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, 13 November 2014

Come back in 3 years. (Hamptons Home and Garden Tearooms, Reepham)

Has now moved to a new location at Bawdeswell
See Wrong day for review of new cafe

Today saw the start of the 2nd Annual Cafe Cycle Tours winter wheels cycling feast. According to my November 2013 cycling monthly report, on the first feast last year I did 4 rides in 8 days covering 133 miles. This year the plan is to do an incredible 5 rides in 7 days covering 200 ish miles and I will also take part in my first cycle cross race (although no cafe is involved in this) so the November 2014 cycling monthly report should have a very green status.

To kick off the week I drove up to Alysham to Andrew's (who is notoriously hard to please) house. As always I had no idea what he had in store route and cafe wise. Normally neither does he, with the ride 'evolving organicly' as we go. On arrival, and much to my surprise, Andrew proudly claimed that, not only had he a route planned (which he had marked in crayon on a photo copied map) but had even phoned the cafe to make sure it was open. I was very pleased with how seriously he was now taking cafe cycle reviewing.

We had a strong wind behind so made good progress North. On route we discussed the latest winter cycle clothing trends as I had splashed out on new socks, gloves, base layer and florescent gilet and I was testing them all today. Unfortunately the gilet was faulty as it had arrived with no arms but overall my new winter collection performed well as I was soon overheating on the bike and had to discard the gloves.

We arrived at today's target stop, Walsingham cafe at Great Walsingham but much to Andrew's surprise it was shut. I was confused as he had previously claimed to have phoned ahead. It transpired that he had only managed to speak to the answer phone which had given the opening times but failed to mention they were in a closed period.

There was a message in the window explaining things.
Confusing message saying the cafe will reopen on Wednesday 15th November
This was a little confusion as the notice said they would reopen on Wednesday 15th November. Today was Thursday 13th November and I worked out the next Wednesday 15th November would not be until 2017. I have since made a note in my 2017 diary to come back then.

Not surprisingly Andrew had not got a plan B so we studied his crayoned route line on his crumpled paper map. I suggested that a short detour, towards the end of the route, would take us to Reepham where there was a tearoom I had not tried. Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) went into a sulk about having his route hijacked and we didn't exchange much banter as it was heads down into the wind for the next 15 miles to Reepham.

On arrival we got to Hamptons Home and Garden which looked like a shop selling home and garden furnishings (which it is) and not a potential cafe stop. I spotted a tiny sign saying tea room at back so, although it didn't look very promising we sheepishly tip toed in. We are not really home and garden furnishings type of people but much to our delight there was a fabulous looking tea room at the back of the shop.
About to go into Hamptons, in my faulty gilet, to find an excellent tea room
It was very busy so we sat at one of the few remaining tables. There were a number of tables in the outside seating garden area which looked very nice but it was a bit too cold to be sitting out there even in my faulty gilet and I expect the staff didn't want to encourage the old folk out there in case they didn't make it back. We both agreed on a high ambiance and atmosphere rating.

I checked out the cakes so I could award the effective cake selection rating (ECS) and there was a very good range with some nice looking cakes and slices. I awarded a suitably high ECS.
Part of the cake selection at the breakfast bar style indoor seating area
I was offered a choice of hot chocolates (always a good sign) and selected dark. Andrew went for Cappuccino. For cakes I chose white chocolate and raspberry while I persuaded Andrew to try the chocolate nancy, which looked like an exotic chocolate coated cereal bar. As an aside we both also had lunch here which was very good and highly recommended.
Cakes ready for tasting, the Nancy is on the left
The drinks were both of a high quality and the cakes were excellent, with the chocolate Nancy being just the sort of cake a cyclist needs when refuelling, so again good scores all round.

After filling in the ratings on my phone spread sheet I announced that Hamptons Home and Garden Tearooms had gone straight into my top 5 rated cafes or Tearooms. Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) surprisingly agreed that this seemed right to him and to celebrate embarked on a rant about his dislike of Mary Berry. Looking around the other customers they all looked like Mary Berry fans and were clearly not in agreement with his views. So as to avoid a potential incident I quickly paid the bill and we made our way back through the furnishing area to our bikes.

We set off and continued to battle back against the wind to Alysham. We both agreed it had been an excellent route and we would probably use it again when we return to Great Walsingham in 2017.

With the first 47 miles under my belt tomorrow sees day two of the Annual Cafe Cycle Tours winter wheels cycling feast. Planned is a 50 mile ride to Beecles with Big George although the weather forecast is terrible.

Scores for Hamptons Home and Garden Tearooms.
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.5
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.5
7.80

Due to the change of plan I don't have a route to publish for this ride

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