40 minutes to an hour, giving it a stir at regular intervals to toast it evenly. Once it’s all golden, leave it to cool and mix in a load of raisins.

I might live in a studio flat with an overflowing kitchen and a tonne of clutter stashed under the sofa, but knowing that I’ve got a huge Tupperware box full of this in the kitchen makes me feel all wholesome and capable. I’m sure it won’t last.


Much as I still want to be able to get a table – or a share in one – at Tina, We Salute You of a Sunday morning, I must unselfishly tell you how great it is. Islington’s packed with fancy breakfast joints, so it’s well worth venturing over to Dalston (or Newington Green – it’s moot) for somewhere a bit different that serves tasty food in a more interesting setting.

A confession, although possibly an unsurprising one: I’m a butter fan. So the mysterious Tina got off on the right foot on my latest visit when I was greeted by this joyous sight on the communal table:

That's my breakfast sorted.

That's my breakfast sorted…

Happy as I would have been with that, I opted instead for the ‘weekend treat’: pancakes, berries, banana, maple syrup and vanilla cream. And what pancakes! Fluffy, light, perfectly golden, and soaked with syrup and the fragrant cream.

Fruit makes it healthy, OK?

Fruit makes it healthy, OK?

I LOVE this place. The staff are super-friendly, the food reasonably priced and delicious, and I’m reliably informed that the coffee is excellent. All in all it’s a wonderful place to while away your Sunday morning with the papers – just don’t nick my seat.

See how thoughtful they are here? They don't even want you to burn your fingers off.

See how thoughtful they are here? Finger-protectors included!