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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Monday, 7 July 2014

The Tooth hurts. (King fisher cafe, Arcen, and Passi cafe, Horst)

Search for Best Café in Europe 2014
Day 2
In the night I woke up with tooth ache, I checked what time it was and much to my amusement saw it was tooth hurty. However by the morning this amusement had worn off as despite several pain killers my tooth was really painful. Fortunately a local dentist could see me first thing so I set off on my bike for the appointment. The dentist was very friendly but seemed more interested in practising his English than looking at my tooth. He asked where we were staying and I said I couldn't remember the name but told him it was a camp site down the road. "There are many camp sites and many roads" he told me which I assume must be a wise old Dutch saying. Eventually he had a quick look in my mouth and then fifty euros and some antibiotics later I was on my way back and ready for today's European cycle cafe reviewing.
Dentist humour on the dentist reception desk
Despite the fact the Netherlands is shut on a Monday Barry and Helen and their tandem had planned another double cafe 40 mile session. So on a lovely Dutch morning we set off. The main excitement on the way to the first stop was a river crossing where I reluctantly did pay the ferryman before we got to the other side.
Ferry crossing
With my tooth still throbbing in my mouth we arrived at De Ijsvogel (kingfisher mill to you) just outside Arcen.
Outside 'king fisher cafe'
I had high hopes as it looked a much nicer stop than yesterday's. As I was on anti biotics I had been advised not to drink alcohol so I ordered a hot chocolate instead. Sadly it was chocomel again which was exactly the same as yesterday, it appears everyone serves the equivalent of cadburys drinking chocolate on the continent. However they did have draft Trappist beer and would put a liqueur in the hot chocolate if you wanted so the drinks still scored well.
Drinks options
The food menu was much shorter than the alcohol menu but they did have pancakes and toasties which are the national foods of Holland. They were both fairly disappointing and they didn't do any puddings here either.
Dissapointingly small toasties and pancakes
The De Ijsvogel (kingfisher mill to you) scored ok but should have done better for such a good location and couldn't knock of the over rated central cafe, Baarol from top spot.

I downed some more painkillers and we set off again to hopefully find a true contender for European cycle cafe of the year 2014.

To make cycling easier the Dutch have come up with an ingenious yet simple cycle route planning solution. The system involves networks of numbered points, each point spread out every few kilometres on the quite roads and cycle paths. Then using a special cycle map with all the number points on it you just plan which numbers you will visit on your route and follow them. To make it even easier there are direction signs showing the way to each point.
Typical cycle point post
It is therefore almost impossible to go wrong so it was surprising just how many times Barry and Helen and their tandem got lost. On one occasion this was apparently because the Dutch had suddenly built a motorway across the cycle path blocking our way. I remembered the dentist had told me there were many roads and we seemed to have gone on most of them before we arrived at our second stop in Horst.
Barry checking map again as we seemed to be lost
It was very busy in their town square, which had a big screen set up for the Holland World Cup games and better still was currently showing the Tour de France. 
Big screen showing tour de france
We choose our seat in the compulsory outdoor seating area of Passi cafe and after waiting some time placed our order.
Outside Passi cafe
For once there was a different hot chocolate available. This time the chocolate came on a stick and you melted it yourself into the hot milk provided. I went for dark chocolate and George for milk chocolate. They also had strawberry waffles so I was optimistic of a good cycle cafe rating.
Drinks including hot chocolate on a stick
Unfortunately the beer was only average and although the hot chocolates were much better than the chocomel of previous stops, we had had up to now, the drinks were not very hot or chocolaty. The strawberry waffles were very nice but a bit small and I was reliably informed not as good as the overrated central cafe Baarlo. 
The rather small strawberry waffles
I thought the ambiance was excellent as I could see the Tour de France on a big screen but the rest of the group thought the overrated central cafe Baarlo was better despite the fact it over looked a car park. I reluctantly agreed that if you took away the big screen then the setting and noiseyness wasn't that great. 

Cafe Passi scored fairly well but would need to improve its drinks and location to move up the league.

I did learn that having ice cream with your waffle when you have tooth ache is a bad idea as it hurt worse than ever on the ride back to the camp site. Despite this it had been a fabulous 40 mile two stop ride but still left the vastly overrated central cafe Baarlo top of the European league.

European league table after 4 cafés.   
Cafe                                               Drink Food    Ambiance  Score
Central cafe, Baarlo Holland              8           8             7                7.67
De Ijsvogel (kingfisher mill to you),    8           6            8.5              7.50
Arcen, Holland
Passi cafe, Horst, Holland.                 7         7.5           6.5             7.00
Dakepello, Panningen                        5        6.5            5               5.50

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