We’ve gathered up some of the South East’s most indulgent hotspots, from heavenly patisseries and cafes to bakeries claiming to offer up the ultimate sweet treat. We rarely need much convincing to indulge - but with Shrove Tuesday fast approaching on the 28th of February, what better time to treat yourself?
Whether you’ve got a serious case of sweet tooth or you’re simply on the hunt for the best breakfast pancakes, we’ve prepared the ultimate bucket list to get your sugar fix in the South East.
Don't forget to read to the end, where we've thrown in a recipe for the perfect pancakes, so you can celebrate wherever you are. We’ve even included a healthy option for those still holding onto their New Year’s health kick.
Stop the World Cafe, Essex
Holding a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Stop the World Cafe has been thoroughly tried and tested by the people of Leigh on Sea. Serving everything from hearty meals to afternoon tea, this self-styled ‘exquisite emporium of edible excellence’ offers something for everyone - but we’re in it for the sweet stuff (following the savoury stuff…). If you’re visiting Southend-on-Sea during your next stay at Waterside Holiday Park, it’s a must.
How about a side of banana caramel dodgers to dunk in your tea? Or if you’re feeling extra peckish, the white chocolate and pistachio cake should do the trick! Of course, we couldn’t include a cafe without investigating their pancakes on offer. Choose from original, pecan or blueberry handmade buttermilk pancakes, finished off with your toppings of choice. The cafe prides itself on using quality ingredients, lovingly prepared by skilled hands - so you’re guaranteed fresh and tasty treats.
Chocolate Cafe, Kent
Is there anything better than chocolate and wine? For something a little more grown up, why not pay a visit to the Chocolate Cafe in Canterbury during your next stay at St Margaret’s Bay Holiday Park? This cosy cafe-bar is the perfect place to recharge after a day spent exploring Canterbury's historic sights and it’s ideal for a romantic lunch date.
For a special occasion, why not treat yourself to a glass of fizz paired with some chocolate coated strawberries decorated with edible 23k gold? Or if you’re looking for something a little less dainty, Chocolate Cafe serves up all kinds of sweet treats from green tea cake, to brownies and crepes. If you’re facing serious sugar cravings, you can even order an espresso cup of pure melted white chocolate.
This place has our name on it. Crepeaholic is a local favourite and is just over 30 minutes from Coopers Beach Holiday Park, making it the perfect stop-off for a holiday treat. Serving a wide selection of crepes, including gluten and dairy free options, there really is no excuse not to indulge.
For the ultimate pancake day experience, why not start with a savoury crepe and finish with a sweet one? Crepeaholic prepares its savoury crepe ‘galettes’ with buckwheat flour, giving them plenty of flavour. From prosciutto and mozzarella to brie and caramelised onions, their range of savoury crepe fillings is almost as enticing as the sweet ones. Almost… with everything from classic crepes like cinnamon and sugar to more creative concoctions such as banoffee pie or Eton mess, you had better save plenty of room for dessert!
Michala’s Cute Cakes, East Sussex
For real homemade treats, look no further than Michala’s Cute Cakes in Hastings. This cute and cosy tearoom offers seafront views over Hastings Beach - the perfect accompaniment to their delectable cakes and tarts. Just 40 minutes from Camber Sands Holiday Park, it’s the perfect pit stop after a walk along Hastings Beach.
With an ever changing menu of traditional and more adventurous baked goods, Michala’s Cute Cakes promises something new to try on every visit. Recent items on the menu have included triple chocolate brownies topped with chocolate mascarpone and baileys ganache and a triple layered caramel shortcake cheesecake! Keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out what’s on offer when you visit.
Perfect pancakes at home
If the South East is out of reach or you simply prefer to indulge behind closed doors, there’s no need to miss out on the upcoming pancake day festivities. We’ve put together the perfect recipe for fluffy American-style pancakes at home, we’ve even included a healthy option so you don’t have to feel too guilty when it comes to treating yourself.
- 140g plain flour
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 140ml milk
- 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
- Toppings (we recommend lashings of chocolate spread and sliced ripe bananas
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, ensuring they’re thoroughly combined. For extra silky pancakes, use a sieve to sift these together.
- In a separate bowl, mix the milk, egg and butter together.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring well as you go. For extra thick pancakes, use and electric whisk to introduce some air into the mix - helping them rise.
- Melt a spoonful of butter in a frying pan or skillet and bring the pan to a medium heat.
- Using a jug or ladle, pour pancake sized portions of batter into the pan. Make sure you don’t add too much as they will spread out as they cook, so fry them in small batches as you go.
- Keep a close eye on the pancakes, when you see bubbles starting to form, it’s time to flip them over. Once golden brown on both sides, they’re ready to serve.
- Drown them in your favourite toppings and enjoy! Get the full American experience with some maple syrup or stay true to tradition with lemon and sugar.
For a healthy, protein-packed alternative, mix up a couple of mashed bananas, 3 large eggs and 100g of your favourite flavoured protein powder (we recommend chocolate!) - frying in butter or oil. Top it off with a scoop of peanut butter or some fresh fruit for a guilt-free treat.
Did you give our recipe a go? We’ve love to see your results, tag us with your pancake day snaps on Twitter @parkresorts.