Pancake Day with the Chelsea Pensioners
Pancake Day is a busy time for us and this year we had two big events lined up; a blogger’s breakfast in East London (more about that later) and the great honour of providing eighty Chelsea Pensioners, veterans and military dignitaries with maple syrup for their traditional Canadian breakfast in West London.
The VIP guests included the UK’s Canadian Deputy High Commissioner and Defence Adviser to the Chelsea Pensioners, as well as staff from the High Commissioner’s office and Canadian and British servicemen.
We started the day with a glass of Moose Milk – a traditional drink that dates back to the English and French Colonial times in Canada, when the Governor of Canada would conclude calling his subjects for news from the homeland with a drink of wine. The wine, coming from Europe, did not travel well on the long ocean voyage to Canada so would be mixed with other forms of alcohol, flavoured with spices and goats milk added. Today moose milk is still drunk by the Canadian services but each recipe is slightly different and a closely guarded secret by each Regiment!
The Deputy Commissioner flipped the inaugural pancake and the Pensioners were led into their wonderful NAAFI ‘mess’ bar, where they all tucked into a real Canadian breakfast of bacon, eggs, beans, toast, pancakes and of course a healthy dose of Pure Maple Syrup!
We had the chance to talk to many of the veterans who recounted their war and service stories, explaining the history behind the Chelsea Pensioners. In particular, CP Arthur who was 94 years old and told the story of his experiences during the Rhine crossing in WW2, a truly remarkable experience!
After a hearty breakfast we bid farewell to our new found friends and look forward to seeing them again next year!