While breakfast places in the North, even very good ones, still offer the same fry-up, sometimes in a vegetarian version, in London there seem to be lots of good places to get porridge. I tried two near Covent Garden. Kopapa is a cafe that serves posh food in the evenings; in the mornings they serve fresh orange juice and porridge with blueberry conserve and crème fraiche. The coffee is particularly good (but it's just up the street from the great Monmouth Coffee, so the competition is strong around here).
A bit further south, Bill's is in St. Martin's Courtyard, a new development off Long Acre and St. Martin's that is disconcertingly like a shopping mall, surrounding you with brands. It is decorated in retro-grocery-store, with jars and tines on shleves going up two storeys. In keeping with the decor, the container for the cutlery in the middle of the table is an old tin of Irish pinhead oatmeal. But that is not what they use for their porridge; the Bill's cookbook, for sale in the shop, says to use instant oatmeal, such as Ready Brek. Maybe I've been unfair to instant oatmeal. If that's what they used (the waiter wouldn't say) it was still pretty good, much more solid and gummy than what I make, but still welcome. It was topped with bananas, honey and (the USP) toasted hazelnuts. Note the sprig of mint, and the way the honey is drizzled on, not mixed in.
What the Oxford cafe in the last post and these two have in common is that there is more attention to the topping than to the oatmeal. In both places, the poridge took about ten minutes to make. That probably makes sense; only a big place like the Wolseley or a hotel that makes a feature of their porridge will have enough call for it to have a pot that has cooked slowly to use regular rolled oats or pinhead oats cooked for a long time, or pinhead oats soaked overnight, to make a smooth, creamy porridge. If the oatmeal is all the same, then the way to make it different is with a topping a bit more elaborate (or fattening) or a presentation a bit more careful than one would have at home.