It’s that time of year again, folks; the most important date in February by a long shot. Despite its status, it’s a day that can creep up on you outta nowhere, but fear not my friend, this time round you won’t be caught short. No, we’re not talking about Valentine’s D ay. We’re talking something bigger. A day full of real love and deep indulgence. A day when you can treat yersen without guilt or trepidation. You got it. It’s Pancake Day. Or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, if you’re so inclined. A celebration almost as old as time itself.
Here in Nottingham, we’re wound wonderfully close to our food. The city is the world’s greatest buffet, and today we’re heading to the dessert section…
Aubrey’s Traditional Creperie
In one of our many medieval ginnels, you’ll find this golden-lit, warm and welcoming café. They joined us here in 2009, and yet it’s almost as if these guys have been flippin’ pancakes since the dawn of mankind. A small team of maestros, masters of their craft, who certainly know their way around a crêpe, can whip up all kinds of delights, with both sweet and savoury on the menu to get the taste buds tingling. Aubrey’s keep it simple and do it well, but there’s a lot more on offer than your standard sugar-coated crepes: a vegan pancake, unbeknownst to me before today, and yet there I was, tucking into something so ineffably tasty, you’d think I made it up. The pan wielders at Aubrey’s are reinventing tradition and catering for a wide variety of dietary choices and needs, all inside this sweet scented, honeycomb hideout.
Occupying the borderlines between Radford and Lenton is another gem from the cream of the creperie. Jo’s Pancakes is the syrup that seeps out of the fault lines to keep everybody sweet, and is a popular choice among the student population, where last night’s stories are discussed over a pancake. Jo’s ticks all the boxes, with an American-style breakfast pancakes with fourteen tasty toppings and much more. Expect tidal syrup and chocolate sauce streams. But fear not, for those who don’t succumb so often to their sweet tooth, there are plenty of savoury options on the menu, so if you’re in need of something cheesy, meaty, or even gluten-free, you’re in the right place.
Known for their ability to encapsulate and celebrate what the people appreciate, The Lacehouse have lined up another sure-fire hot ‘n’ fresh winner with their Unlimited Pancakes event. An unlimited supply of pancakes is on offer, with a supreme selection of toppings, so you can truly harness your inner-Augustus Gloop and dive in. This particular event is being hosted in collaboration with the Pancake Appreciation Society, so believe me, you’re in safe mitts. The former lace factory still contains much of its original industrial charm, spilling over two floors, with three independent bars and plenty of hearty munch. What’s even better, is that in the low light, no one will be able to see the chocolate smeared round yer gob, just make sure you check yourself on the way out. As an extra incentive, for one night only, pancake enthusiasts can enjoy a whisky-spiked golden syrup Pancake Day cocktail. Fill your boots.
From Warsaw to Washington and landing in Nottingham, stopping off here can’t be too dissimilar from a Route 66 roadside diner; a greasy spoon that brings the best from across the pond to Nottingham. The only obvious difference is that the neon sign reads Route A52; a wonderful touch to honour such an iconic road. You can watch the buses and bikes fly by through the windows of the States-style hideout from the comfort of your vinyl red booth, or you can take to the stools, from which you can watch the magic happen on the flat-top griddle. The menu is awash with pancakes, all flipped to your table thick an’ fast. Wash ‘em down with a bottomless coffee or a mighty milkshake, just like Uncle Sam would.
Heavenly have been devising the finest deserts in the land since 2008. Combining the greatest ingredients with strikingly elegant design, they’ve mastered the art of the sensationally lavish dessert, so they certainly know how to flip the batter. If you’re looking for some luxury indulgence, Heavenly oozes elegance, with each pancake arriving at your table freshly crafted by the hands of the gods and goddesses behind the frying pan. There’s little you can do to prevent gazing at the plate like it’s some divine piece of art. Don’t be shy, and don’t let the sophisticated style stop you from scoffing it down; it’s Pancake Day, and for some reason we only get one a year, so don’t hold back.