Flipping Heck, A Day At The London Pancake Races…

Runners and riders at the ready, the great British pancake race is under starter’s orders. In South America they have Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), a huge carnival of celebration in a whirr of flesh, feathers and fancy sequins. Denmark marks Shrove Tuesday with cats, Lithuania with pranks. Spain opts for omelette while Poland got the ‘fat Tuesday’ memo and accordingly they apparently stuff their faces with lard, bacon and vodka. And when raw lard’s the alternative, I’ll take London pancake races any day. So here are some of the ones that have us oiling up our skillets, as it were.

The pancake race has ben a British institution since the War of the Roses, when a woman in Buckinghamshire’s Olney raced to church in such a state of pre-Lenten anxiety that she was still clutching her frying pan. Extraordinarily the tradition continues, from MPs in Westminster to Liverymen in The City.

Parliamentary Pancake Race, Westminster

The race to find out who is Westminster’s biggest tosser begins on the morning of Shrove Tuesday. MPs, Lords and journalists traditionally come together to race and raise money for charity.

Find out who is Westminster’s biggest tosser…

It’s a great event, always a spectacle and takes place in Victoria Tower Gardens, that patch of grass next to the Palace of Westminster.

However, this year I’m totally stumped as to the details. So I’m going to put the information below from last year and hope that someone answers my emails!

Find it: Victoria Tower Gardens, Abingdon Street, Millbank, Westminster, SW1P 3JA
Book it: 10:00 on Tuesday 21st February

London pancake races
Leadenhall Market Pancake Race

Leadenhall Market, The City

Leadenhall Market’s Pancake Day race involves donning a bowler hat and dashing across the cobbles while flipping pancakes.

The event, in the beautiful Victorian market at the heart of The City of London, is organised by The Lamb Tavern.

Leadenhall Market’s Pancake Day race involves donning a bowler hat…

Spectators can not only watch proceedings on Pancake Day at Leadenhall Market, but also enjoy one of 100 free pancakes on offer to those enjoying the action from the sidelines.

They’re being made specially by The Lamb’s head chef Sian for spectators of the 20-metre dash. The winner receives The golden frying pan trophy, but surely the real winners are the ones scoffing freshly made pancakes from the 18th century pub?

Find it: Gracechurch Street, The City, EC3V 1LT
Click it: www.leadenhallmarket.co.uk
Book it: Takes place on Tuesday 13th February at 12:30pm
‘Gram it: @leadenhallmarket

The Inter-Livery Pancake Race, The City

Guildhall Yard in The City will play host to the ancient livery companies as they battle it out to be the best pancake flippers in The City.

Livery Companies involved all bring along an element of proceedings…

The Livery Companies involved all bring along an element of proceedings related to the race. So the Gunmakers provide the starting pistol, the Poulters bring the eggs, the Fruiterers provide lemons (to squirt on the pancakes), the Clockmakers time the races and so on.

Not quite as ancient as the companies themselves, some of which like the Merchant Taylors and Goldsmiths date back to the fourteenth century (while some, like the Human Resource Professionals… don’t), the race is in its 19th year.

Find it: Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street 
The City, EC2V 7HH
Click it: www.liverycommittee.org
Book it: Noon on Tuesday 13th February

London Pancake Races: The City
Greenwich Market pancakes

Greenwich Market, Greenwich

One of our favourite markets, Greenwich Market will welcome fancy-dress clad pancake races and a host of Pearly Kings and Queens in a classic South East London celebration.

Everyone’s a winner thanks to the market’s traders…

The annual event sees teams or solo racers gather for the chance to win a prize.

But everyone’s a winner thanks to the market’s traders, who will be cooking up a combination of pancakes, doughnuts and churros among other delights.

The event is held in aid of the Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice, so it’s a great cause.

Find it: Greenwich, SE10 9HZ
Click it: www.greenwichmarket.london
Book it: 11:00-16:30 on Tuesday 13th February
‘Gram it: @greenwichmarket

Eton, Ascot & Windsor

Local businesses from across the London-adjacent towns and villages of Windsor, Ascot and Eton are putting up their teams for the annual pancake race.

No concessions for male participants!

The 50-metre course pits the likes of teams of traffic wardens against the British Army. And it’s all in aid of the Thames Hospice and the Windsor and Eton Christmas Lights Appeal.

All participants must wear pancake gear (skirt, apron and headscarf) and organisers are clear that there are no concessions for male participants!

Find it: Windsor Royal Shopping Centre, Thames Street, Berkshire, SL4 1PJ
Click it: www.windsor.gov.uk
Book it: 10:20 on Tuesday 13th February
‘Gram it: @visitwindsoruk

london pancake races

Marlborough Sports Garden, Bankside

Bankside’s Business Improvement District, Better Bankside, are putting on their first Pancake Day race since the pandemic.

The Bankside pancake race takes place at one of those wonderful secret London green spaces, the Marlborough Sports Garden.

Their first Pancake Day race since the pandemic…

The Union Street venue will see teams assemble, vying to win a meal at Where The Pancakes Are. And the £25 per team entry fee will go toward  The Manna Society, a local charity that runs a day centre providing food, showers, clothing, and medical care, as well as housing and welfare advice, to 120 homeless and low-income people every day, seven days a week..

Find it: 27 Union Street, Bankside, SE1 1NJ
Click it: www.betterbankside.co.uk
Book it: Tuesday 13th February from 12-2pm
‘Gram it: @bankside_london

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