Saturday 9 February 2013

London's best pancakes - a rich treat for Shrove Tuesday or any time of year

The Riding House Cafe pancakes

Shrove Tuesday is just a few days away, so food bloggers across Britain are currently racing to toss their recipe for the perfect pancakes to the top of the stack.

Personally, I'm a sucker for pancakes at any time of year. In fact, they were the subject of my first ever post...which I confess was far shorter and sweeter than those you're now accustomed to reading here!

Whether as a poorly little girl who needed soothing from her sickbed, or as a fully-grown lady celebrating the weekend's arrival over brunch with friends, I've always seen eating pancakes as a treat.

But the ironic truth is that I'm flipping terrible at making these myself (sorry, as if I could write an entire post about pancakes without using that pun!). No matter how many appetising images I store on my Pancake Perfection Pinterest board, my own skills somehow don't seem to improve...

So rather than pretend to be the queen of homemade crepes, I decided to share with you 3 of my favourite places to order pancakes in London:

The Breakfast Club - branches in North, East and Central London

The Breakfast Club sweet pancakes

The Breakfast Club's short-stacks are more all-American than a cheerleader; a huge pile of thick and fluffy batter patties, topped with your choice from a range of sweet and savoury fillings.

I was forced to branch out from my standard order on my first brunch trip here, but I eagerly succumbed to this immense combination of whipped vanilla cream and berries on my second visit.

The Riding House Cafe - Central London

The Riding House Cafe buttermilk pancakes and juice

Shrove Tuesday was first introduced as a method for using up rich fresh ingredients in preparation for Lent's fasting; The Riding House Cafe's giant golden discs would certainly be a seriously decadent final breakfast, as they are made with buttermilk and topped with a generous dollop of vanilla clotted cream!

The best way to ensure this is the ideal balanced breakfast is by cutting through all of that sweetness with a refreshing juice...fearing the imminent onset of a cold during my recent visit, I chose the vibrant flu-busting mix of carrot, apple and ginger.

The Brick Box (Senzala Creperie) - South London

The Brick Box's sweet sin crepe

Practically all of my evening trips to Brixton Village finish with dessert at The Brick Box, so it's little surprise that this creperie featured a couple of times on #Project366. It's usually a toss-up between this "Sweet Sin" (from day #89) stuffed with caramelised bananas or a virgin version of their "Coco Loco" packed with dedicated coconut, both of which are delicious.

My boyfriend and I always argue over which of their luxurious molten Belgian chocolate fillings is best; he opts for the sickly sweet white buttons whereas I'm adamant that the bitter dark chunks are superior...but we inevitably both leave with our faces smeared in our preferred sticky chocolately sauce!

The Brick Box's Goat galette

If you don't suffer from my seriously sweet tooth, I'd recommend trying The Brick Box's buckwheat galettes. By now you'll have realised that I'm a creature of habit; day #162 was one of many times that I've ordered the "Goat" galette bursting with olives, sundried tomatoes, caramelised onions, fresh spinach and melted goats cheese.

Needless to say this is in no way a definitive list of London's best pancake producers. Indeed, if you can recommend any other eateries that serve up superb pancake platters in the capital please add a comment to this post or tweet me, so that I can test them out for myself. Happy Pancake Day!

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