One of my first impressions of St Andrews comes from a particularly drizzly open day many moons ago when, before touring the university, my family and I decided to sample the breakfast in Northpoint (where Wills and Kate infamously met for coffee). Happily, the pancakes were not as soggy as the weather; on the contrary, they were delicious and my first taste of the town was off to an excellent start.
Sadly, I missed the Shrove Tuesday event at Northpoint earlier this week, but I was treated to several homemade crepes by my lovely flatmates. Pancakes turned out to be a wonderful remedy for deadline stress, but this did spark a heated debate: what, exactly, constitutes the ideal pancake? This discussion proved to be a culinary minefield, as none of us could decide whether French crepes, American pancakes or Scottish drop-scones should be crowned the superior delicacy. Furthermore, responses on what the greatest topping is ranged from the traditional lemon and sugar to cheese and maple syrup or simply “tide pods”.
Ultimately, this issue remained unresolved, and our attention turned to the question of where in town is the best place to go for pancakes. A friend of mine once complied a definitive list ranking the hot chocolates of St Andrews and rated over 20 establishments on the quality of these beverages. This project lasted an entire semester, so visiting all the potential pancake spots in the area within a few days was certainly an ambitious venture by comparison (especially with the fore mentioned deadlines approaching). A hasty google search narrowed the contesting cafes down to five.
So, for those of you seeking the perfect pancake, the ones I can recommend are as follows: the Vic, a rogue but extremely fulfilling choice; Mitchell’s, but only if you’re happy with relatively small portions; Rendez-vous, definitely the best for French-style crepes (for the Europhiles out there); Luvians, pleasant and surprisingly cheap; and my personal favourite (excluding the classic venue that is Northpoint), the charming Bibi’s café.
So, if you were completely caught up in the bustle of the student elections that have dominated the past week, and Shrove Tuesday and all the gastronomic excitement that it entails slipped past you, I heartily encourage you to make up for lost time and try any of these places, depending on your taste.
Ultimately, if your cooking skills surpass mine (which they almost certainly will, my flatmates can confirm that the bar is extremely low) homemade pancakes or crepes may also be a good option: one that is heightened by the fun you can have in making them, sharing them and/or scraping them off your ceiling.