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/

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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, 31 July 2014

Surprise extra. (Tučarjev dom, Vršič moutain, Slovenia)

Search for Best Café in Europe 2014

Day 9
Much to my surprise George (son) and Jake (nephew) announced they would like to ride up the 7.5 mile 24 hairpin bend Vršič mountain pass as a challenge. This sounded a great idea and as I suspected there would be a cafe at the top so I invited myself along and made them my guest reviewers for the ride.

Therefore early this morning, with the sun shinning, we set off for our mountain climb cycling challenge and cafe cycle review experience. It was tough going but to inspire us I sang the lyrics to the chorus of Geordie X-Factor winner Joe Mcelderry's number 1 hit 'the climb'.

There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move

Always going to be an uphill battle, 

Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose,

Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

Unfortunately the only line I actually knew was 'it's the climb' so I had to dum-de-dum the other bits and then just belt out 'it's the climb' every few minutes. It seemed to do the trick and we made good progress towards the top. 
Today's guest reviewers enjoying the climb (both actual and my singing)
Years of cycling practice, including forcing my children to cycle with me, meant myself and George kept going all the way to the top but unlike the marines we were prepared to leave a man behind and with about 1 mile and 4 hairpins to go it started to rain so we sped up and left Jake to struggle up the last bit without us or my inspirational singing to aid has soggy ascent.

As the rain got heavier we kindly waited for Jake at the top and then headed straight for cafe Tučarjev dom. With clouds closing in the stunning view was a bit less stunning than on the postcards but still not bad.
View from top, partly hidden in cloud
We locked up our bikes outside Cafe Tučarjev dom and headed inside to get out of the rain and grab some much needed refreshments to refuel up our lost energy.
Outside Tučarjev dom
Inside was very dark and not very welcoming. Unfortunately we had just been beaten in by a coach party of old people, I think from Italy, all waving their tokens for coffee and strudel. I thought we deserved our refreshments first seeing as we had just cycled for 1.5 hours up hill where as they had sat in a coach staring out of a window but despite this we had to wait behind them for sometime as plate after plate of strudel flew out of the kitchen. The old people, I think from Italy, were also taking up most of the indoor seating area and although there was a nice outdoor bench based seating area no one, including us, wanted to use it in this weather.
Out door seating bench area abandoned to the rain
When we did eventually get our hot chocolate, strudel and a seat the items were all faintly disappointing with only the lemon zest twist in the apple strudel saving cafe Tučarjev Dom from becoming the worst cafe in all of Europe.
Disappointing set of food and drink
We waited for the rain to ease before flying back down the slippery roads in only 25 minutes. It was disappointing to have put in so much effort for such a poor cafe visit. But then I remembered the words of Joe:
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
And Suddenly I understood what he meant; it was the fun and enjoyment of cycling uphill with legs aching and lungs burning for 90 minutes that was important not the rubbish cafe at the top, I think.

European league table after 11 cafés.   
Cafe                                                             Drink   Food    Ambiance  Score
Hotel Vitranc, Podkoren, Slov.                        8.        8.5             8            8.17 
Morgenstond cafe, Griendtsveen, NL              8         8.5            7.5          8.00
Central cafe, Baarlo NL.                                  8          8.75          7            7.92
Hererg de bonged, Bassel, NL.                        8          8.5.           7.           7.83
D'hefren van Baarlo, Baarlo, NL.                    6.          8.             9.           7.67
Gasthof W@nker, Arnoldstein, Austria          7.          8.            7.5.          7.50
De Ijsvogel (kingfisher mill to you),                8           6            8.5           7.50
Arcen, NL
Passi cafe, Horst, Holland.                               7         7.5           6.5           7.00
Gostinstvo in turizem cafe,                              7.5.       5             5.5           6.00
Monstrana, Slov
Tučarjev dom, Vršič moutain, Slov                  5          7               5            5.67
Dakepello, Panningen, NL                                5         6.5             5            5.50

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