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/

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Wednesday 12 February 2014

What no rain. (Tudor Bakehouse and coffee shop, Long Stratton)

Tudor Bakehouse,
Long Stratton,
Closed Down
After waiting for over a week I finally got the necessary combination of no rain and an available guest so that I could once again resume Cafe Cycle reviewing. Today's guest was Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please). With a strong wind from the south we decided to do a loop, down to Long Stratton, so we would have the wind behind us on the way back. We had no particular cafe in mind but I had checked that Long Stratton did contain some actual cafes for our stop.

The ride got off to a shaky start with some confusion when crossing the A140 roundabout. Andrew sensibly choose the cycle path route whilst I nipped round on the road. Unfortunately Andrew didn't spot my manoeuvre and missed the fact I had gone past him and had turned off up the road. When he couldn't see me anywhere he assumed I had gone the other way and set off in the opposite direction. I soon realised there was something wrong, as there was no ranting going on beside me, so I stopped and turned round. Meanwhile Andrew had also noticed a 50% reduction in the number of riders on this trip. We both tried ringing each other to find out what had gone wrong and after a few missed calls, and several voice mail messages, we meet up again at the roundabout and managed to stay together for the rest of the ride.

It was a hard slog into the wind and we were glad when we got to Long Stratton. We slowly cycled down the main road until we came across the Tudor Bakehouse and Coffee shop. This looked like a good stop as it also had a bicycle repair shop attached to it so was likely to be very cycle friendly.

Outside the Tudor Bakehouse with distinct lack of Tudorness but lots of bikes.
After an Alarmio malfunction and piercing car style alarm incident we went inside. On the left of the Tudor bakehouse and coffee shop is a normal bakery type set up and on the right a choice of seating. You can either pick a standard table and chair seating solution or a comfy seating area with a pair of sofas. We went for sofas. Sadly there was no outside seating area although I have hard it rumoured that these are provided in the summer months to create a continental cafe culture on Long Stratton high street.

My coat perched on one of the sofas in the comfy seating area.
The cake selection was basic bakery based; consisting of cakes, scones, biscuits and slices which can be sold in multiples, however there were no big round cakes, so although there was plenty of choice I only awarded a middle effective cake selection score. There were also pasties, pies and sandwiches but as these are not cakes they didn't influence the rating.

Good selection of  cakes, biscuits, scones and slices but no big home-made cakes
With my hot chocolate I had an almond and cherry muffin and Andrew went for a cappuccino and chocolate shortbread slice. My hot chocolate was a good one but Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) found his cappuccino a bit milky although nice quality coffee. Both the muffin and shortbread where also very good.

The Tudor bakehouse and coffee shop was a very pleasant stop with a nice bike friendly feel about it. However one thing was troubling me, there was absolutely nothing Tudor about the Tudor bakehouse and coffee shop: no Tudor architecture, no mock Tudor beams, no dead Tudor kings buried in the car park etc so it seemed to me it should have been named just 'the bakehouse and coffee shop'. 

On my return home I undertook some further investigation which revealed that this Tudor bakehouse had recently become the 5th Tudor bakehouse in the Tudor bakehouse group (the others are in Harleston, Diss and Eye). I can only assume that the first Tudor bakehouse was actually in a Tudor building. Maybe from now on they should either only take on bakeries already in Tudor buildings or rename the company 'various eras of architecture bakehouse' to avoid further confusion. 

The eagle eyed readers may remember when I published the original rules for cafe cycle rating (see there must be rules).  I said I would't be reviewing chains just independent cafes and tearooms. Fortunately only one other of the Tudor bakehouses has a coffee shop as well so I think it's still within the regulations to review them.

With the wind behind on the way back we had a very quick and incident free return trip. 

Ratings for the Tudor bakehouse and coffeeshop
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Here is map of route.

View 27 miles Norwich Long Stratton loop in a larger map
Click here to download 27miles Norwich Long Stratton loop GPX file for your GPS

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