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


Monday, 17 November 2014

Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour Sportive 8 (32 miles via Spoon cake cafe, Loddon)

Sportive 8,
Spoon Cake,
Loddon,
Opening times Mon-Sat 09:00-17:00,
 Recommended
Today was the 8th Cafe Cycle Tours sportive and 3rd ride in my 2nd Annual winter wheels cycling feast. The chosen route was down to a cafe favourite, the Spoon cake cafe in Loddon. This was the fourth time I have been there equalling the all time record for most visits to a single cafe.

A bumper attendance of 8 arrived at race HQ for the pre ride faffing about but we surprisingly set off roughly on time. Dr Hans had brought his wife Frau Hans for the first time to form a Dutch team in the peleton.
Colourful bunch of riders at Race HQ
Despite the large numbers the ride out to Loddon went smoothly and we easily conquered the Col du Poringland, which was the biggest climb of the day, without incident.

We arrived at the Spoon cake cafe where I had warned today's riders of the inconsistent herb based table identification system seen in operation here on my last visit (see Remember the Herbs). The Spoon cake cafe had clearly rowed away from this concept as the herb based system had fallen into disuse with only a couple of herb named tables and the majority were now name free. It was unclear if any form of table identification system was now in operation.

We caused chaos by joining some herb name free tables together and fighting our way to the cake display cabinet at the counter at the front of the shop. There was a big difference of opinion on the effective cake selection (ECS) rating mainly caused by lack of any chocolate based cake but I felt the choice was still a good one and ignored the chocolate lovers protests in awarding a good ECS score.
A fine and varied cake selection despite the lack of chocolate ones
A wide range of guest drinks were ordered with again much wrangling on the guest hot drink quality (GHDQ) score. Everyone agreed the drinks had good flavour but some of the party felt they were not hot enough. This was probably because the staff had waited until all the drinks were ready before delivering the eight cups to the table. Although the polite thing to do this had clearly allowed the earlier made drinks too much cooling time and they were unfortunately the ones for the asbestos mouthed in the group. I had to take all this into account in awarding a good GHDQ score. 

My hot chocolate was consistently good compared with my other visits and fortunately the cake quality feed back was consistently good so we could finally move on to non rating topics. 
Cakes and drinks at various stages of reviewing
Despite the wide range of opinions on offer the spoon cafe had still performed well and maintains it's place at the top end of my cafe rating table.

On the way back I decided to go for a solo break away and had soon stretched out the riders with the Dutch team being spat out the back of the peleton. My breakaway attempt nearly failed when after several miles Andrew and Dom bridged across and tagged on behind me. This had clearly taken much out of them and I was able to sprint clear up the final mountain (Col du Kirby Beddon), to where I decided the imaginary finishing line was. I claimed a well deserved victory and spent the rest of the ride telling everyone how I had won today's stage, despite none of them knowing we were racing. Dom explained that he and Andrew had tried to catch me up in case I wanted some company but when they caught up I had just sprinted off. A poor excuse I thought.

Next week sees the final two rides in the 2nd Annual winter wheels cycling feast with over 130 miles covered to date. The next sportive will be just before Christmas with fancy dress and Christmas bike decorating very much discouraged, humbug.

Score for Spoon Cake Cafe based on last 3 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.83
7.0
7.5
7.7
6.83
7.37
This is map of route

Click here to download Loddon - Norwich loop GPX file to load on to your GPS

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