I'm not sure if anyone knows about Pancake Day but it is orginally called Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday and it's the day before Lent. Not that I'm that religious but I looove pancakes so this is a day I always celebrate :) And better yet, this year I actually had the time and chance to visit the pancakes races!!! I knew they existed but I'd never been to one since I moved to London (quite some years ago now) so this was the opportune moment. I checked Timeout London and found out there were 5 races in 5 different locations. So after a bit (yet not enough) planning, I headed out on Tuesday morning to see what a pancake race actually was. OMG did I have fun!
This will be a photo-heavy post but it will be so worth it! The first race was easy, there was only one starting at 10am so off I went to Westminster to see our MPs in the Parliamentary Pancake Race. Yes, you read it right, the MPs! It was for charity and it was great fun. (For all non-UK readers, an MP is a Member of Parliament). Check it out:
The race was held in Victoria Tower Gardens, just behind the Houses of Parliament. I'd never been to this park so a picture of this lovely view was mandatory of course.
And off they went! I couldnt get a spot near the starting point but I had one near the first bend so had a great view anyway :) The idea was to run the course while flipping pancakes in the air (minimum of 10 flips per round). It was hilarious!
At the end they needed to run one extra round (I cant remember why exactly) and I got the coveted spot near the start. Off they go, pan in hand!
The winning team with their cup (stuffed with pancake), posing for the reported. There was so much press!
I didnt think of taking a video, but I did find one on youtube. Click here if you want to see the race in action. You can even see me at 46secs in but only very briefly.
As I left the park to find a coffee, I passed the HoP again and spotted this statue of Richard the Lionheart. It was really nice with the building as a backdrop. I figured that I was a tourist for the day so why not post a few lovely London pics as well :)
Of course I passed Big Ben as well, as you do when walking here.... Oh my the amount of tourists was just scary!!!
Now comes the funny part, I just have to tell you. Not so funny at the time but now I feel so silly!! For the next race I had 3 choices: one race in London Bridge, one in the Guildhall, and one in Brick Lane which all started at around the same time. I had originally wanted to go to Brick Lane one as there would be normal people in fancy dress (you can see the attraction), but wasnt sure how to get there. So for the time being I just walked around London taking in the touristy bits.
I came across the Horse Guards who were just changing which was quite interesting. I also had this great spot of looking at a horse's butt for a while LOL
Once I'd done the touristy bits and got something to eat, I was at Trafalgar Square. Still very close to Westminster which as you may know is on the District and Circle Lines. During my walk I had decided to go to the Guildhall Pancake Race as it was bound to be super English and much fun. The race was near Bank and Mansion House stations, both on the Central Line (dont comment just yet, I'm building). So I went to Charing Cross station, got on the Bakerloo line, which you might know is a very long walk underground... changed at Oxford Circus for the Central Line (another very long walk underground) as that was the only line I could take and they shut the line just in front of me!! So I had to go all the way back to the Bakerloo line, go to Baker Street, change to the Jubilee line back to Bond Street and change there to the Central Line. OMG!!! By this time I'd missed half the race already and was seriously pissed. I could have stayed on the Jubilee line to go to the race near London Bridge but by this point I was just stubborn. Now, the funny part about this whole story is that I actually made a mistake as I saw when I was in the area. Mansion House station is on the District and Circle lines!!!! Meaning if only I had gone back to Westminster, I would have been there in like 3 minutes! I felt soooo silly... But luckily in the end I made it and saw about 30 mins of the Poulters Company Pancake Race :)
The idea for this race was that various guilds would take their pan with their pancakes, race to the middle, stop (which is what they're doing in this picture), flip the pancake, race on and around the cones at the other end, run back to the middle, flip, and race to the finish.
The race was held outside the beautiful Guild Hall and the weather was perfect. Every time a race started the sun came out!
There were men's races and women's races and some of these ladies were fast! They also had to wear their guild livery which made it even better :) I'm sure the hats had a meaning as they all had different colours but I missed the beginning so I dont know.
One member of each guild had to dress up as their guild's charity which allowed for some great costumes. The foam boat for the Furniture Makers won the best dressed prize.
Some pics for the press as well of course, I'm so pleased with this photo! Considering that I stood all the way at the back it came out great :)
This time I did take a video myself and uploaded it. Click here for the final race so you can have an idea of how it went. I did have a prime spot actually :) The final was also the reason why the bang is so loud btw.
Being in the area anyway, the next race was only a few minutes walk away and I was just in time to see the second half of the day's races at the Leadenhall Market Pancake Race. I love this building, it's very Victorian :)
On the way over here, I spotted this cupcake in a Louis Vutton window, it's so cute!! Just had to be photographed :)
But back to the races. This race was between the shop keepers at the market who raced each other. Two people would run from one end of the track to the other while flipping pancakes, and at the other end their team members would race the same way back. Four people to each team and it was a lot of fun :) The shoe polishers won the race in the end. Sadly my camera went out of battery so I only have this one photo.
I was near St Paul's anyway so as a reward for my lovely day and tons of walking (especially underground hihi) I deserved a cupcake, so I went to Bea's again for their very last Red Velvet cupcake. I was so lucky!
After having recovered I went home to bake my own pancakes :) I found a recipe that worked for Dutch pancakes so the bf would also like them. I'm not the best pancake maker but these came out quite ok. Not my best picture ever I have to admit but it shows me in action! Hihi
Lots of pancakes made and all the toppings organised (we had Nutella, strawberries & cream, ham, cheese, salmon, and homemade apple sauce), it looked so yummy! I just looove pancakes :)
In the end I managed to sneak in a better picture of myself with my creation, hihi.
Happy Pancake Day!
Happy Pancake Day!