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Pancake Day at The Water Poet

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from

The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the past tense 'shrive', meaning to confess one's sin. It comes before Ash Wednesday, also known as Lent, when we are all meant to do penance by spending forty days fasting.

On the Tuesday everyone celebrates by eating rich indulgent foods - the French equivalent, Mardi Gras, actually translates to 'Fat Tuesday'. In Britain Shrove Tuesday has another name. Pancake. It is customary for everyone to eat pancakes because it uses up such as eggs, milk, and sugar.

My dad always expects pancakes on Pancake Day (it stands to reason), but he just because he wants to eat them doesn't mean he wants to make them. I like cooking, so I should enjoy making pancakes for him, but the prospect always makes me nervous. Out of all the complicated things I have managed to bake, it is a mystery to me why something as simple as a pancake is beyond my capability. On the odd occasion I have success, but in most cases my batter ends up sticking to the pan, or part of it cooks before I've finished pouring, or the thing falls apart as I try to flip it over.

With Pancake Day fast approaching, I had been wondering what to do, and that's when I heard about a pub called The Water Poet. Located on Folgate Street in Spitalfields, it boasts a dining room, basement bar, pool parlour, beer garden, and a barn with plasma TV. On the 4th March they are celebrating Pancake Day from midday, serving up some of the best pancakes you can get. What makes these pancakes so special you ask? Well aside from a variety of tempting sweet and savoury fillings, each pancake is infused with booze, spirits, wine, or some other alcoholic beverage to give your tastebuds that extra punch.

A serving of two piled high pancakes not only makes a feast for lunch, but since they are serving until 9.30pm, it also makes for a filling main meal or dessert. The dishes range between £6-£12 and include:

Wild mushroom & spinach pancakes with Prosecco and Ragstone goat cheese velouté
London Porter braised Cornish oxtail pancakes with bone marrow and garlic butter
Pernod infused South Coast lobster tail pancakes with tomato and saffron crème fraiche
Bitter Tanzanian chocolate and winter raspberry scotch pancakes with butterscotch schnapps cream
Apricot & almond pancakes, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with amaretto cream

If you don't drink or want something the kids can have, then they also serve traditional lemon and sugar pancakes too. To guarantee a seat, it is best to make a reservation by emailing
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Why? Indulge before Lent
When: 4th March, 12pm-9.30pm
Phone: 020 7426 0495
Where: Spitalfields
Cost: £6-£12
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