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, 22 December 2014

Cake Crusader Christmas Sportive. (31 mile via Britannia cafe, Norwich)

Sportive 9,
The Britannia Cafe,
Opening times Mon-Fri 7:30-22:00, Sat 08:00-22:00,
Sun 08:00-20:00

Earlier this year you may remember that I had a near death funny turn and was unable to go on a cafe cycle ride for a couple of months. During this time I did some cafe bus rides instead so I could fulfil my cafe reviewing obsession. One such trip was to the highly recommended Britannia cafe overlooking Mousehold Heath. Unfortunately due to a number of logistical issues (no buses and no cake) it was an unsatisfactory experience (see not a good Friday). I therefore felt it was about time for a return visit as part of a proper cycle ride in order to check out the Britannia cafe properly. Sunday's Christmas sportive (fancy dress actively discouraged) seemed an ideal opportunity for such a ride.

A disappointing entry of 6 arrived at Race HQ for pre ride faffing about. A number of Christmas related family events had caused several regulars to cry off but it was good to see another sportive newbie (Gwyn) make her debut.
Christmas sportive riders ready to set off with no fancy dress in sight.
Today's route was a loop round from South to North Norwich before stopping at The Britannia cafe and returning through the city. The first half of the route was very quiet but we hit some busier roads at the North end. I suspect this was because a lot of country folk were careering down them into Norwich for those last minute Christmas gifts. So not a highly recommended route.

This was the first Sportive since I introduced the popular 'Cycling guest cycle top tip' feature. With 5 guests to chose from today I made it clear that only the very best one would make it on to the official top tip list. This was a good job as despite much encouragement the standard of tips offered were rather poor. Andrew eventually came up with best tip but only because it rhymes

Cycling guest cycle top tip no 8. If you have ridden in the rain don't forget to lube your chain.

The rest of the ride went smoothly until we were joined by a mystery rider who had snuck onto the back of our peleton. Thanks to my tour leading skills we were riding so nicely in formation that the mystery cyclist wanted to know if we were a club. Andrew thought it was easiest to say yes than explain about blogs and cafe reviews. Fortunately before he was asked further questions on membership numbers, club nights, why we didn't have matching kit etc our route went off in a different direction and he was saved from further lying.
Flooded road to cross
Our final challenge was to cross a flooded road but once through this we soon arrived at the Britannia cafe.
Outside the Britannia cafe in the outdoor seating area
which over looks Moueshold heath and Norwich
After parking our bikes in the empty outside seating area and enjoying the stunning view over Norwich we went inside. It was great to see there was a good selection of extremely large cakes so I could now improve their effective cake selection (ECS) average score as there had only been scones available on my last trip here.
Good cake selections with some very large cakes and one remaining sausage roll
Whilst waiting to be served a customer asked if they could have a child's baguette (baguette de enfant).They were politely told that all the baguettes were the same size. What size would that be asked the customer. Baguette size was the short answer. I thought this to be the correct response but decided to avoid portion questions when I ordered.

Between us we got a selection of cup size coffees and cake slice size slices of cake including Chocolate and Hazelnut, Victoria sponge and coffee and walnut. Chris (Mrs Crusader) also had the last sausage roll in a futile attempt to force Barry to have cake but he didn't.

Whilst I was trying to organise the sportive members into cafe reviewing activities an acquaintance of Dom's came over for a chat. Seeing Doms cycle gear he asked him if he was a member of a club. He also said yes before moving the conversation on. 

It was becoming clear that my sportive riders were either harbouring a secret desire to be in a cycling club or just liked to tell lies. I now couldn't be sure if they would be honest in their reviewing duties but as I generally ignore their input anyway so it probably doesn't matter.
Large cake slice sizes of cake and some of the drinks
I eventually got everyone focused on the matter in hand. The general consensus was that the Britannia cafe has an excellent ambiance and atmosphere, the hot chocolate was good, the various coffees were ok but a bit weak and the cakes were nice but slightly dry. All in all a much better experience then my previous visit and well worth a visit if you are out that way.

As Dom works nearby he said he knew the best route back. Bowing to his superior knowledge and always eager to learn I happily passed over tour leaders duty. I had to make it clear he wouldn't get to wear my tour leaders gilet or get a special tour leaders badge. Despite his obvious disappointment he led us back through the side streets of Norwich for a safe return.

Average scores based on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Click here to down load 30 mile Norwich Loop gpx file to your GPS

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