Flippin' ada! Its nearly time again to break out the frying pan and batter. This year, Shrove Tuesday arrives on 21 February and, whatever your crêpe expectations, there are plenty of options for kitchen-shy Londoners to snaffle some pancakes or watch the traditional pancake races. Let us know how you like your pancakes and what you'll be doing in the comments.
If you're after some free pancakes, make a beeline to ONE08 on Marylebone Lane where guests enjoying a coffee or tea will receive free lemon-and-sugar pancakes. Lunch and dinner guests can look forward to a pancake dessert. Yo! Sushi, meanwhile, will be treating any diner who spends over £5 with a Limited Edition lemon-custard filled dorayaki.
Confident tossers should head down to the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race to try their hand (and feet) while raising money for the London Air Ambulance. Hosted by Alternative Arts, the winning team walks away with an engraved frying pan while a prize will also go to the best dressed entrants. If you want an idea of what to expect, check out our pictures from 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The Parliamentary Pancake Race in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster will see Lords, MPs and journalists battling it out in aid of ReHab UK. The Lords will be hoping to win again this year as all parties adhere to rules banning the use of frying pans as weapons and forcing contestants to toss their pancake at least three times to a minimum height of three feet. Dropped pancakes mean a return to the starting line. Rumours that there will be a three-legged entry from Nick Clegg and David Cameron are, as yet, unconfirmed.
If you work near Borough Market, consider signing up for or watching their annual charity lunchtime Pancake Race. Teams of four will hope to "batter" the competition while raising funds for Paintings in Hospitals.
Central London alternatives include the Poulters Company Pancake Race in Guildhall Yard (near Mansion House) and the Leadenhall Market Pancake Race with races also being held in Bexleyheath (in aid of the Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice) and Twickenham.
If you want to show off your pancake skills and stay indoors, the Westfield Stratford branch of Crepeaffaire will be holding a pancake-flipping contest to sort the (buck)wheat from the chaff.
The Water Poet in Spitalfields has a special pancake menu with six options evenly split amongst sweet and savoury. The recipes have a Southern European flavour with ingredients including Iberian ham, ricotta and perennial classic Nutella.
If you have cash to splash, there are some gourmet pancakes at Sloane Square's The Botanist or the Square Mile's Chiswell Street Dining Rooms. Diners can tuck into a refined selection of crêpes including American-style blueberry-and-bacon, the posh decadence of foie gras-and-cauliflower puree or the rather English Champagne and Crêpe Afternoon Tea.
For those pancake lovers worried about food miles, Lancaster London (close to the picturesque Italian Gardens) have a special treat: their menu includes a chocolate and honeycomb topping with the honeycomb being produced by the bees on the hotel's roof.
Kensington's Cremerie Crêperie is where to go for some French-style indulgence with their tartiflettes made with 100% buckwheat Sarazzin flour which can be enjoyed with some French cider.
Photo (c) olliepix.