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

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Toddler entertainment. (Whitlingham Broad Visitor Centre Cafe, Norwich)

The Flint Barn,
Whitlingham Broad,
Opening times Everyday 10:00-16:00,
Tomorrow sees the first day of my trip to Paris with Big George so today I wanted one last ride and cafe review so I would be in peak condition for both cycling and blogging. With today's guest, Mrs Crusader, we headed off on a 40 mile loop down to Loddon before planning to find a cafe on the way back.

The way out was very windy and hard work. There seemed to be a number of van drivers on our chosen narrow lanes. It is always notable that the drivers that work for companies are always nice and patient where as some of the private vehicles can be driven more aggressively. Today was no exception as a nice DHL driver pulled over and waited (both times we met him) before giving us a cheery wave. The unbranded van drivers, on the other hand, whizzed passed inches from us giving us a rude sign on the way past. 

Undeterred by Norfolk road rage we turned out of the wind and arrived at the target stop of Emma's tea shop in Rocklands St Mary. Unfortunately it is closed on a Tuesday which sadly today was the latest example of. Fortunately I had a back up plan and with a quick detour, through the charming Norwich sewage works, we arrived at Whitlingham broad visitor centre cafe. 
Outside Whitlingham Broad visitor centre cafe
with my 'Paris' bike now with added pannier
My experience to date of visitor centre cafes is poor as they don't seem to make a lot of cafe effort due to their captive audience being more interested in attraction than cake. I therefore didn't have high hopes for today's review.

It didn't get off to a promising start as inside was a typical visitor centre canteen style set up; noisy, crowded and dark. However things looked up when I examined the cake area as there was a pretty good home-made cake selection of round cakes, square cakes, scones and slices. I awarded a good effective cake selection  (ECS) rating.
A good selection of home-made cakes, scones and slices
We decided to sit in the pleasant outside seating area which overlooks the broad. Here we were entertained by a number of first time mums and toddlers that Whitlingham broad seemed to have attracted. Each mother was trying to out do the others by over enthusiastically demonstrating all the words and moves to pat a cake pat a cake bakers man and similar action based nursery rhymes. The children seemed uninterested, but the mothers seemed to think it was the right way to have fun with their child whilst proving their parenting credentials. As a wizened old parent I can assure them ice cream or extra time on the game station box goes down much better than a vigorous rendition of Jack and Jill. But they were young and will learn.
Cakes and drinks ready to taste
Our drinks (Hot Chocolate and Mocha) were both surprisingly good and although the cakes were a little on the dry side they were not bad either. All in all the Flint Barn cafe is the best example of a cafe at an attraction I have been to so far. It is also free which as a combination is maybe why it attracts so many first time mums.

We completed are journey home with ring-a-ring-a-roses literally ringing round my head. Tomorrow it is down to London ready to start the ride to Paris when I will find out if my fears that Big George hasn't trained enough will come true or not.

Ratings based on 3 visits, last one on 16/03/22
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7. 5

Map of route

Click here to download 40 mile Norwich Loddon route gpx file to your GPS

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