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

Thursday, 15 January 2015

2014 Cafe Cycle awards Review

Who's won 2014 Cake Crusader Awards
We are now into the awards season and not wanting to miss out I have announced the first ever winners of the Cake Crusader cafes, cakes and drinks awards. 

Over a tense few days between Christmas and New Year each of the winners of the 8 categories were tweeted on the Cake Crusader twitter feed (Cake crusader@cafecycletour) to an expectant public. 

For fact fans 81 different cafes (some more than once) were visited in 2014. 65 in the UK and 16 in Europe so the winners had a lot of competition to beat.

Each winner received one of the coveted Cake Crusader winners certificates so they could display their achievement for all their customers to see.

So here is the list winners and their feedback

Best Effective Cake Selection went to Wiveton Hall Cafe (see Pizza oven envy) for what is always a large and tempting set of baked offerings, including my favourite choc jack (half flapjack and half chocolate). 
Part of the cake selection at Wiveton Hall

Wiveton Hall were pleased with their award but to date no one has yet been able to send a photo of certificate, they are probably too busy making cakes.

European Cafe of the Year went to Hotel Vitranc in Slovenia. Over the summer an extensive search of 16 of the finest cafes anywhere in Europe (within a 25 mile radius of where I was staying on holiday) was undertaken to discover the finest. (see Laketastic)
Hotel Vitranc winner of Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour European Cafe of the Year 2014
It has to be said the standard of cafes, and complete lack of tea rooms, on le continent was disappointing and not as high as the excellent cafes in the Norfolk/Suffolk region. 

I contacted the Hotel Vitranc (via E-mail) and sent them one of the coveted Cake Crusader winners certificates but sadly to date there has been no response. This maybe because I used google translate to tell them the good news in Slovenian, which I thought would be a nice touch. However having just re translated back the email I sent it no longer makes any sense and talks about liking their pie (which they don't even sell) so maybe I just confused them. I have therefore arrange a return trip in the summer so I can deliver their certificate to them personally. I'm sure they will be very pleased.

Best Atmosphere and Ambiance went to the Hen House near Wymondham. There is always a warm welcome in a relaxing setting and it has the added advantage of a shed based seating area. If you want a nice relaxing stop (plus excellent drinks, cakes and eggs) during your ride then this is the place (see Eggcellent find)
Part of the shed based seating area
In her acceptance speech owner Annabel said "It makes all the difference to know that people appreciate my handy work, it makes it all worthwhile"
Annabel showing off her coveted Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tours winners certificate
Best Guest Hot Drink went to Tabnabs in Mattishall. A very difficult category to win due to the diverse tastes of my cycling guests. However Tabnabs was visited 3 times in 2014 with 5 different guests and they consistently scored the highest guest hot drink marks. Their Chocolate and Beetroot cake was also runner up in the cake of the year category.
A selection of Tabnabs guest drinks and cakes
 (including cake of the year runner up Chocolate and Beetroot)
In accepting the award Mrs Tabnabs said "she was delighted to know that me and my guests all enjoy their coffee and cakes so much."  
An example of  a Tabnabs guest hot drink with
 the coveted Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tours winners certificate
Best cafe anywhere between London and Paris (that I happened to stop at) went to Poppy's in Coulsdon. You may remember myself and Big George undertook the 300 mile ride from London to Paris in order to hunt out the best cafe on the Avenue Verte Cycle route (see London to Paris by bike day 1). It turned out that Poppy's cafe, just 19 miles into the route, was the best. Lovely view over the park and excellent drinks and cake. In hindsight we needn't have bothered going all the way to Paris and might as well have stopped there and saved ourselves a lot of hassle.
Outside Poppy's cafe in lovely Coulsdon Park
Owner Dawn was "over the moon" with the award and has had their certificate on display since it was awarded soon after the trip. It has caused lots of comments from regular and new customers (presumably on route to Paris by bike). 

Cake of the year went to Every Days a Picnic in Hedenham near Bungay (see Celebrity ride). It was the closest contest with a lot of excellent cakes to choose from this year. However the Chocolate and Guinness cake had the perfect combination of moistness, chocolateness and icingness.
Winning chocolate and Guinness cake
Mrs Picnic thanked the Cake Crusader for the award and was looking forward to feeding me and my guests more excellent cake in 2015.
Mrs Picnic with winning cake and her coveted Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tours winners certificate
Best Hot Chocolate went to Jesters in Bungay (see cycling tips). Jesters not only had a superb thick and chocolaty drink but also the widest range of Hot Chocolates.
It was also a decent temperature which customers are warned about on the menu. 
Jester's thanked Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour for the certificate which is proudly on display on their entrance.

Cafe of the Year 2014 went to Earsham Street Cafe in Bungay. Bungay is obviously the place to head for if you are after the best cafes in the region. Earsham Street Cafe topped the charts with a very high standard in every category. They also are very bike friendly allowing me and my guests to wheel our bikes to the outside seating area and off the street.
Earsham Street Cafe. Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tours cafe of the year 2014
I have been to Earsham Street 3 times since I started my cycle cafe quest and it has been outstanding every-time so will be hard to beat in 2015.

Mike and Gemma were delighted with their award which is now on display. 
Some of The Earsham Street Saturday team with their
coveted Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tours winners certificate
I'm planning to visit even more cafes and tearooms in 2015 but the bar has been set very high but all my 2014 winners. I will be making sure I revisit them all again this year to not only see if they can retain their awards but also to enjoy the excellent drinks, cakes and warm welcome you get at each.

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