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, 31 May 2014

Cake Crusader Sportive 3. (36 Miles via the Hen House Wymondham)

Sportive 3,
Hen House,
Tue-Sat 10:00-2:00,
Highly Recommended
Today saw the 3rd Cake Crusader Sportive. A nice day attracted 8 people to Race HQ for registration with two more joining on route. The route would be a 36 mile trip down to Old Buckingham, returning via Attleborough and Wymondham. Today's stop would be at the Hen House cafe (see Eggcellent find), currently rated in my top 10 cafes and tearooms. Hopefully it will live up to its previous positive comments and cope with a large group of cyclists.
Registered sportive cyclists about to set off from race HQ.
Sportive newbies Rachel and Steve had asked for a slightly shorter route as they had been off their bikes for a while. Demonstrating the flexibility of a Cake Crusader Sportive it was agreed they could meet the group at Hethel and leave again after the cafe stop thus eliminating the need to come to Race HQ and also knock a few miles off the route.
Flexible sportive riders waiting for remaining entrants to join the peloton
The ride went smoothly for the first few miles but then Rachel's lack of practice caught up with her and she started to flag. Unfortunately due to a miscommunication she believed we were going the other way round the route. i.e. 5 miles to cafe stop for her then 25 miles home for everyone else not the other way round. Fortunately Chris (Mrs Crusader) solved the problem by offering to share her drink and lying about how much further it was to the Hen House Cafe. This worked for a few miles until the lies wore off as the miles clocked up. 
The Peleton charging towards Old Buckingham
whilst convincing Rachel we were nearly at the Hen House Cafe
Like all good cycle groups we then each took our turn at lying to Rachel, with a continually more convincing 'we really are nearly there now' honest', until we safely arrived at the Hen House cafe. At this point Rachel sent husband Steve cycling home to pick up the car so Rachel could complete the journey in comfort, and have coffee and cake with the rest of the group.
Outside Hen House Cafe
On arrival I went to see if there was a wider selection of cakes than last time and was pleased to see there was. They were now not only in the box on the blue welsh dresser display unit but the counter as well.
3 varieties of cake in the box on the blue Welsh dresser display unit.
We had caused a bit of a queue at the counter and the barista serving explained she was new and only just getting up to speed with the coffee machine so it took a little time for all the sportive (except Steve as he was still fetching the car) to be served.

As well as a table inside, The Hen House Cafe provides an outdoor shed based seating area for you to sit in. Unfortunately all the sheds were in use so we used the outside picnic bench seating section instead, which was very pleasant.
The full sportive (except Steve) in the outdoor picnic bench seating area
Cafe rating had never been done on this scale before. To make matters worse I had to apply the "first time reviewer''s" coefficient to a number of the party plus include the 'notoriously hard to please Andrew' (NHTPA) factor, to come up with the right algorithm for rating the guest drink. The conclusion was that the coffees were good but needed to be a bit stronger. 
Drinks, cakes and macaroons on a tiny tray ready for reviewing
The cakes also proved hard to agree on as the orange and lemon cake was very good, the macaroons superb but the coffee, walnut and cardamom cake was not such a success. We all decided there was no place for cardamom in a sponge cake (except the banana and cardamom cake I had last time I was here which was very nice). Despite this the cakes were still rated highly.

Overall The Hen House moved its rating up very slightly and we all agreed it was a very nice stop, I only hope they will be able to cope with their growing popularity.

The ride home went smoothly and I believe Steve successfully rescued Rachel in their support car. 

Ratings of Hen House cafe based on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Todays route
Click link to download 36 mile Norwich Attleborough loop GPX for your GPS 

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