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

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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Is there such a thing as a free lunch? (The Mill Cafe Bar & Restaurant, Yaxham)

The Mill has Closed Down.

I planned a cycling based day today. First an hour on the indoor turbo trainer then a ride out to a new destination (The Mill Cafe Bar and Restaurant at Yaxham) with today's guest Chris (wife). Things didn't start well with a puncture after 40 mins. Not, as you might imagine, out on the wet and muddy roads but whilst I was inside with my bike attached to a turbo trainer roller. It's not as if you can cycle over a stone or thorn so a bit of a mystery how an inside puncture can happen. The manufactures do claim it is the most realistic indoor ride you can have and as I do get a lot of punctures out on my bike then maybe this is a design feature.

Once I had got over the frustration of a half done training session we set off on our ride. It was a difficult day to judge the temperature and neither of us were confident we had got our clothing layers right. After a couple of miles I checked my feetmometer and the reading confirmed it was cold as I had lost the feeling in my toes. I knew I should have double socked! We stopped to add extra clothing layers and then it was fast pedalling, head down into the wind to try and warm up on the way to Yaxham.
Outside main entrance to The Mill Cafe Bar & Restaurant
We were still a bit cold when we arrived at The Mill Cafe Bar and Restaurant and in need of a hot drink and cake. Once inside I made may way straight to the cake display to award the effective cake selection rating (ECS). There was a good looking selection in a smart glass case. Unfortunately both myself and Chris wanted the Malteser and chocolate slice type thing. To make sure we spread our cake tasting wide enough I graciously went for my second choice of a cheese scone.
Cake Selection in elegant back lit display case
The Mill Cafe Bar and Restaurant is very friendly and we had a nice chat with Hugo the owner. He asked how we had heard of them so I proudly told him about my blog and that I was trying to review all the cafes in Norfolk to find the best ones to cycle to (especially for fans of hot chocolate and cake). He trumped my potential blog review of his cafe (readership of about 50 per post) by telling me they had been reviewed in the EDP yesterday (readership about 59,493). However if my blog readership continues to grow at its current rate then I calculate that I will have more readers than the EDP in about 37 years time and this review will be more read than theirs.

The Mill Cafe Bar and Restaurant is a large continental style cafe bar offering hot drinks, home-made cake, beer and wine etc, lunch and evening meals. However I was most impressed by the number of seating areas. There were two outdoor seating areas (one patio and one grass based) and 3 types of indoor seating area (table and standard chairs, table and comfy chairs, and sofas) plus a formal dining/function area. All of these things combined resulted in a high atmosphere and ambiance (AAA) rating. 

I ordered my normal hot chocolate and Chris went for a skinny mocha as her guest drink. Both were very good and scored well. The Malteser and chocolate slice type thing was very nice although a bit rich for Chris, however I was disappointed with my cheese scone as it wasn't very cheesy which is a prerequisite for a cheese based bake.

Just as we were about to leave Hugo (owner) said they were doing some publicity shots of their restaurant food and once photographed the plates would need to be eaten by someone or they would go to waste as he couldn't manage to eat several lunches himself. If we didn't mind eating photographed food then we could have some. Although we were both full from our Malteser and chocolate slice type thing and cheese scone we decided to take him up on his kind offer as this really did sound like such a thing as a free lunch. So we shared the venison burger.
Free photographed venison burger lunch which is clearly not a cake but was very tasty.
Note this wasn't one of the official publicity shots, in case you were wondering why they had employed such a poor photographer
The photographed burger was excellent and had clearly not been adversely affected by the number of pictures that had been taken of it. We were soon full and therefore had to turn down the opportunity of free photographed fish and chips. However as photographed venison burger was clearly not a cake it couldn't form part of the rating score for The Mill Cafe Bar and Restaurant, which is a shame as it was very good.

This was an excellent stop and I look forward to coming back again and trying out a different seating area and cake, although I was warned that free photograph food isn't always available.

According to my feetmometer the temperature had warmed up and we now had the wind behind for the ride back. However we were slowed down as I had two more punctures on the way back but as my mother always tells me, 'bad things come in threes' so I should be clear of punctures for a bit.

Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
This is map of the route

Click here to download 34 miles Norwich Yaxham loop GPX file for your GPS

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