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

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Cake Crusader Sportive 4. (37 miles via Pennoyer Centre, Pulham St Mary)

Sportive 4,
Pennoyer Centre,
Pulham St Mary,
Opening times Mon-Sat 09:30-03:30,
 Highly Recommended
Yesterday saw the 4th Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour Sportive of the year with a visit to the Pennoyer Centre at Pulham St Mary (see a long way round for previous visit). It was an incident packed ride of punctures, wrong turnings, crashes and cake selection controversy.

A massive field of 7 had gathered for this ride and after the usual pre sportive faffing about the riders set off from race HQ and headed south.
Sportive riders about to get on bikes to set off.
 Hans's new bike and Chris's new bike shoes took pride of place.
It wasn't long before the first drama of the day as a GPS malfunction put the route into reverse causing great confusion and a wrong turning to be taken. Fortunately George got a puncture and while repairs were undertaken their was time to get navigation back under control, or so we thought.
George admiring my puncher repair skills
We had two GPS's today so I foolishly let deputy navigator Ali take the front so that I could perform lead rider duties by making sure I chatted with all the participants while pretending to be interested in what they had been up to in the last week. Unfortunately whilst chatting to Jodie I saw Ali miss the correct turning. I naturally yelled 'wrong way' and slammed on my breaks. Unfortunately Jodie wasn't expecting this and crashed into the back of me tipping herself straight into the nettle rich ditch. As she was being stung she started to squeal that her foot was stuck in the pedal. Although I acted as quickly as I could I was not able to get my phone out before she had managed to free herself so there is sadly no picture of Jodie in the ditch for the blog.
Jodie's nettle rash leg
Although covered in stings she bravely got back on the bike and we continued down to the Pennoyer Centre at Pulham St Mary.
Riders bikes filling the available bike parking facilities at the Pennoyer Centre
I headed straight for the cafe area to check out the cake selection while others headed to the shops to buy creams and tablets to help Jodie's nettle based discomfort. I thought the cake selection was good with a number of cakes and scones available. However Ali (who is becoming increasingly hard to please) complained that for such a hot day he would like a lighter cake selection and felt it had not been adequately seasonally adjusted. Despite the lack of a fluffy sponge or lemon sorbet I still awarded a good effective cake selection (ECS) score.
Cake selection, although it had not been seasonally adjusted for a hot day
This was the first time I had rated a cafe or tearoom for the 4th time and as all cafe cycle reviewers know that for currency purposes only the last 3 visits count in the scores (see their must be rules). So as the Pennoyer Centre would be losing it's first, and currently best set of ratings, the pressure was on for a good performance to maintain it's place in my current top 10 rated cafe and tearooms.

A varied selection of drinks and cakes were ordered and delivered to our table on a number of trays by the self proclaimed Mrs Overall. Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) had ordered tea and a sandwich, as a sandwich is not cake he would play no further part in any cake related reviewing. Everyone except Ali (who is becoming increasingly hard to please) thought their cakes were excellent with the apple and caramel cake coming in for particular praise. Ali had had the fruit scone and asked for it to be warmed thus breaking the golden rule 'cheese scone hot, fruit scone not' so only had himself to blame.
The particular good apple and caramel cake about to be reviewed
After much debate on cake and drink quality, whilst ignoring the rantings of certain hard to please individuals, it was generally agreed the standard of cakes and drinks was still high at the Pennoyer centre and it managed to keep it's place in the top 10 rated cafes and tearooms.
Tasting and debating cake and drink quality
The Pennoyer centre is one of 3 cafes that I currently have a loyalty card for (see loyalty card photo library feature on side of blog), so I was pleased to collect 7 more stamps leaving only two more before I am entitled to a free drink.

There was one last bit of drama on the return back when Jodie again decided to have an unscheduled lie down on the side of the road after attempting to ride through a ford. Once again I missed the photo opportunity as I had been keeping my distance and got too far ahead of the incident.
Cycling up one of Norfolks famous hill climbs on the way back to Norwich
Despite all drama it was agreed, by me, that it had been another successful Cake Crusader Sportive.
Scores for Pennoyer Centre based on last 3 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Map of route

View 37 Miles Pulham st Mary in a larger map

Click link to download 37 mile Norwich Pulham St Mary loop GPX file for your GPS

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