Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the day that precedes Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove Tuesday comes from 'shive,' which means absolution for sins by doing penance. It's steeped in religious history and has everything to do with feasting before fasting during the Lenten Season.
But Why Pancakes?
In the past families would rid the house of such tempting ingredients, such as eggs, sugar, and milk to prepare for the 40 days of Lent. Not wanting to be wasteful they would serve up a filling, festive meal and pancakes were the perfect way to do this.
Right, Where to Eat?
Pancakes in the United Kingdom are quite different than those found in The United States. Often times resembling crepes, pancakes are slathered with chocolate spread and topped with various fruits and nuts. It can be difficult for an American girl to find the perfect pancake, here are my favourite spots for Pancake Day or any day.
The Breakfast Club
If you want American style pancakes and don't mind a queue this is the place for you.
The Breakfast Club is a small chain dinner with locations in Soho, Southwark and Canary Wharf.
They provide traditional American dinner food with a slight British twist. You can expect your pancakes to be fluffy, light and stacked high. Go for the pancakes with berries or go big and get the salted caramel banoffee pancakes. Either way, you wont be disappointed.
Looking for a filling pancake but want something a little less traditional, then head to Granger & Co. with locations in Chelsea, Notting Hill, Clarkenwell, and King's Cross you'll be able to fill up any day of the week.
With a full menu that will meet many picky eaters, Granger & Co is popular at any time of day, any time of year. Ricotta hotcakes served with banana and honeycomb butter will definitely tick all the pancake day boxes
The Book Club
Located in Shoreditch, The Book Club is a hip eatery that often reminds me of my age. Head here if you want a traditional thin and slightly crispy pancakes that are over the top.
Pancakes, here, are served with caramel sauce bananas, fresh berries, blossom honey & berry compote. If you want to try something a little more decadent and exclusive to Pancake Day order the espresso-martini pancakes. Slathered with Kahlua cream and topped with vodka and chocolate coffee beans these pancakes are not for the faint of heart.
So where will I eat this year.
I'll be seated at my dinning table where my husband will play chef and delight the kids by flipping pan sized cakes into the air while I cringe at how close they come to hitting the ceiling. He and I will guestimate how many pancakes our son will eat this time, while our daughter will complain about her pancakes being too dark or too light. We will pass around a £7 bottle of Aunt Jemima and I'll watch in horror as both husband and son take a £2 pour. I will remind my children to 'use your fork' and get up half way though the meal to hand out napkins all while I shake my head saying "what do you wipe your hands on? DON'T ANSWER THAT!" Its not just a Shrove Day thing for us but a weekly ritual and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Photo credit: The Breakfast Club, Grabger & Co, the Book Club