Shrove Tuesday is a magical day of the year when we can all enjoy stuffing our faces without a shred of guilt.
We know Lent is about to start - a time when many of us traditionally put ourselves through the torture of giving up our most beloved treats.
So Pancake Day is seen as a time to gorge on everything naughty to help us through the dark days ahead.
If you’re looking for something more than the traditional lemon and sugar stack here are five ways you can feast on your favourite foods ahead of the self-imposed famine.
Ease yourself in with the beetroot, rosary goat’s cheese and watercress salad, which comes with candied walnuts, chilli and mint (£8).
That is a gentle warm up for the mighty Truffle Aberdeenshire ribeye steak hamburger (£19.50) smothered in black truffle mayonnaise, Gruyère de Comté cheese and roast field mushrooms. Get them to pop a Fried Clarence Court hen’s egg (£2) in there for good measure. And make sure you order an extra portion of the decadent egg-based mayo for your thick cut chips.
Then it’s on to the Madagascan vanilla and tonka bean baked cheesecake (£7.50) before they roll over the main event – the cheese trolley.
For £18 you can have your choice of 10 from the 20 on offer that cover all five families of blue, hard, washed, soft and goats. Luxuriate in the Harbourne Blue Half from Devon, Winterdale cheddar from Kent, Goddess washed cheese from Shepton Mallet or Baton Bigod soft from Hampshire, to name just a few.
If you need something to temper all that creamy richness, they come with servings of fresh pear, celery, oatcakes and honey.
Make sure you wear your stretchy pants (as the American’s would say) when you head up to this temple to carnivores.
If you really want them, they’ll be serving up pancakes on February 28 with bacon and maple syrup but we have our sites set on the more hardcore dishes.
The grand appetizer platter (£22.50) lives up to its name with voodoo chicken wings, pit-smoked BBQ wings, hush puppies (not the shoes), calamari and deep fried jumbo shrimp. They say it is for two to share but we’ll leave that up to you.
Make sure you leave expansion room for the hefty smorgasbord of meaty mains on offer. Have dry-rubbed St Louis pork ribs (£19.50), Texas sliced slow-smoked brisket (£17.90) cooked over 18 hours in the pit room or the BBQ blow out (£26.50) with both of the above as well as pit smoked chicken, pulled pork, cornbread and fries.
Or you could go for the eye-watering 700g/28oz rib-eye on the bone (£36), one of the biggest we’ve seen in Canary Wharf, with half a lobster on the side (£12.50) and a portion of smoked beans with pork (£3.90).
Your pants should be pretty much popping by then but if you have room for dessert they do a maple and caramelised pit-smoked bacon ice cream sandwich (£5.90) served with maple syrup to complete your mammoth meat feast. Meat sweats all round.
These are pancakes. But not as we generally retrained Brits know them.
Expect a generous helping of fluffiness piled high and slathered in some of the most calorie-busting toppings around.
Let your sweet tooth choose between the salted caramel banoffee topped with cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce, the lemon meringue pie finished with soft white peaks of sugary goodness or the triple chocolate fudge mallow.
Even the savoury option, the pulled pork with cheese, kale and pickled slaw, is given a sweet edge thanks to the edition of a Bourbon flavoured sauce.
But really, if you are taking this seriously, you should order all four.
Available all day from Monday, February 20-28 and each day from 5pm (apart from 27th) you can get any of the specials, plus a beer, wine, cocktail or soft drink for £10.
A bread and pastry lovers paradise this bakery tucked in a corner of the mall offers a stomach-swelling array of goodies.
Savoury delights include the organic bread basket (£6.95), a hot croissant with aged Gruyere, chicken and leek pie with roasted potatoes and a choice of traditional Belgian sandwiches known as tartines (from £7.50).
But it is the sweets that will really tempt you with the wafting aroma of fresh muffins, warm waffles, scones, almond croissants, raisin Danishes, chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake, a choice of tarts including banana and toffee (from £4.20), chocolate and caramel hearts and an apple pie inspired by the founder’s grandmother’s recipe. Incroycarble!
No food advice here, this is pure liquid indulgence served up at the bar.
First up is the beer (as we don’t want you to feel queer), which comes in six bottled varieties including Chelsea Blonde (£4.50). There’s a cursory nod to cider drinkers who get a choice of Hawkes Urban Orchard or Old Mout.
Lovers of the grape can sip on an impressive choice of more than 60 globe-trotting wines, divided by flavour rather than region, with more than 30 available by the glass.
Pick from four roses, 26 reds including a “bold, intense and robust” Chateauneaf-Du-Pape Vignobles Gonnet 2013 (£49.95), 22 whites including an “opulent and friendly” Puligny-Montrachet (£56.95) and 10 bubblies including Pommery, Bollinger and Dom Perignon Brut (£165).
If your fingers like to hold something more fancy the cocktail list is split into categories Timeless, such as Negroni, Bellini, Gimlet, Heritage, such as Goldfish In A Bag (gin, vodka, tonic and rosemary) and Inspired such as Candy Shop Sour (gin, rhubarb and custard liqueur and lemon).
We’ll pretend we didn’t see the zero proofs (non-alcoholic) options, which is probably accurate after all that booze.
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