There are a few times when I think I'd like to live in London - when I see it's 19 degrees and sunny in October, when there are exciting events and shows, and, like this week, when there are unusual and enticing places to eat. Case in point, the cereal cafe, which is set to open in the city's Shoreditch area next month. Hipster-bashing cynics maybe carp, but I think it's, frankly, genius.
The whole "breakfast as dinner" concept has apparently become a trend, starting in New York.
But cereal-lovers like me have long-known that it is, when you think about, the ultimate meal. I'd even have some as part of my last meal on Earth.
Cereal is nostalgic and comforting - it makes you think of the time when the only reason you bought it (or made your parents buy it) was for the freebie (remember those pens that stamped footprints, hearts and stars?) and you would rummage inside the dusty packet to get it before anyone else.
Being very often lazy, cereal is for me the sensible, cheap, fast and satisfying choice. You can be home from work - tired and hungry - and within five minutes you can be in bed with a giant bowl of food (those 30g serving suggestions are a joke, yeah?) and watching TV: useful and often sought-after in these cold, wintry nights. It is dinner, it is a late-night snack, it is what you need when you feel you've overindulged. Cereal makes sense.
Here then, is my guide to some of the best:
Golden Grahams are perhaps the ultimate cereal. I haven't had them for ages (I'm all too aware of their sugar-laden sinfulness) but given the chance, I could happily eat a whole box in one go.
Lucky Charms are also pretty damn good. Oddly though I'm pretty sure when they were more readily available, when I was little, we used to hatefully pick out the marshmallow bits. But when I was in LA I pretty much had them for every meal at the hostel I stayed at, delighted with the novelty that they cost less than $2, and not the £7 or whatever it is here in American shops.
Coco Pops always had a sense of magic about them - the way the milk turned chocolatey-brown seemed alchemical to my innocent, younger self. The song on the advert lured you in too.
More often than not I actually go for Bran Flakes (well, the Lidl version you understand) - a surprisingly satisfying cereal that belies its cardboard-brown appearance and one that makes you feel you're being healthy. All-Bran however, should only be eaten in the form of chocolate nests at Easter - formed into twiggy piles and filled with Cadbury's Mini Eggs.
The singularly and plurally confusing Weetabix (I call one piece a "Weetabic") is another 'healthy option,' unless you blanket it with sugar, which is obviously the only sane way to eat it. Two little islands lovingly landscaped with white sugar - ready for a sea of milk which you must carefully pour until it just reaches the sugar. Like waves on the shore, the milk soaks its way up the sugar until it is a damp and delicious paste. Timing is everything though, you want to eat whilst there is still bit of crispness and not a soggy brown mush.
Cornflakes, similarly, are better sprinkled with sugar. I tend to then microwave them with milk until they are warm, sweet and comforting.
There is a time though when only Crunchy Nut Cornflakes will do. They need no special treatment - just mounded up in a bowl and eaten with the pretence that you are getting much-needed protein from the nuts.
Cereal does have its downfalls though. There are fewer things as annoying to me as the sound of someone messily slurping on cereal, a trickle of milk down their chin and a cornflake dangling from their lips. It is even annoying when it happens to me and I need to frustratingly swipe at my face to clean it.
We are always left with a pool of milk at the bottom of the bowl too, unable to accurately judge the required volume. Not that bad, but you are forced then to slurp, like the Beast having breakfast with Belle, and the milk-dribbling-down-chin situation is once again a risk.
Imagine the mess with those hipsters and their beards...