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Flip Out on Shrove Tuesday at These Three London Happenings

March 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM | by | ()

While in the States the eve of Lent is marked with a profusion of beads, booze and general debauchery, our cross-the-pond counterparts celebrate in a considerably innocent fashion. The English observe Shrove Tuesday, not Fat Tuesday, choosing instead to indulge in copious pancake consumption rather than Girls Gone Wild-worthy antics.

Why pancakes? Requisite Wiki-ing informed us that the thin, flat eats (as pancakes in the UK aren't nearly as fluffy as in the US) were singled out long ago for being a convenient, buttery way to use up "rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar before the fasting season."

If you happen to be in London tomorrow, consider attending one of these three Shrove Tuesday happenings around town:

· Pancakes and Knitting Night at Drink, Shop & Do
You may remember our profile of Drink, Shop & Do, a crafty anti-tea room in the King's Cross area, from last fall. The café bar/shop/vintage furniture purveyor is holding a Shrove Tuesday knitting night, where you can partake in a much hipper version of grandmother's sewing circle and consume pancakes for £1.50 each. Bring your own knitting tools, or purchase them at the store the evening of.

· The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race
Vaguely reminding us of San Francisco's annual Bay to Breakers, albeit scaled down, the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race entails costumed teams of four flipping pancakes while hurrying toward the finish line. Hilarity ensues in the name of a good cause; all money raised via sponsorships and donations benefit the London Air Ambulance.

· My Old Dutch Pancake House
For no-frills, no kitsch (okay, some kitsch) feasting, brave the crowds at one of London's three My Old Dutch Pancake House outposts. Here, you can go savory or sweet, choosing from a rich, sometimes unusual menu that includes everything from chicken curry pancakes to chocolate and banana. Expect Shrove Tuesday-related activities as well, but visit knowing that the main objective is unhinged bingeing.

Photo: shimelle, via Flickr

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