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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Monday, 8 December 2014

Bombshell (Assembly House cafe, Norwich)

Assembly House,
Norwich,
Opening times Mon-Sat 10:00-19:00,
Sun 10:00-17:00,
Highly Recommended
I have been given many recommendations for cafes and tearooms in and around Norwich so I felt it was time that I met up with my Norwich city centre guest reviewer, Mr X, for a visit to one of them, the Assembly House cafe. To make it a proper cafe cycle review I still went on my bike despite it only being two miles down the road. I planned to extend the ride out to the university swimming pool for some training for next years Germany Ironman triathlon event which I seemed to have entered. It looked like I was in for a great afternoon of cafe cycle reviewing and triathlon training, my two favourite things, so I wasn't expecting a bombshell to be dropped.

I continue to be unable to reveal the identity of Mr X as he should have been creating shareholder value at a well known insurance company rather than out discussing the quality of cake and I don't want to get him into trouble. As always he came in disguise and had to reveal himself to me, so to speak, at our rendezvous point.

The Assembly House was built in the 18th century as a centre for entertainment and assemblies for the local gentry. Myself and Mr X both consider ourselves to be local gentry so we fitted right in.
Outside Assembly House in my 18th century local gentry style hi viz jacket
As we were just having drinks and cake we chose to sit in the leather bound chairs in the entrance hall. There is also a formal dinning area plus an outside seating area in the courtyard but it was too cold for that. The rooms are still set up to look like they did during the regency period so not surprisingly we found ourselves talking in 18th century local gentry speak. 

I checked out the cakes at the cake counter. There was a good selection of traditional cakes and scones on display so I awarded a good effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Nice selection of  traditional cakes and scones on cakes counter
Everything was going well, we liked the ambiance, we liked the cake selection and we liked speaking the way of 18th century local gentry. However we were not expect the aforementioned bombshell that happened next. As a drinker and self proclaimed authority on Hot Chocolate I was excited to see the "The House Hot Chocolate" on the menu which was apparently "Made from our own special recipe". At £3.50 it was going to be the most expensive hot chocolate I would have ever had so I was expecting something pretty special.

When the waiter arrived I ordered my drink but before I had time to place my cake selection he dropped the Bombshell, which wasn't even a word in the 18th century. The coffee machine was bust and there would be no Hot Chocolate or fancy coffee available at the Assembly house this day. I was left in a quandary as my cafe rating scoring system is dependent on a hot chocolate quality (HCQ) rating. Not knowing what to do I panicked and ordered a cup of tea instead. I also ordered a cheese scone and carrot cake and Mr X ordered a Green tea and cheese scone.
Cakes and drinks which required a surprisingly large amount of china for two people.
The cheese scones were good and had been warmed to the correct temperature. The carrot cake slice was also good, and enormous, but we did feel it had got a bit carried away on the cinnamon front. Overall I still gave a good cake taste quality (CTQ) score. No guest had ever had a green tea before but apparently Mr X thought it was a very good one so gave a high guest hot drink quality (HCDQ) rating. My tea was nice but didn't impact the score as there is no drinks rating category for me if I don't have Hot Chocolate.

Despite the Bombshell the Assembly House had scored well and if the Hot Chocolate had scored as highly as it sounded it might have gone into my coveted cafe or tearoom top ten. I need to plan a return visit so I can complete the cafe cycle reviewing job by trying a House Hot Chocolate.

I later discovered that it is hard to swim straight after eating a big slice of carrot cake so I wont be doing that again.

Ratings for Assembly house
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
N/A
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.25

Note the fry up inspector has also been here. Click here for his review.

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