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

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Thursday 18 September 2014

Garden delight (South Green Cafe bar, Mattishall)

South Green Cafe,
Opening times Mon- Fri 09:00-16:00,
Sat-Sun 09:00-15:00
With summer coming to an end I decided it was about time I combined cycling with the world of gardening. For clarity, by this combination I mean I would cycle out to an open garden for a look round, not that I would trying to do the weeding whilst riding my bike. Earlier this year I had successfully combined cycling and art (see looking for art), and had been given the National Gardens Scheme booklet at one of the galleries. The booklet informed me that the High House gardens near Shipdham was to be open to visitors yesterday.

Therefore myself, with guest Chris (Mrs Crusader), set off for Shipdham where, on route, we would include a cycle cafe review stop at the South Green Cafe bar at Mattishall.

To add excitement to the trip I had installed my new bike sat nav and planned to test it out. I had foolishly let Chris have my old one so she could follow the route as well. Things started badly as the new sat nav didn't work the same as the old one. Obviously, whilst still riding, I started to fiddle with it in order to try and make it find the route we were meant to be on. With my attention distracted I didn't notice that Norfolk county council had installed a street light right in the middle of the cycle path. I only became aware of it when I hit it with my shoulder and ended up sprawled across the pavement. I will be writing to the council to ask them if they could move the lamp post back a bit in case I need to fiddle with my sat nav in the future.

Fortunately I knew the route we were taking to Mattishall as it was becoming clear that my new Sat Nav didn't and we arrived at South Green Cafe bar in Mattishall safely.

Arriving at the South Green Cafe bar in Mattishall
On arrival I was pleased to see an outside seating area overlooking the river so we could sit outside and keep an eye on the bikes. First though, we went inside to check out the cakes. They were displayed on a welsh dresser display area. There were not many cakes to choose from but the ones there were looked nice so I awarded an appropriate effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Cakes on the welsh dresser display area
I ordered Victoria sponge with my hot chocolate and Chris ordered chocolate cake with her skinny mocha. We then we returned to our table in the outside seating area. Unfortunately the noisy extractor fan didn't help the ambiance of what should have been a peaceful setting and got a little annoying by the end of our visit.
Cakes and drinks ready for tasting
The drinks were both fine although not exceptional with the hot chocolate part of both drinks being a bit sweet. The cakes were also nice without being great so overall South Green came out as a solid but not spectacular stop. As an aside the baguettes we had for lunch were very good.

We set off again for our garden venue. By now Chris was getting the hang of her hand me down bike sat nav which, unlike my new one, was taking us on the correct route. I was getting uncomfortable with the new found cycling independence this was giving her so when she went over a bump and it fell off (the sat nav not the wife) it gave me the excuse to confiscate the GPS and nip in the bed any more ideas of her organising rebel trips.

We arrived at the Hill House garden and were warmly welcomed as they said they wished more people came on bikes as they had limited car parking space. However they became less welcoming when we wanted  to cycle along the edge of the herbaceous border, so to avoid an incident we parked our bikes and walked round instead.
One of the very nice flower beds at the Hill House garden
The garden was very nice but as I don't know much about plants we raced around everything rather quickly, although we decided we should have more purple in our garden.

By now my new sat nav was completely lost and decided to totally freeze up. Despite this we managed to get home safely. I think the new sat nav might be good if I new how it worked properly and I may even be tempted to have a peak at the instruction manual before my next ride.

I think the cafe garden cycling combination works well and I look forward to planning some more combined trips next year.

Ratings for South Green Cafe bar
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click here to download 44 mile Norwich Shipdham loop gpx file for your gps

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