Marking the start of Lent, a 40-day Christian fast that begins on Ash Wednesday, Shrove Tuesday has become synonymous with pancakes. Traditionally, it was an opportunity to use up all the ingredients in the pantry before the fast began, but now it has far less abstemious motives. Pancake Day falls on 5th March this year, and is an excuse to indulge in stacks of crêpes piled high with delicious ingredients. Guests at Hotel 41 are invited to enjoy the usual cinnamon and sugar-sprinkled classics as well as some less conventional combinations, from lobster and truffle to Chantilly cream and flambéed rum, in our pick of the best pancake places in London.
For an all-American breakfast
France’s favourite street snack is given a New York-inspired spin at Jackson + Rye’s laid-back brasseries in Soho. Arrive in time for breakfast and the pillow-light buttermilk pancakes are an easy bet. However, choosing between toppings, which include caramelised banana and bacon and maple, presents a trickier decision.
For the health-conscious
Vegans can get their pancake fix from The English Grill at Hotel 41, where rice milk pancakes topped with maple syrup and berries feature as a health-conscious favourite. More traditional tastes won’t be disappointed with the plump buttermilk pancakes, piled high with fresh British berries. Alternatively, tuck into a smartly presented stack at Bourne & Hollingsworth. The chic Clerkenwell restaurant’s light brunch options include a savoury courgette pancake or gluten-free crêpes with toasted hazelnuts and caramelised banana.
For continental flavours
French-inspired fare is served in luxurious surrounds at The Wolseley, whose buttery breakfast crêpes are heaped with fresh berries or crisp bacon rashers. Walk it off with a brisk 15-minute stroll through Hyde Park back to Hotel 41. Mamie’s in Covent Garden is an authentic Breton crêperie specialising in crisp French galettes and sweet, occasionally booze-laced pancakes. Its melted Emmental, mushroom and ham galette is the best—if Brittany had a taste, this would be it. Leave room for the heavenly but decadent La Gaugin, paper thin and stuffed with banana, chocolate, Chantilly cream and flambéed rum.
For a taste of the exotic
The best pancake place in London for something a little different is the popular Sri Lankan restaurant Hoppers. Bowl-shaped hoppers—a crisp South Asian street snack made from rice flour and coconut milk and filled with a fried egg—and crispy dosas are the real crowd-pleasers here.
For a special Pancake Day menu
Build your own pancake from a bold pile of toppings, ice creams and sauces, or tuck into an ingenious Pancake Day Special on Shrove Tuesday at Covent Garden institution Christopher’s. Butter-poached lobster and truffle pancakes are the chef’s recommendation, chased smartly with a cinnamon doughnut pancake stack. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Sample the delights of the best pancake places in London on Shrove Tuesday, 5th March 2019, while staying at Red Carnation Hotels’ Hotel 41.