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The Olney Pancake Parlour Story

The Birth of the Olney Pancake Parlour

The grade 2 listed building built in 1651 has been home to a Bakers, Chinese Restaurant, Florist and most recently the cafe “Beans” until the Donaldson family took over in May 2016.

In May 2023 the Donaldsons decided to sell the pancake parlour and three new owners now run the show keeping the full Pancake Parlour Tradition.
The Olney Pancake Parlour is still a family affair run by brother Jamie & Marc and his partner Tom.

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Olney Pancake Race

On Shrove Tuesday every year the ladies of Olney, Buckinghamshire compete in the world famous Pancake Race, an Olney tradition which dates back to 1445.

The race continued through the centuries and whilst the race itself may have lapsed at times, such lapses never caused the race to be entirely forgotten by the womenfolk of Olney. The race is known to have begun during the troublesome times of The War of the Roses (1445 to 1487). Nowadays Olney links with Liberal Kansas (America), competing every year to see which town achieves the quickest time!

But Olney isn’t just famous for the pancake race, it is also the home of “Amazing Grace” the hymn written by John Newton who lived in Olney in the late 18th century, along with William Cowper, with whom he collaborated on the Olney Hymns. In fact, the Olney Pancake Parlour is situated directly opposite the Cowper & Newton Museum (which is worth a visit!) the home of William Cowper for over 20 years.

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