Flippin’ heck, it’s Pancake Day tomorrow… Pun aside, Shrove Tuesday marks the final day before Lent and, while you may not be observing the forty-day fast, it does give you a great excuse to gorge yourself silly for one day only. Now we’ve got that brief history lesson out of the way, let’s look at some of the best places in North and Central London to grab yourself a stack of the sweet stuff (as someone who rarely ventures south of the river, there are probably more qualified pancake connoisseurs you can call on for the South London list, and I’ve only covered sweet pancakes as anyone who goes for savoury under no coercion just can’t be trusted…)
The Ivy Soho Brasserie
The Ivy has always delivered when it comes to a solid breakfast or brunch, and their Soho branch has all options covered. If you can tempt yourself away from the plethora of very tasty egg dishes, indulge in some of their Buttermilk Pancakes tomorrow morning. The Greek yoghurt and lemon dressing is a great twist on the classic and really cuts through the sweetness.
Tucked away on England’s Lane in Belsize Park, you’ll find Chamomile Café which is a very popular haunt for the Primrose Hill locals. Run by the most lovely couple, both the breakfast and lunch menus are full of tasty healthy options that are all worth a try on any other day. There’s no need to book and their thick pancakes are almost like a thick cake. They come drizzled with maple syrup and topped with juicy strawberries, but I highly recommend ordering a side of bacon to really finish off this plate.
A staple in the London culinary scene, and also a purveyor of some very good pancakes. Chances are that the tables are all booked up for breakfast tomorrow, but if you can nab yourself a walk-in or one of the tables outside, it is the perfect day to try their Buttermilk Pancakes. You will find blueberries on a lot of pancakes tomorrow, but their choice of crème fraiche as an accompanying taste keeps this dish light and, by taste rather than nutritional value, healthy.
La Creperie de Hampstead
Last, but by no means least, is the humble creperie in the above photos. Admittedly this is another choice that may be bias of me as someone who has resides in nearby Belsize Park, but this quaint Hampstead installation has been on the map for more than 35 years, yet still has locals and tourists alike queuing for their share of sweet treats. It’s amazing how consistent the crepes are from this two-man van and customers genuinely come from far and wide to this North London institution. The Nutella and Banana is an absolute winner and will set you back just over a fiver. Be prepared to eat on the go as there are no tables and chairs.