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

Available on Amazon

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Remember the Herbs. (Spoon Cake Cafe, Loddon)

Spoon Cake,
Opening times Mon-Sat 09:00-17:00,
Due to the bad weather and lack of availability of cycling guests, meant that today was the first cafe cycle ride I had done for a week. However I hadn't been idle on the blog front as I have introduced a new useful routes feature. At the end of each blog I'm adding a Google maps version of the route taken plus a Garmin GPS downloadable file. I'll be writing a post shortly with more information on the routes feature.

For this ride I persuaded Chris (Mrs Crusader) to be today's guest and I choose the Spoon Cake Cafe in Loddon as today's venue. Pre Blog I had rated this cafe twice before so I thought it was about time I did a proper review. The ride to Loddon was into the wind and ended with yet another puncture so we were pleased to get to the Spoon Cake Cafe and were in need of our hot beverages and cakes. 
Outside The Spoon Cake Cafe, Loddon with punctured bike.
You can easily miss the cafe as there is little signage

On entering we immediately examined the cake cabinet so as to award the effective cake selection rating (ECS). There was a good choice of scones, cakes and chocolate slices. I found it hard to choose so awarded a high ECS. We covered all options with Chris choosing the double chocolate cake and me going for the cheese scone and chocolate cherry slice type thing.
Cake cabinet including scones, cakes and chocolate slices.
All very good looking so high ECS rating awarded
To go with our cakes I had my normal hot chocolate and Chris a skinny mocha. My hot chocolate was very good, especially on the chocolate side but could have been a little hotter to better fulfil the hot bit of the drinks brief. Chris also enjoyed her drink but thought it just a touch sweet however both drinks still scored well.

The double chocolate cake and chocolate cherry slice type thing were both excellent as they had a good balance of chocolate as sometimes these type of chocolate offerings can be too rich. The Cheese scone came with a relish, always a nice touch, but I felt could have been a bit cheesier. All in all very good ratings and consistent with my previous two visits 
Drinks, cakes, scones and slices about to be rated
I did have one concern. The Spoon Cake Cafe have moved away from the standard table labelling approach of giving each table its own number. Instead they appeared to have adopted a system of labelling each table based on the name of a herb. We choose the Thyme table. 

On closer inspection of the other tables it became clear all was not well in the herb based table identification system department. To go with Thyme there was the predictable Parsley, Sage and Rosemary tables leaving 3 further tables to be allocate a herb based name. The next table I looked at was Basil, another good herb choice I thought but then we got to table Lavender. Although not strictly a Herb, more of a fragrant flower, it can be used in cooking so I thought they just got away with it. But what of the last table, to my horror it had a completely off piste label of Nutmeg. This is clearly not a herb or even a plant but a spice and I could see no place for it in any self respecting herb based table identification system.

I believe a Dill, Oregano or Coriander would have been more in keeping with the theme and I can only conclude the tables were haphazardly named after random jars in the herb and spice rack. I just hope no passing school children mistakenly use these tables to learn their herbs and are ridiculed at school for saying Nutmeg is a herb in a classroom situation. 

Despite the disappointment of not having a properly thought through herb based table identification system the Spoon Cake Cafe is one of the best and most consistent cafes I have reviewed and I highly recommend for a visit..

After fixing the puncture we set off home and with the wind behind and were back in double quick time.

These are the ratings of the Spoon Cake Cafe based on 3 visits. Full list of cafe ratings at end of Blog
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

This is map of route

Click here to download Loddon - Norwich loop GPX file to load on to your GPS

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