Pancake Day: The Best Pancakes In London

By Dom Bewley

Pancakes. The simple act of mixing eggs, milk, flour and butter has no right being so good. But here we are. An advanced civilisation that has travelled to the stars, mastered electricity, and created front-facing phone cameras. And still, this humble mix of kitchen basics remains one of the most delicious concoctions anyone has ever dreamed up. So, how did we get here? Well, it's likely the popularity of one Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the pig-out event that preceded Lent, a Christian month of fasting and self-reflection before Easter. This involved using up all the bits and bobs left around the house, so you wouldn't be tempted to tuck in later on. And those ingredients I mentioned above? Turns out they make some pretty tasty things. These days, Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is something that everyone can enjoy. You don't even need to fast afterwards. And if you're in London, you can certainly make the most of it. There's no shortage of pancake places to visit. So, if you're the sort of person who flips a pancake straight onto the floor, or if every bout in the kitchen results in a fire, somehow, then head outside for some pancake-y treats. And you don't even have to do your own research - it's all here. Just for you. So, let's get on with it. Here are the best pancakes in London. Featuring:

  • My Old Dutch
  • Breakfast Club
  • Christopher's
  • and more!

My Old Dutch

Holborn

If you want to be spoilt for choice, and you're partial to a savoury pancake too, then your first stop should be My Old Dutch in Holborn. Their menu is immense, featuring an A3 side of sweet and savoury pancakes to choose from. You could, of course, go for the traditional sorts. Sugar, lemon, maple syrup, etcetera. But, why not try something different? The eponymous My Old Dutch features smoked bacon, chicken, ham, peppers, mushrooms, sweet corn & cheese. Or, if you're vegan, they have a whole section full of guilt-free goodies. And, if you're still reeling from your post-Christmas/New Year's blowout, sample the Lite menu for tasty treats under 450 calories. But if you're going full-fat, go on an empty stomach. Their pancakes are massive. As wide as a large pizza, but a little kinder on the midriff. If you're planning on going there on the day itself, we'd recommend you book ahead. My Old Dutch is pretty popular, and we only imagine it'll be rammed on Pancake Day. If it's not their busiest time of year, then, people are peopling wrong.

Breakfast Club

Angel and other assorted locations

If you're not already aware of Breakfast Club, here's the gist. Breakfast all day, every day. Taking inspiration from John Hughes' 80s brat-pack classic, Breakfast Club has made a name for itself all across London over the past decade. Step inside and you'll see walls plastered with memorabilia from the era. Movie posters, newspaper cuttings and the like. If you've walked past a small restaurant with a surprisingly large queue at 9 in the morning, then you've probably walked past a Breakfast Club. Naturally, they have a host of trans-Atlantic breakfast offerings to choose from. Including stacks of American-style pancakes that are sure to fill the belly of any Pancake Day enthusiast. There's the All American, with eggs, sausage, potatoes and bacon. Or pancakes with berries and even vegan pancakes for those of you living the clean life. Just bear in mind those queues we mentioned earlier. You can't book in advance, so especially on pancake day, aim to get there early and leave a little time to spare in case a queue has formed outside.

Where The Pancakes Are

Southwark

The clue's in the name. This is another pancake house that specialises in sweet and savoury offerings. And the good news is that on Pancake Day they'll stay open until midnight. So, you've got plenty of time and literally no excuse not to go get your pancake on. Whatever that means. You've got your typical American offerings, as well as more unusual sweet offerings like the Banana Praline Marshmallow, which is relatively self-explanatory. And The Hummingbird, which features cinnamon-poached pineapple (yes, that's apparently a thing, and no, we didn't know about it either), lime syrup, pomegranate and toasted coconut. Or, if you're in the mood for another round of Christmas dinner - even if it's nearly 2 months late - try A Winter's Tale. Roast turkey, Brussel sprouts, cranberries and sage butter. And for a few extra quid, you can add a glass of mulled wine and feel extra Christmasy. Nice.

Hash E8

Dalston

This East London spot is another all-day breakfast place. Because breakfast is the best. And that's a fact. While Hash E8 doesn't specialise in pancakes, their fluffy offerings are some of the best in town. This self-stylised 'modern greasy spoon' offers your standard buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, blueberry pancakes with yoghurt, and white chocolate pancakes with caramelised banana. It might seem slim compared to some of the other places on this list, but when the quality is this high, why not keep it simple? Of course, you could always add to your Pancake Day prize with a number of delicious sides. Why not throw in some hash browns, a bucket of bacon, and some grilled halloumi to boot? Simply divine.

Christopher's

Covent Garden

For nearly 20 years, Christopher's has been giving Londoners the sweet taste of American cuisine. The restaurant is housed in what was London's first licenced casino, but you won't be taking a gamble when you check out their pancakes! Sorry, that was terrible. If you're looking for something a little more bespoke this Pancake Day, then Christopher's is a great shout. 'Why', we hear your brains chanting. Well, because Christopher's allows you to build your own pancakes. Not literally. Like, obviously they'll make the batter and cook it for you. No, instead you get to put whatever the hell you want on it. How about spicing up your buttermilk discs of delight with some avocado, lime peel and ketjap manis? Or add a little spice to your chocolate pancakes, craft them into a makeshift volcano, and top them off with a single cherry tomato? You'll lava it. Sorry again, we'll stop. Whatever and however you like your pancakes, you're bound to be satisfied at Christopher's. Book ahead, though. It's rather popular, and given the build-your-own offerings, it's bound to be packed full of evil monsters dunking their pancakes in marmite and mustard. With olives. And pineapple. Shudder. And those are the best pancakes in London, just in time for Pancake Day! Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know below. And while you're here, if you're making an early start to get ahead of the pancake -seeking competition before work, why not start with some great coffee to perk you up? Or, if you want to work off some of that sweet cakey goodness, why not take the day off and burn those calories to dust on a walking tour?

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London Neighbourhoods: Things to do in Notting Hill

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Megan Hills
Royal Albert Hall
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From Nina Simone to One Direction, the Royal Albert Hall has withstood the test of time. It's persisted as one of London's most exciting performance venues, right up there with the best. This concert hall is an iconic building, a true gem in London's cultural crown. Designated a Grade I Historic Building, there's no surprise that the Royal Albert Hall is brimming with interesting facts and history. That alone is a fact. But there are many more to discover. Here are our favourite Royal Albert Hall facts! When was the Royal Albert Hall built? The first year In the Royal Albert Hall's first year, it put on just 36 shows. While it may seem hard to believe now, the venue opened its doors to the public in 1871. However, the growth of its events calendar has been phenomenal. These days, it hosts roughly 400 events a year. That's over ten times the shows. Well done, Albert. Quite the jump. Where is the Royal Albert Hall? 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The dome still stands as the largest unsupported glass dome in the world. They first built a test dome in Ardwick before constructing it in London. During WW1 and WW2, the Royal Albert Hall was used as a landmark for war pilots. Since Albert has such an eye-catching roof, enemy pilots used it to reorient themselves while bombing the capital. The roof was painted black during the war, but it remained standing, resilient as ever. The story behind the roof mosaic If you look up at the top of the Royal Albert Hall, a large white mosaic of scientists and artists lines the hall roof. Major-General Scott, its architect, originally intended for it to be a sculptural mosaic but had to settle for a flat version due to budget constraints. There's also a message written along the roof of the Royal Albert Hall You'll have to squint to see this one. At the top of the hall's mosaic is a narrow white band covered in text. 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Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Steps The grand staircase at the back of Royal Albert Hall originally had a very straightforward name. The South Steps. However, they were understandably subjected to brutal London weather and the wear and tear of thousands of feet. So, they were desperately in need of an upgrade and they finally got one in 2004. Then, in 2013, they were renamed 'the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Steps', and the late Queen attended the naming ceremony. The cost of preservation The striking Henry Willis organ at the Royal Albert Hall originally cost 8,000 pounds to construct. However, the restoration that took place between 2002-2004 to preserve its grandeur that took place between 2002-2004 cost over a million pounds. The 'mushrooms' solving the acoustic problem Ironically, due to the unusual domed ceiling, the Royal Albert Hall had bad acoustics. Back in the 1960s, 135 fibreglass acoustic diffusers were hung from the top to solve the issue. 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Dom Bewley
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Megan Hills

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