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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Saturday 19 April 2014

Not a good Friday (Britannia Cafe, Norwich)

The Britannia Cafe,
Closed Down
After the success of the bus based cafe review earlier this week (On the buses), I felt ready for a more adventurous trip. I was still obviously not well enough to get back on the bike so it would be a bus trip again. I had heard lots of good things about the Britannia Cafe which is run by Norwich Prison so despite it requiring two buses and a short walk I decided that this would be a good test of my recovery progress, since getting out of intensive care last month, and an opportunity to visit a new cafe. I had arranged to meet Barry and Helen (and their tandem) there and also had Chris (Mrs Crusader) coming along so there were plenty of guest reviewers.

With a chill in the air Chris and I set off for the bus stop. We waited for about 10 minutes without a bus appearing. According to the timetable there should have been at least two buses stopped here by now. It was then I realised that it was Good Friday and twigged that there must only be a Sunday (or non existent) bus service today. After waiting 25 minutes and not a sniff of a bus we gave up waiting and decided to take the bus simulator instead.
A Norwich bus like the one we would have caught
 if there had been any running on Good Friday
The ride in the bus simulator went smoothly with the bonus that we didn't need to pick up any passenger simulations at any simulated bus stop or change bus simulator at the half way point, all of which would have been required on a proper bus. It was also a lot cheaper but despite all these advantages it was not the type of bus based cafe reviewing that I want to do so arrived at the Britannia Cafe with a heavy heart. 
Bus simulator which fortunately runs a full simulated service even on a bank holiday
We did however get to the Britannia Cafe on time and just as Barry and Helen (and their tandem) arrived.
In the outside seating area at the Britannia Cafe
 with Barry And Helen and their Tandem.
There was a spacious outside seating area which provided a lovely view over Mousehold heath and Norwich. Unfortunately it was a bit too cold to sit in the outside seating area so we made our way inside. The Britannia Cafe was extremely busy and despite it being a large cafe there was only one table left.
View of Norwich from the outside seating area
We headed straight for the counter to check on the cake selection and order our drinks. Even though it was 11.35 am Barry and Helen (but not their tandem) wanted a late breakfast. I had heard that they did very good cakes but apart from a few scones on the counter I couldn't see any. The barista serving us informed me that they had been concentrating on breakfasts and were still making the cakes which would be available by mid-day. I decided to have a drink and scone to be going on with, whilst I waited for the cakes to arrive and delay awarding the effective cake selection (ECS) rating.

Barry and Helen asked for more details about the breakfast options and the barista told them all about the King's breakfast, Queens breakfast and breakfast bap in great detail. Barry and Helen thought the breakfast bap sounded best and ordered two. Unfortunately the barista's detailed breakfast options description had missed the bit about stopping serving breakfast at 11.30 so they couldn't have one. For a review of breakfasts at the Britannia Cafe try the fry up inspectors review, he obviously went at the right time of day.

We ordered drinks: my normal hot chocolate, 2 skinny mochas and a cappuccino. I also ordered a Stilton scone so at least I would have a contingency cake to review.
Warm drinks and Stilton scone ready for reviewing
The drinks all had a good flavour but were not very hot which didn't go down well with my guest reviewers. The scone was a bit too dry and I always feel a cheese flavoured scone should be warmed which this one wasn't. We then waited patently for the cakes to appear but after 45 minutes they had still not materialised (obviously also working on a Sunday timetable in the kitchen). By now there was standing room only and a big queue in the Britannia Cafe so we decided to free up our table and leave without proper cake and a low ECS rating.

The barista explained that they had had so much recent publicity and good reviews on trip advisor that they were far busier than they had expected to be and were rushed off their feet. I'm sure on a nice quiet sunny day, when there is some cake available, the Britannia Cafe would be very good but our visit was a bit disappointing. At least my review should not add to people wanting to go there.

We returned home in the bus simulator and Barry and Helen (and their tandem) set off to find some cake which they found at the Olive Tree in Tunstead. I have therefore added the Olive Tree to my list of Cafes to visit.
Cake selection Barry and Helen (and their tandem)
found at the Olive Tree Tunstead
Ratings for Britannia Cafe based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

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