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

Thursday 16 October 2014

Special anniversary ride. (Dutch Barn Coffee shop, Blo Norton)

Dutch Barn Coffee Shop,
South Lopham,
Opening times Mon- Sat 10:00-16:00 (closed Tuesday),
Sun 11:00-15:30,
Highly Recommended 
It was a year ago that I went on my first cafe cycle and posted about it. To celebrate I thought I would take my first ever guest, Andrew (who has remained notoriously hard to please), on a special anniversary ride.

Andrew arrived on time but without an anniversary card, which I thought was very bad form even though I had forgotten to tell him it was a special anniversary ride. As it was foggy we took sometime deciding on clothing layers. I sensibly went for short and Andrew foolishly went long and regretted this when the sun came out later on the ride.

For the first hour the fog and mist restricted the view and we could have been anywhere in the world, that was also having a foggy day.
Somewhere in the world, probably Norfolk, having a foggy day
After that the sun came out and with my legs at the perfect temperature we made it to the Dutch Barn Coffee shop which is in the Dutch Barn Nurseries at Blo Norton (which is quite near Diss). On route we also saw eggs for sale but more Egg News later.
Outside the Dutch Barn Coffee shop by the entrance of
the Dutch Barn Nuseries
We headed inside to check out the cakes. There was a good selection of sponge cakes and some scones so I awarded a high effective cake selection rating. I chose chocolate and orange cake and Andrew chose carrot cake. Once again I was disappointed that Andrew had not brought with him any candles for the cakes, or party hats. He had turned out to be a very poor choice for special anniversary ride party guest.
Good selection of sponge cakes,
 I assumed the painted bunting was there to celebrate it being a special anniversary ride
Inside it was nice and cosy but we decided to make the most of the nice weather and sit at one of the tables spread amongst the garden centre plants, which was very pleasant. To avoid confusion we sat well away from the gnomes.

The cakes and drinks arrived and looked very good, other than my regular gripe of the cake being placed on the serviette rendering it useless for crumb removal purposes.
Good looking cakes and drinks, including jug of extra hot chocolate
My hot chocolate was a good one and Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) even thought his cappuccino was a nice cup of coffee so both drinks scored well. In order to have an in depth cake review we had half a piece each. They were both good. The carrot cake was marginally the better cake which we both thought was a very fine example of it's type.

Although not part of the rating we also had toasties which were also very good. As we were enjoying these Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) asked me if I knew what really annoys him. I said I did because I have kept a long list of the things he has told me really annoy him on my phone. On this occasion it was grapes in the salad as he believes there is no place for fruit in savoury food. I said I was already aware of this from when we had raisins in the coleslaw on our last ride (see Indian summer)

The Dutch Barn Coffee shop proved a very good stop scoring well in each category putting it into my current top 10 cafes or tearooms.

For fans of Egg News it appears south Norfolk is the place to get your eggs. I found three free range egg outlets in the south Norfolk region (2 chicken and 1 duck). All of them were selling eggs at £1 a half dozen making them the cheapest I have found anywhere in Norfolk and a 30p saving on Tesco's. The best range was at Folly Farm Bungalow near New Buckingham although unlike Tesco you do have to return the egg box. 
Not only eggs but a fine selection of tomatoes and squashes were also available
(remember to return the egg boxes)
Hopefully the second year of the Norfolk Cafe Cyle blog will be even better than this year and I can add to the 57 local cafes I have been to so far. 

Ratings for Dutch Barn Coffee Shop
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

click here to download 55 mile Norwich South Lopham loop GPX file for your GPS

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