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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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

First Cake Crusader top 3 cafe (although we only actually got to two) Sportive. (Corner House cafe, Mundsley and Wiveton Hall, Wiveton)

Top 3 Café Sportive,
Corner House Café, Mundsley,
Wiveton Hall Café, Wiveton
Sunday saw the first 'Annual Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour top 3 cafe (although we only actual got to two) sportive' take place. The event got off to a bad start as a number of withdrawals had left only 4 people standing in Andrew's (who is notoriously hard to please) front drive ready for the off. Things soon got worse as it started to rain and then Ali (who is increasingly hard to please) announced that his bike had punctured in the back of his car on the drive up from Norwich to Alysham. Apparently the back tyre had exploded, and on further examination it did have a large gash in the inner tube. A mystery indeed.
The dissapointingly small field ready to set off on the
first 'Annual Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour top 3 cafe (although we only actual got to Two) sportive'
Once the tyre was fixed and rain had passed it was time to set off. The plan was to go first to the corner house cafe in Mundsley, as this was the first cafe I ever reviewed see (Size matters). Then up to Wiveton Hall Cafe (currently rated 3rd best on my ratings league table) for lunch and finally down to Heydon Hall shop and Tearoom (currently rated 4th best) for afternoon tea. We had to be back before 4.00pm as Andrew had another appointment.

As a result of the late start we were already behind the clock and things didn't improve when we would blocked by a flooded road.
A stream of  competitors carrying their bikes round the flooded road
This was soon followed by a further delay as we attempted to cross the railway line at a recently closed (for safety reasons) and therefore locked level crossing. Potentially forcing people (but not necessarily those on this sportive) to climb over the gate and run across the track carrying their bikes doesn't appear to be a way of making the railways safer. For legal reasons I will not be saying how we managed to get back onto our route.

We eventually got past all these obstacles and closed in on Mundsley. Ali said that at least the forecast of strong wind that had been predicted for today had been wrong. Sadly it was he who was wrong as up to this point we had had the wind behind us and therefore the wind had not been noticed. He was going to be in for a bit of a shock when we changed direction after our stop.

The Corner House Cafe is a Cake Crusader staple venue as although not at the top of the league it is always a reliable stop.
Outside corner house cafe in Mundsley
Unfortunately there was no outside seating area and the one table where you can just see the sea from was already taken but we found a nice table near the counter. I checked out the cake selection which now had an additional cake (albeit only one slice left) since my last visit so was able to slightly increase their effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Some of the cake selection which also included muffins,
lemon drizzle and lemon sponge not in the picture
On my last visit I noticed that there was only a small or medium size drink available and not a large one (which breaks the laws of maths) and I wrote about this on the blog. The owner kindly commented on my review and suggested that I ask for the reason next time I came and they would explain the sizing 'secret'. Therefore when the nice young lad severing us asked if I wanted a small or medium drink I took the opportunity to ask why these were the only sizes. I hoped that the mysterious sizing secret would at last be reviled. He told me it was because the medium was really the large. I was a little disappointed with the answer, seeing as that had been my point all along, and had hoped for a more intriguing solution. On my next visit I will track down the owner and hopefully get to the bottom of the corner houser cafe drink sizing policy once and for all.

Our drinks and cake arrived with the only downside being that Ali (who is increasingly hard to please) doesn't like his coffee severed in a 'vase', which is becoming an all too frequent trend. Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) had decided to go for tea with toast and marmalade as he was hung over and had missed breakfast. I therefore disqualified him from any further cycle cafe reviewing until he started to take it seriously.
Cake and Ali's vase of coffee ready for reviewing.
We left the corner house cafe and set off in the opposite direction towards Wiveton our second stop. As predicted Ali had a bit of a shock as we were now riding straight into a gale and our pace notably dropped. This put us even further behind schedule. Ali also needed to get back early as he was having a very special guest (me) and their family round for dinner and needed to go prepare. He therefore bailed out of the wind and headed back to Alysham. 

Myself and the remaining sportive competitors, Andrew and Chris (Mrs Crusader), continued to battle hard and finally crawled into Wiveton Hall.
Parked up outside Wiveton Hall
Wiveton Hall was very busy and we were lucky to get the only remaining unreserved table. I went to check out the ECS which was even better than the normal high standard Wiveton Hall sets.
Wiveton Hall vast cake selection, featuring chocjack at the front
I couldn't resist the look of the chocolate flapjack (chocjack) as it looked just what I needed to be able to complete the remainder of the ride.

We ordered some proper lunch to go with our drinks and chocjack. As Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) had ordered a proper coffee I reluctantly let him get re involved in cycle cafe rating, at which point he instantly complained his coffee was too cold.

Today's drinks were not up to the normal high standard as the coffee was a bit cold and hot chocolate a bit weak but they still scored well and Wiveton Hall held on to it's 3rd place status. The chocjack was very sugary and just what was needed to boost the energy levels.
Drinks and chocjack ready for reviewing
Despite the excellently quick service we were along way behind schedule so, much to everyone's surprise, I reluctantly agreed to abandon our planned stop at Heydon Hall shop and tearoom and head straight back to Alysham so Andrew could keep his appointment.

It was still a real dash across Norfolk but we struggled into Andrew's drive just in time. We all agreed that the first 'Annual Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour top 3 cafe (although we only actual got to two) sportive' had been a huge success and I'm already planning how to make next years event even bigger and better. The first suggested improvement is to actually get to 3 cafes.

Ratings for Corner House cafe based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.25
7.0
5.75
7.25
7.25
6.90
Ratings for Wiveton Hall cafe based on 3 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.67
7.5
8.67
7.8
8.0
7.93
Route

Click here to download 56 mile Alysham Wiveton loop gpx file for your gps

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