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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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Off the list at last (Pandora's Kitchen, Norwich)

Pandora’s Kitchen,
Now Closed Down
Once every few months I get invited to meet up with old work colleagues for lunch. As I no longer have any big business chat to offer up then, much to their 'delight', I like to bring them up to date with the latest cycle (or currently bus) cafe reviewing. In a futile attempt to move the conversation on, Vince always tells me I must go to Pandora's Kitchen on London Street in Norwich which is the only cafe I think he has ever been to. As a result it has been top of my 'cafes or tearooms I need to visit' to do list for a long time. With my current bus transport limitations today seemed like the opportunity to eventually go there and also it will give me a good way of keeping the conversation on to cycle (or currently bus) cafe reviewing next time we meet up.

So on a nice sunny day, myself and Chris (wife), my regular bus based cafe review guest, set off to the bus stop. Apparently it is 14% cheaper to buy return bus tickets so that is what I did.
Buying two return tickets which is 14% cheaper than buying single tickets.
A top tip for any bus traveller under retirement age.
Once again it was a short uneventful trip on the number 11 bus. Once we arrived at our bus stop we alighted and took a short walk to Pandora's kitchen.
Outside Pandora's Kitchen by the outdoor seating island area.
Pandora's Kitchen is a very popular and busy cafe so I wasted no time studying the cake selection so we could join the queue. It was an interesting mix of cakes with standards like chocolate brownies and scones as well as some unusual cakes including a snickers sponge. Despite there not being a huge choice but because of the variety I still felt able to award a good effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Cake selection with a good mix of interesting cakes.
As usual I ordered a hot chocolate and Chris a skinny Mocha. I went for a caramel pudding cake and Chris went for the snickers sponge.

Pandora's Kitchen has indoor seating on two floors but the décor was a bit twee for my liking so as it was a nice day we choose to sit in the large outdoor island seating area. Pandora's Kitchen outdoor island seating area is in the middle of the shopping walkway meaning pedestrians have to go round on either side of you. There are also waiters and punters having to cross one carriage way to get to their table. In the short time we were there we saw a number of near misses as people risked going the wrong way round or didn't look both ways before crossing. On a clear bright day like today accidents could easily be avoided but in foggy or icy conditions I can see only carnage with cakes, shopping and pedestrians strewn across the pavement. This is lack of health and safety gone mad!
Outdoor seating island area that could be prone to people bumping
 into each other. Although no one did while we were there
After a while I got used to outdoor seating island area and it was quite nice watching all the comings and goings and near misses but we had business to attend to and needed to get down to reviewing the cakes and drinks.
Cakes and drinks ready to be reviewed
After the disappointment of my last two cafe visits were the hot chocolates had tasted very good but were not at all hot it was good that the Pandora's Kitchen hot chocolate offering was just the right temperature. It could have done with being a little more chocolaty but not bad. Chris decided her skinny mocha was a pretty good one. I thought the caramel pudding cake was excellent and very enjoyable. Chris found her snickers sponge a little too far off the cake piste for her taste and particularly didn't like the peanuts in the chocolate sponge. As I recall a Snickers bar is exceptionally peanuty so having peanuts in the cake is probably what you would expect. In fact you are more likely to complain if your snickers sponge cake had no peanuts in it as then it would just be a chocolate sponge cake. After much discussion with my guest on the matter I ignored her comments and awarded a good cake quality score.

Pandora's Kitchen is a very good cafe and I did like its unusual selection of cakes, however if you go there on my recommendation I can not be held responsible if you are involved in a pedestrian traffic incident but is definitely worth the risk.

We had another uneventful return bus trip and the whole visit was over in an hour. I'm looking forward to when I'm strong enough to get back on my bike again for a proper day out of cycle cafe reviewing.

Ratings for Pandora's Kitchen
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

The fry up inspector has been here too. Click here for his review

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