Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

For more information on the Cafes I have visited and the latest cafe cycle news go to http://www.cake-crusader.co.uk/

Cake Crusader Book

There is now a Cake Crusader book available where you can follow my journey from humble local trips to world record attempts and near-death experiences. How did a simple method of keeping track of decent cycling café pit stops turn my life upside down? Track my adventures into Europe, up mountains and right across Great Britain as I become a 'rising star' on social media. Will I prove my critics wrong? Should cheese scones be served hot or cold? Do I really have nothing better to do with his time? A must read for lovers of cycling and cake or anyone wanting to make it big in the virtual world


Tuesday, 10 July 2018

By the Seaside on National Cycle route 2 Day 6 (Hastings to Dover)

By the seaside on NCR2 day 6
Deblyns,
New Romely
Comemos Deli,
Folkstone
It was the final day of our cafe cycle ride across the South Coast and it came with a deadline, as we had to catch the 4:20 from Dover to London if we were to make it home to Norwich tonight. For this reason Mrs Crusader insisted on an early alarm and we were breakfasted and packed with pedals down by 7:45am.


After yesterday’s long haul up through Hastings we took a more direct route back to cycle route 2 which was waiting for us near the coast. It was good to see the sea again even if we did have to climb up to the top of the sea defences to take a peak.

There then followed the best sections of county lanes and off-road paths we have had all week so despite being into a strong wind progress was good.

It was a long stretch before our first cafe break but we had another visit to the coast line and this time were allowed to ride on the sea defences and enjoy the seaside ambiance.

From there things got very bleak and we saw virtually no one as the landscape looked like something post apocalyptic. I expected to come face to face with a zombie at end moment although I didn’t as I think they only come out in a full moon (or is that werewolves).

We then took a short detour to our refreshment destination in New Romney. This was a very twee tea shop and not the sort you would expect to find Zombies in anyway.

It only had a 2 cake or scone selection but the cakes looked good. I went for the cherry and cream chocolate sponge and Mrs Crusader the coffee cake.

The cakes and drinks scored well and the pleasant outdoor seating area made Deblyns another excellent find.

The next section was a game of two halves. The first was across Romney Marshes and into a strong wind. It went along some pleasant little lanes and tracks with the one running along side a canel being particularly good.

The second half went along the prom at Hythe, which was deserted. Mrs Crusader awarded it first place in the best prom of the week to cycle on category.

At Hythe we had our final cafe stop at The Comemos Deli. Sadly a large building and badly parked car obscured any possible views of the sea.

The cake selection was very interesting as Mrs Crusader opted for chocolate orange cake (with real chocolate orange) while I went for crunchy cake (with real crunchy).

Again the cafe performed well on all fronts but not quite good enough to make the podium. As an aside the lunch we had here was the best all week however my number one seaside cafe is the Hideaway at Seaton which was the very first cafe we went to making the next five and a half days a bit of a waste of time really.

There were just 10 more miles to go but once through Folkestone the route went sharply up on to the cliff tops slowing progress but offering stunning views of the town below.

Then round the next corner the famous white cliffs appeared and we knew our journey was nearly at an end.

With a final few up and downs we had made it to Dover station and thanks to Mrs Crusader making us set off extra early this morning we still had enough time for a quick day trip to France before our train was due to depart.


Our Six day, 300 mile, 12 cafe cycle ride across the South Coast was over. But what had I learnt.
1. Cafes by the sea always rate higher than the equivalent inland
2. Mrs Crusader still doesn’t like hills or being jiggered on her bike
3. Based on a survey of 3 then pensioners in Sussex don’t like cyclists.
4. Mrs Crusader can now name, in order from West to East, all the counties across the south coast except the one beginning with H.
5. The perfect cycle ride is about 50 miles, on flat tarmac, in sight of the sea and on a crisp winters day. I’m still working on delivering it.
6. Not only does cycle route 2 end at Dover but cycle route 1 starts there, which has given me an idea.........


National cycle route 2 Cafes
Cafe
Hot Chocolate
Quality
Guest Hot Drink
Quality
Cake Selection
Cake Taste Quality
Atmosphere and Ambiance
Total
The Hideaway
6.9
7
7.8
8.1
9.3
7.82
Symondsbury Kitchen
5
7.8
6.3
7.9
8.2
7.04
Moreton Tearooms
6.8
7
5.7
7.4
8.1
7.10
Knoll Beach Cafe
5
7.5
5
7.5
6
6.10
Rosie Leas Tea room
6.4
7.5
7
7.2
7
7.02
The Beach Hut Cafe
6.1
7.5
6
8.3
8.1
7.2
Spade and Fork
5
7.5
7.1
7.75
6.1
6.69
Sea Lane Café
5.5
7.5
9
7.2
6.8
7.2
Arlingtons Tea Garden
7.1
7.5
8.3
8.4
8
7.76
Hughie’s Beach Cafe
5.2
7
5.5
6.9
8.3
6.58
Deblyns
7
7.5
5.1
8.1
7.9
7.12
Comemos Deli
6.1
7.5
7.4
8
6.7
7.14


Route

Profile

Stats
Route
Miles
Average Mph
Time on Bike
Metres climbed
Exmouth to Puncknowle
54.8
10
5:28
1551
Punckowle to Christchurch
52.1
10.42
5:00
650
Christchurch to Portsmouth
47
10.74
4:22
340
Portsmouth to Brighton
57.8
10.95
5:16
166
Brighton to Hastings
50.2
9.9
5:04
707
Hastings to Dover
54.7
10.24
5:20
527
Totals
316.6
10.38
30:30
3941

Monday, 9 July 2018

By the Seaside on National Cycle route 2 Day 5 (Brighton to Hastings)

By the seaside on NCR2 day 5
Arlingtons Tea Garden
Arlington,
Hughie’s Beach Cafe,
Bexhill
Today was planned to be the easiest day as it was the shortest ride and apart from a sting in the tail it looked pretty flat. I was also hoping that all the weekend beach goers cluttering up the proms would be back at work making our progress easier. Despite this it appeared that Mrs Crusader was getting into the swing insisting that we still had an early breakfast and pedals down by 8:30.
We started off by leaving Brighton on a nice cycle track adjacent to the beach and then along the main road. This soon diverted into housing estates criss crossing roads as the the cycle path regularly and unexpectedly switched pavement. For the second time in two days Mrs Crusader was subjected to cycle rage from the local pensioners when she accidentally missed the correct piece of path and carefully scooted her bike along while locating the proper bit while rudely being advised where to go. Sussex has definitely won the prize for the least friendly county to cycle in.

The next big town we came to was Newhaven. I was particularly excited as it would mean we would be following the Avenue Verte for the next few miles. You may remember that myself and Big George cycled all the Avenue Verte (London to Paris) in 2014 on my very first long distance cafe based adventure. You can relive it here (London to Paris on Avenue Verte day 1) whereas l kindly made Mrs Crusader relive it as we went along saving her the bother.
From here the route really picked up as we cycled along side some pretty stony beaches.

Then in land through some delightful country lanes with no grumpy pensioners in site.

In fact we even got the odd cheery wave from the passing cars we pulled over for plus a nice chat with another couple of cyclists riding from Brighton to Hastings for charity. They couldn’t understand why we were doing the same thing for fun (for 6 days). We were therefore in good spirits when we arrived at today’s first cafe the Arlington tea gardens in Arlington.
It was a perfect day to sit in a tea garden so a high atmosphere and ambiance score was awarded. As was the score for the large cake selection. I went for the gluten free chocolate and avocado cake while Mrs Crusader had a strawberry and white chocolate muffin.

My cake was ok but I have decided that I prefer them with the gluten but Mrs Crusader claimed her muffin was the best cake she had had, not just this week but ever.

Not surprisingly this put the Arlington tea rooms high up in second place on this weeks rankings and top of the non sea view cafes. Over cakes I warned Mrs Crusader the next section had bumpy off road. Fortunately it wasn’t that bad and the main obstacle were the hoards of young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh award swarming in the area.
Once back on the road we headed down to the coast again for some more pleasant riding along the seafront with far fewer people about on the proms than over the weekend.

This took us to our second cafe stop of the day but for the first time this week my target venue was shut. As we were in the seaside resort of Bexhill on sea it was easy to find another one so we stopped at the next cafe with a sea view which was Hughie’s.

As it had not been properly researched it was no surprise that the cake selection was small and the drinks average. My ginger cake and Mrs Crusaders fruit scone (with glacier cherry’s, argh!) we’re both nice without being special. 


The main thing Hughie’s had going for it was the sea view which we enjoyed for sometime as they had managed to lose our food order despite it being the only one they currently had.
With food chased down it was back along the coast for some of the best seaside views we had had.


In no time we had made it to Hastings. It may have been the eerie feel to Hastings partially burnt down pair or the fact it was the only one on this stage of the route but either way it was clear winner of today’s pier of the day.


It had been an excellent ride so far and with only 4 miles to our hotel we were looking at a nice early finish. But those 4 miles headed in land across Hastings and featured some very steep hills. I have made a note to research hotel altitude locations better on any future trips. On the positive side at least we start tomorrow at the top of a hill.


Tomorrow is our final day when we are due to reach the end point of national cycle route 2 in Dover. However it looks like being fought with damaged as we have tickets for the 4:20 train. It is the second longest stage, has several unknown off road sections and there is a strong wind against us so it’s still all to play for.

Tomorrows weather forecast




National cycle route 2 Cafes
Cafe
Hot Chocolate
Quality
Guest Hot Drink
Quality
Cake Selection
Cake Taste Quality
Atmosphere and Ambiance
Total
The Hideaway
6.9
7
7.8
8.1
9.3
7.82
Symondsbury Kitchen
5
7.8
6.3
7.9
8.2
7.04
Moreton Tearooms
6.8
7
5.7
7.4
8.1
7.10
Knoll Beach Cafe
5
7.5
5
7.5
6
6.10
Rosie Leas Tea room
6.4
7.5
7
7.2
7
7.02
The Beach Hut Cafe
6.1
7.5
6
8.3
8.1
7.2
Spade and Fork
5
7.5
7.1
7.75
6.1
6.69
Sea Lane Café
5.5
7.5
9
7.2
6.8
7.2
Arlingtons Tea Garden
7.1
7.5
8.3
8.4
8
7.76
Hughie’s Beach Cafe
5.2
7
5.5
6.9
8.3
6.58
Deblyns






Comemos Deli








Route

Profile

Stats
Route
Miles
Average Mph
Time on Bike
Metres climbed
Exmouth to Puncknowle
54.8
10
5:28
1551
Punckowle to Christchurch
52.1
10.42
5:00
650
Christchurch to Portsmouth
47
10.74
4:22
340
Portsmouth to Brighton
57.8
10.95
5:16
166
Brighton to Hastings
50.2
9.9
5:04
707
Hastings to Dover




Totals
261.9
10.0
25:10
3414