To unsuspecting people, a list of larder contents comprising of flour, eggs, milk, salt and sugar might sound a little underwhelming. However, if you mix those few humble ingredients up, and fry the batter in a little melted butter; you get little round pieces of heaven on a plate, also known as, pancakes. Fans of these little delicious morsels will probably be counting down the days until Shrove Tuesday, which is February 9th this year, in order to have an official excuse for gorging on pancakes more so than usually. So, whether you like them with the classic lemon juice and sugar combination, or whether you prefer Nutella and strawberries on top of your pancake stack, prepare your cupboards now for Pancake Day.
Of course, you could choose to throw caution to the wind this year and celebrate Pancake Day by doing something different. If that's the case, then you won't want to miss out on some of the charity pancake run events taking place in London to mark this momentous day.
Bank Side Pancake Race
Everyone knows that watching a pancake race is far more entertaining than actually running yourself, so find a spot and be entertained by local teams and local businesses battling it out to win races, relays and sprints all featuring the beloved pancake.
Westminster Pancake Race
This is one pancake race that you won't want to miss, purely for the fact that the teams are made up of political correspondents, MPs and Lords too. These usually straight faced intellectuals can be seen racing in Victoria gardens for a small trophy in aid of charity, Rehab, which benefits those less fortunate within the UK
If you'd much rather eat pancakes than stand around watching people race with them, the place to head is Brick Lane Market on a weekend, where you won't just find pancakes but tens of other delicious sweet treats too. What's more each and every one is freshly cooked too, so you can be sure that when you buy from a street vendor, you're eating a delicious and flavor some dish that will send your taste buds into a spin for sure. If you're just in the city for a weekend, it's the perfect way to spend a relaxed Sunday morning, before heading back to the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International London hotel for a well-deserved nap. You'll probably need it to sleep off the food coma induced from all of the incredible world cuisine that the market has to offer.
Since you're already sold on the idea of taking a trip to London to celebrate all things pancake-related, you might as well combine the trip with some sight-seeing too, after all there's only so many pancakes you can eat. The trick to cramming a lot into your visit is to try and make an itinerary of things you'd like to see and do so that you don't get coerced into going somewhere that you had no intention of going to, through clever marketing ploys. For example, you might leave the confines of one of the budget hotels London has available, with the intention of spending as little money as possible and just visiting one of the Royal Parks. Then, the next thing you know you're paying to hop on a sight-seeing bus and have stopped off at every stop along the way to â€˜see the sights' that you didn't really want to see to begin with. If a tour of London is what tickles your fancy, then great, but if not, try to remain focused when you're out and about to avoid using up your time on generic touristy things.
The best way to maximize your time in the city, is to try and plan between 2 and 3 things a day if they are activities that will only use up an hour or two of your time. Visiting parks for instance, can take as long or as little time as you like up, so it makes the perfect â€˜filler' for where a gap lies in your plans. Whereas, going to Madame Tussaud's, for example, will need to be planned over a few hours, as you'll need to allow time to travel there and also allow for any queues that you might encounter. Queuing is something you should be prepared for if you are visiting London on a weekend or during a national holiday; however, generally speaking, waiting times are kept to a minimum where possible so shouldn’t pose too much of a delay to your plans.
If you plant to do a lot of sight-seeing whilst in London, then it might be worthwhile getting a travel Oyster card. This can be prepaid with an amount of your choosing so that when you're traveling on board of London buses, trams, trains or the underground, you can simply present the card as payment for your fares. This takes away the stress of ensuring that you have enough cash on your person to be able to pay for fares when out and about exploring the city. It also offers protection so that in the unfortunate event of getting your bag or wallet stolen, the remaining balance of the card at the time of the event would be protected. That means that you can forget worrying about your travel costs and focus your energy on enjoying your trip. It also means that you won't rub the locals up the wrong way by holding up a bus queue as you fumble around in your bag for change. In comparison to that scenario, handing over a small plastic card whenever you want to get somewhere seems almost too easy!
This article is contributed by www.hydeparkint.co.uk