OATS, water, milk and salt: it was once a simple start to the Scottish day. But now even porridge is being given a full hipster make-over, with beautiful bowls complete with baked seasonal fruits, toasted seeds, chai spices, date syrup, bee pollen, and almond milk, selling in metropolitan foodie haunts for £6 a pop.

The trend, which is seeing an increasing number of London cafes serving up new versions of the traditional Scottish breakfast, is said to be inspired by Nordic interpretations of the dish. And as all hipsters know nothing is truly trendy until its been endorsed by the Scandis.

Visually arresting bowls – posted on Instagram – often start with “hand rolled oats” for a creamy texture and are artfully decorated with everything from blood oranges, to edible flowers and that hipster favourite, avocado.

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Porridge cafes such as 26 Grains in London’s Covent Garden are leading the way, serving up unusual flavour combinations including lime, kithul treacle (from Sri Lanka), chilli cashews and coconut yoghurt. Another bowl combines poached pear, chai almond butter and Greek yoghurt. Many of the ingredients are chosen for their health benefits.

Lundenwic, another cafe in Covent Garden, offers porridge with fig, agave and chia seeds, while those who are looking for a savory option can try Mapel and King’s Miso porridge with spring onions and almonds. Other London cafes have gluten free porridges while some serve them in a jam jar. Meanwhile Edinburgh’s Marchmont café Brochan is dishing up bowls with cinnamon baked plums, hemp seeds and bee pollen for £5.95, while savory options include black sesame seeds and sugar snap peas.

It is a world away from traditional Scots porridge, a staple meal of the poor since medieval times. Traditionally left overs were poured in the “porridge drawer” to set as bars for later in the day. Variations involving maize and other grains are eaten as a cheap and filling meal around the world from Eritrea to Russia and Eastern Europe.

Tony Stone, founder and managing director of Stoats, the Scottish company largely credited with driving the original resurgence in porridge some years back, said if the new craze helped increase the number of people eating oats – which he regards as “the original super food” – it was to be welcomed.

Stoats was born when Stone noticed that despite a growth in the sale of oats, porridge was not available in take-away form. Along with friend Bob Arnott he secured a £4000 Princes Trust grant and set up “the world’s first mobile porridge bar”, taking both classics and more innovative takes – from white chocolate and hazelnut to whisky and honey – to festivals and farmers markets around the country.

It was a hit. The idea struck a nerve and they developed the Stoats porridge bar which is now sold in major retailers across the UK along with instant porridge pots and flavoured oats. The two expect a £10 million turnover by 2020.

"There are some great products out there," Stone said of the new wave of porridge cafes, "I think it’s brilliant. It’s such a great food to be eating. Some of the [high end] bowls are beautiful – they are like porridge art. They might be marketed for the London foodies but if people want to spend £6 on a bowl of porridge and that raises its profile I think that’s great.”

Shirley Spear, owner of the acclaimed The Three Chimneys restaurant in Skye, welcomed the resurgence. “This is one food item that we have not lost in the sands of time and it seems to be ever-growing in popularity, hopefully because it is very quick, easy and cheap to make, as well as highly nutritious and good for everyone on any kind of diet," she said.

Spear, who has an OBE for services to food and drink in Scotland, claimed if "extras" encouraged more people to eat porridge as part of a healthy diet that was "definitely a bonus".

"A bowl of porridge is one of the best ways to start the day as it is a slow-release food item and maintains energy stores for a longer period leading towards lunchtime," she added.

Michelle Green, event co-ordinator for the World Porridge Making Championship (which awards winners with the famed Golden Spurtle) said she had seen the impact of the new hipster trend through the competition entries. The competition has both a traditional and speciality porridge category and this October will open up the latter to include oat alternatives.

"Instead of oatmeal we may see buckwheat, quinoa, millet or maize porridge," said Green. "Competitors are becoming more adventurous."