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

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Proper job (Mad Hatters Tea Shop, Wymondham)

Mad Hatters Tea Shop,
Opening times Mon-Thur 09:30-16:30,
Fri -Sat 09:00-16:30
Yesterday saw the 4th of my 5 ride winter cycle feast as I set off with today's guest Chris (Mrs Crusader) on a trip to Wymondham via Hingham. The plan was to go to the Bridewell Museum tea room which (according to my I-spy book of cafes and tea rooms) was the final remaining cafe needed to complete my Wymondham cafe and tea room set.

As an added extra to my winter cycling feast I had entered my first ever cyclo cross race on Sunday at Hempton cross near Fakenham. It was very enjoyable but a bit more scary and faster than I had imagined. I exceeded all expectations finishing a very credible 23rd out of 25 in the 50+ category. At one point I was even challenging for 22nd but he got away on the final lap. But then after a restless night  I took the difficult to decision to call time on my cyclo cross career. I wanted to finish while I was still at the top of my game. So to the shock of the cyclo cross community I announced my retirement from the sport on my Facebook page.

Today we would be sticking to roads and except for Chris whinging about how far we had to go before a coffee stop, we successfully arrived at the Bridewell museum teashop. Unfortunately I had made a classic cafe cycle review school boy error. Although I had checked the website for opening times I had failed to notice it is shut all winter. I decided we didn't have time to hang around until it reopens in March so implemented plan B. 

You may remember that when I was away on my search for Cake Crusader European cafe of the year 2014 back in August, that Chris had arranged a ride and review to the Mad Hatters Tea Room (see Rebel tour). I had not been convinced that the cafe cycle reviewing that had occurred that day had been performed with the necessary rigour and care. I had noted that each category had been awarded 7.5 suggesting a rather slap dash approach. This was now my opportunity to do a proper job.
Outside the Mad Hatters Tea shop in my still faulty gilet (arms missing)
On arrival we locked our bikes, using Alarmio, by the tea shop. There was one table in use on the pavement but it was occupied and as we were freezing we went inside. It is one of the smaller and cosier tea rooms but we found a space near the counter and opposite a wall full of tea pots.

I immediately checked out the cake selection which was very good and I felt a higher effective cake selection (ECS) score could be awarded than had be done by the rebel tour.
Excellent cake selection
I ordered bread pudding cake and Chris coffee cake to accompany her semi skinny mocha. Again I thought the cakes were excellent and deserved a higher mark than the amateurs had awarded. The only slight disappointment was my hot chocolate, which had a lot more hot than chocolate about it so I had to mark this down a bit on it's previous score.
Cakes and drinks, well presented
Chris, on the other hand insists on a hot drink being scolding hot and was very happy with the nuclear thermal temperature that her mocha had reached. Later I tried to fake sympathy when during the ride home she announced she had burnt her mouth on her drink, but I think she may have spotted my sniggers.

Overall the Mad Hatter Tea Shop lived up to it's previous review by my B' team of reviewers and maintained its place at the top end of my cafe ratings table.

Tomorrow is the final day of my week long cycling feast with a short ride out to Ranworth Broad. Barry and Helen and their Tandem are making a return for the first time since August.

Scores based on two visits (albeit one was by the reviewing reserves)
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Click link to down load 34 Mile Norwich Hingham loop gpx file for your GPS

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