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Pancake Day in Kent 2018: Flipping mad races and recipes from Gravesend to Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Maidstone

By Angela Cole

Forget your January blues, it’s February and Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is here. It’s a chance to go flipping mad, and whether you’re planning to DIY with chocolate spread, honey and lemon, or push the pancake boat out, we have ideas for you...


The town council holds a charity pancake race in the Vine Gardens on Tuesday, February 13, between 9.30am and noon. Entry for the race is £1 and the race involves completing the course, tossing a pancake a total of four times. There’s a hamper of goodies up for grabs.

Millions of us are looking forward to making and devouring pancakes with family and friends on Shrove Tuesday
Millions of us are looking forward to making and devouring pancakes with family and friends on Shrove Tuesday

Mayor, Cllr Maxine Chakowa, said: “This is the first time that Sevenoaks will have a pancake race. It is going to be such a fun event and all money raised will go towards my chosen charity Breast Cancer Care.”

To confirm your entry email osl@sevenoakstown.gov.uk.


Hosted by Hollingbourne WI, the annual pancake race will be held between 1.30pm and 3pm on Thursday, February 8, on the Lance Memorial playing field. The date has been brought forward to allow local schoolchildren to take part during term time. Starting at 1pm, the Ladies WI will take part in walking and running races, followed by the children’s race from 2pm followed by the under-fives, teachers, mums and dads and grandparents. It is free to enter and all equipment provided, with pancakes being tossed according to instructions on the day. There will be rosettes up for grabs and hot cross buns and drinks will be served at the Cardwell Pavilion. For more details call 01622 880433.

Pancakes get flipped in Hollingbourne by Freddie last year Picture: John Westhrop
Pancakes get flipped in Hollingbourne by Freddie last year Picture: John Westhrop


Shoppers are stopped in their tracks each year as the pancake races in New Road get going on Shrove Tuesday. Heats will take place at noon and 12.30pm, so people can take part in their lunch hour. There is a prize for the winner.

Town centre manager, Graham Long, said: “Come down and join us for this fun, free event. “It’s a chance to see and support your favourite shops and businesses having a laugh, some fun and a flipping good time.”

The races are held with the British Heart Foundation and supported by McDonald’s Gravesend.

Last year's pancake race in Gravesend Picture: Steve Crispe
Last year's pancake race in Gravesend Picture: Steve Crispe


If you’d like to enjoy your pancakes in some luxurious surroundings, head to the recently opened Ivy Royal Tunbridge Wells in the Pantiles.

For one day only, on Tuesday, February 13, two mouthwatering options will be available: classic buttermilk pancakes with lemon, sugar, Greek yoghurt and lemon balm for £7.95, or hot buttermilk pancakes with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Greek yoghurt, lemon balm and a warming strawberry sauce, for £8.95. The restaurant opened in November and has all-day dining. Details at theivytunbridgewells.com

The Ivy Royal in The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells
The Ivy Royal in The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells


There will be a range of tasty specials for Pancake Day available at the club in Cobdown, on Tuesday, February 13. Whether you have a sweet or savoury tooth, check them out. It is open between 8am and 8pm. For more details call 0844 880 0048.


Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was a time of fasting and Shrove Tuesday was the start of 40 days of abstinence, so tempting flour, eggs and sugar needed to be out of reach.

The first recorded pancake race was in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445. It is believed that the recipe also originated in Olney as a housewife was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time. When she heard the church bells ringing for mass she ran out of her house, still carrying her pan and pancake.

Making pancakes
Making pancakes


Whether you like plain lemon and sugar, fruity with cream, or like it less sweet, the humble pancake is still a tasty treat. Here’s how to whip one up – how you top it off is up to you!
100g plain flour
2 large eggs
300ml milk
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
1. Put the flour, eggs, milk and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.
2. Set a medium frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. When hot, cook your pancakes for one minute on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.
3. Serve with lemon wedges and sugar, or your favourite filling. Once cold, you can layer the pancakes between baking parchment, then wrap in cling film and freeze for up to two months.

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