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

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Get off my land. (Earsham Hall tearoom. Bungay)

Earsham Hall Tea room,
Open Mon-Sat 9-5.00, Sun 10-4.00
(under new management since post was published)
Yesterday I was due to go for my first cycle with Big George since my funny turn and near death experience. As always Big George had added a layer of logistical challenge. On this occasion he had double booked the day by also agreeing to go for a bike ride with his mate Andrew as well. Big George, being a master of the double booking, resolved the situation by inviting Andrew to join us for some cafe cycle reviewing. Therefore on a bright but windy morning I set off for Earsham Hall Tearooms with guests Big George (double booker) and Andrew (double bookee).

The ride was going well until I stopped to adjust my cycle speedo which had started to malfunction. By the time I had fixed it Big George and Andrew had disappeared up the road and gone past the requisite turning required to keep us on route. I chased after them and eventually caught them up about half a mile later. After my previous experience of going wrong and not turning back (see a long way round) I suggested we retraced our steps. However as proper men they couldn't face the indignity of such a retreating manoeuvre wishing to keep going forward until we could weave our way back to the proper route.

So we set off again only to find no suitable turns in the right direction were appearing on our road. Eventually we came to a little tarmac track with an 'unsuitable for motorised vehicles' sign. I checked my GPS and although the unsuitable road was not marked it was going in the right direction to get back on route. As we were not motorised we decided to take it.

Unfortunately the road soon ran out and turned into a muddy path, but it was still cyclable so we continued.
Muddy path. Although unsuitable for motorised
vehicles we could still cycle on it
A bit further on the muddy path became a field, we could no longer ride so had to walk our bikes instead. 
Unexpected cyclo cross training for when I take it up in the Autumn
After about 20 mins walking we came to a farmyard which we needed to go through to get back to the road. However the farmers boy stopped us and told us there were pigs. Apparently we were meant to understand why this was a problem but as townies we didn't know. He went off to find the farmer which gave us our opportunity to escape. How much damage can these pigs do to us, we thought, so hopped on our bikes and rode past the dangerous pigs (in their sty's) and down the farm drive.

Just as we felt we were in the clear we were stopped by the farmers wife who was out walking her dogs. She explained you cant go through areas of pigs without permission as you could spread pig based diseases this made sense and we felt very guilty of bringing our town ways out into the country. We promised 'subject to any further navigational issues' that we were not planning to go to any more pig farms on our ride so should be ok. We apologised to the farmers wife and quickly set off again. The  detour had added 4 miles and 1 hour to the ride as well as the possibility of a swine flu outbreak in Norfolk. Next time I go wrong I really will turn round.

We managed to get to Earsham Hall Tearooms without any further farm yard incidents and parked our bikes in the outside seating courtyard and decking area.
Outside Earsham Hall Tearooms by the outdoor seating patio area
Myself and Big George had previously rated the Earsham Hall Tearoom last year pre blog, so checking the previous scores on my iPhone spreadsheet it suggest the cake selection maybe light. This turned out still to be the case with only cupcakes and cheese or fruit scones available. Despite the fact they all looked nice I could only give a low effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Cake selection which was very small although nicely covered

I went for hot chocolate and cheese scone. The Earsham Hall Tearooms have no coffee machine so could only offer filter coffee (although you could have it really milky and pretend it was a latte if you wanted). Big George and Andrew went for standard filter and cheese and fruit scone respectively.
Drinks and scones. My hot chocolate came with a jug of extra hot chocolate
and there were free top ups of the coffee.
There is a small indoor seating area but we choose the outdoor seating patio area which was very pleasant in it's court yard setting. 
Choosing our table in the outdoor seating patio area
We all found all our drinks to be pleasant enough (and you got free top ups with your coffee) and awarded an average drinks quality score. On my last visit here my hot chocolate had burnt my mouth and not tasted at all chocolatey so I was pleased that this one was a lot better. Mine and Big Georges cheese scones were quite good although we couldn't agree on the cake quality score as I felt although they tasted very cheesy they were a bit flat and slightly dry. Andrew, whose fruit scone had risen nicely, rated his scone highly but as he was new to cafe cycle reviewing I had to apply the 'new reviewer coefficient' to his score.

Overall the Earsham Hall Tearoom was a nice stop to pop into if you are passing that way but not for a special visit. (Since then it is under new management and much improved  See sportive 16 for details)

The return trip went smoothly as we made sure to avoid any further off-road sections, farm yards or pigs. Obviously on our return home we all showered in bleach, hosed down our bikes and burnt our clothes in case we came across livestock on our next cafe cycle adventure.

To avoid anyone else causing a potential farming crisis I won't be putting the route we took on the bottom of this post.

Scores for Earsham Hall Tearooms based on two visits. (note now under new management and much improved)
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

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