Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

I

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Terror in the Sky. (Owl Tearooms, Holt)

The Owl Tearooms,
Holt,
Opening times Tues-Sat 8:30-5:30,
Sun 9:30-2:30
Highly Recommended 
It had been nearly a week since I did my latest and last Ironman triathlon so I decided it was about time I stopped resting and got back on the bike. I hadn't seen Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) since I left him at Ljubljana airport in Slovenia, just before my mid-air 'terrorist' incident. So it seemed like a good opportunity to catch up with him for an Ironman recovery cafe cycle ride.

Whoa there, back the truck up! Never mind this ironman nonsense what's this about a mid-air terrorist incident?

Funnily enough Andrew wanted to know more too so as we left Hard to Please House, for a thirty odd mile trip to Holt and the Owl Tearooms, I started to tell him.


*****Warning if you want to hear about my drama in the sky then read on but if you have come to this post because you wanted to find out more about the Owl tearooms in Holt then I suggest you skip the next few paragraphs*****

Myself and Andrew had been out riding in Slovenia as part of my Ironman (which I did last Sunday in case I've not mentioned it) training and I was coming home while he stayed on to meet up with Annie, his partner, for some walking in the mountains. My flight had been going normally when the captain announced we had been diverted to Cologne airport for 'security reasons'. This announcement was most inconvenient as I was next person to be served by the refreshments trolley. Shockingly they refused to let me buy a sandwich as they hurriedly packed it away. I was now both angry and hungry so hoped security reasons didn't take long to sort out (but they do).

After we had landed some big gun wielding German police removed two passengers before the captain explained that a fellow passenger had overheard something suspicious and so had decided to land just in case although he thought it would soon be sorted out and we would be on our way.

After another 30 minutes the captain came back on to tell us that to his surprise the police had asked us to evacuate the plane and we have to go down the chutes. This was very exciting and nearly made up for the lack of airline sandwich. Eager to try the slide out I muscled my way to the front and was told to jump up on to the slopey bit in order to initiate the sliding down process.

Airline passenger top tip no 1. To avoid friction burns when going down the emergency slides make sure you don't let any bare skin touch the slide.
Our airplane minus the passengers and 'terrorists' on the tarmac at the very far end of Cologne airport
Unfortunately I was not aware of Airline passenger top tip no 1 so grazed my elbow. From this point it was another 12 hours for the police to search, question and most importantly feed us before we were sent off to hotels for the rest of the night. Next day we returned to the airport to fly home on another plane, minus potential 'terrorists'.

Just before the return flight I was contacted by the BBC asking for an interview for the local news which I did on my return to Stanstead airport. I covered a number of topics (including cakes, blogs, and ironman training) but they mostly ended on the cutting room floor. I had 15 seconds on Look East explaining what it was like to go down the slides and now consider myself as the BBC's go to correspondent for emergency chute based incidents (and no I didn't shout weee on the way down).

As it transpired it was all a very expensive false alarm as the guys were released without charge the next day, minus one backpack that had been exploded in a controlled way on the runway.

Airline passenger top tip no 2. If you don't want to have your hand luggage blown up then avoid telling the old lady sitting next to you that you have a bomb in your bag, as she may not realise you were joking.

I finished telling my story but noticed Andrew was nowhere to be seen as he had fallen asleep a couple of miles back, and this was before I had even started on my detailed Ironman update.

We got to Holt and took our bikes round to the courtyard garden seating area of the Owl trearooms. It was very sunny and also busy so we were fortunate that the prime shaded table was free. This forced all the subsequent old people who came in to sit in full sun. Fortunately I remembered that Andrew is quite old too so I didn't feel guilty for long.
The walled garden outdoor seating area at the Owl tearooms
I had only been to the Owl tearooms once before and it had scored well but as it was now under new management then cafe cycle rules state that the previous scores and post be archived and we start a fresh.
Outside the Owl tearooms
I went to check the cake selection and it was a good one with cakes, tray bakes and tarts all available (all made on the premises to boot), so a good effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Cake selection
There were also sausage rolls to test out for sausage roll of the year #SROTY.  I had them later back at Crusader Towers and they scored well, especially as they had gone short crust while most others I have tried were flakey. As a result I thought they deserved a place in my current shortlist to take part in the sausage roll off at the end of the year.
Sausage rolls to be tested at Crusader towers
Our drinks, Hot chocolate and Cappuccino, scored better than under the previous owners and the cakes were excellent as well. I think my pistachio and cherry loaf was the best cake I had had this year.
Excellent cake
The Owl tearooms were good before but now they were even better moving right up my league table and I highly recommend a visit.

On the way back Andrew seemed keen to talk about anything he could think of so I didn't get an opportunity to tell him about how my ironman went. What a treat he is in for on our next ride.

Scores

Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.0
7.0
8.25
8.5
8.5
7.85
route to be published shortly