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/

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Tuesday 13 January 2015

Same again. (Byfords, Holt)

Opening times Mon-Sun 08:00-21:30
Highly Recommended 
One disadvantage of cafe cycle reviewing is the pressure of coming up with a new venue and suitable route on every ride. So I always look forward to a ride with Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) that starts from Hard to Please House in Aylsham. This is because I can leave target location and logistics up to him. However this approach is no longer working as on 3 of the last 4 rides he has chosen to ride to Holt. On the other occasion he took us to a cafe that was shut (see come back in 3 years) and then suggested we go to Holt instead. 

There is nothing wrong with Holt and many would consider it the tearoom capital of Norfolk, but I would rather spread my visits out over a longer period of time rather than go there every time. After hearing that we were off to Holt again I had to make it clear to him that I will once again be taking over future destination selection for our Alysham rides. I was surprised that Andrew didn't seem too disappointed with this news, maybe it had been his cunning plan all along to get out of sorting out the trips.

The only non-blogged Holt venue I could think of was, what many consider as the Daddy of Norfolk tearooms, Byfords so we decided to go there.

In a bid to add variety we went clockwise rather than anti clockwise to Holt and on the way Andrew shared his Cycling Guest Top Cycling Tip.

Cycling Guest Top Cycling Tip No. 10. To avoid spraying mud up your back or over your cycling guest make sure your temporary back mudguard is correctly aligned over the wheel. 
Mudguard correctly aligned over wheel

Mudguard incorrectly aligned, too far left

Mudguard incorrectly aligned, too far right
As I still hadn't got the hang of cycling guest cycling top tip No. 10 then covered in mud we arrived in Holt and headed straight to Byfords.
Outside Byfords in Holt (again)
We locked the bikes in the empty outdoor seating area and went inside where there are a number of large indoor seating rooms. It has a nice atmosphere but due to it's size and busyness not as cosy as some other smaller establishments. Andrew found a free table while I went to check out the cakes in the shop area. 
Cakes, tarts and slices
There was a very large selection of tarts and slices as well as sponge cake portions although disappointingly these were precut and bagged rather than having the full sponge cakes on display. Nonetheless it was still an excellent collection and got a very high effective cake selection (ECS) score.

We sat down for our waitress service and I ordered a Hot Chocolate, cheese scone and ginger fridge slice. Andrew chose Cappuccino and Bakewell tart. We were asked if we wanted our drinks in a normal cup or a large mug. We went for large mug.
Cakes and drinks ready for tasting
The drinks arrived in what I would describe as very large cups, which was not an option I remember being offered. I guess this is what passes for a mug in North Norfolk. Despite the size of the drink the strength was still maintained and both drinks scored well.

It was good to find the scone warm and cake not severed on its serviette which is in line with the 2015 cafe cycle goals (see 2015 goals), so big tick for Byfords on those fronts.

The cheese scone was very nice and the ginger fridge slice excellent. Sadly Andrew found his Bakewell tart a bit Mr Kipling for his liking, and not in an exceedingly good way. Knowing how notoriously hard he is to please I tried a bit but had to agree it was not up to the standard of the other food. I averaged out the 3 cake scores which was still a good rating.

Byfords had lived up to it's high reputation and scored well across the board putting it into my current cafe and tearoom top 10. Well worth a visit if you are passing through Holt, which I seem to be doing quiet a lot.

On the way back to Alysham Andrew worked himself up into full rant mode. He had clearly been reading the Guardian and listening to Radio 4 again which was filling his head with dangerous wishy washy liberal views. I asked if Radio 4 was the only station his radio could get. Apparently not. He also listens to the Asian network not because he likes it but as it is the first station his digital radio tunes to and he can't be bothered (or doesn't know how) to switch over.

Ratings of Byfords from 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click here to download 32 Mile Alysham Holt loop GPX file for your GPS

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

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