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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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Day of records. (Olive Branch, Tunstead)

Olive Branch is now closed down
The last week has been cold, icy and windy and therefore not conducive to cycle cafe reviewing. All my planned trips had failed their pitch inspections so my blog post and metaphor cupboard was bare. I was therefore excited when I woke up this morning with conditions set fair for today's planned ride. For today's guests I had Chris (Mrs Crusader) and Barry and Helen and their Tandem to accompany me.

Barry and Helen and their Tandem had just returned from a bird watching holiday in Mexico so I was excited to tell them that I too had been bird watching on my recent cafe cycle ride to Cley marshes (see Pink Footed Geese). I told them they could read about it on the blog. Helen said she had already got up to date with the posts but Barry, who has never been a blog fan, reminded me that he couldn't see the point of my blog or indeed any blog (except for the one by the fry up inspector as knowing where he could get a good fried breakfast was useful to him) so had no intention of reading about it and if I wanted him to know about my bird watching then just tell him. Barry and Helen's tandem promised to catch up on the blog as soon as he had learnt how to read but he always says this and never does. I decided to ask them about their bird watching holiday instead.

Today's ride was out to the Olive Branch at Tunstead and this meant we had to cross the river at Wroxham. Which we did.
River crossing at Wroxham
Soon after crossing the bridge I spotted a large sign, in the shape of a teapot, pointing to the Olive Branch. I was a little surprised to see it at this point in the ride as I knew it was still some way to go so I decided to measure how far the sign was from the tea room.

It was 4.3 miles later that we arrived at the Olive Branch which I have noted down as a new sign to cafe differential record.
Outside the Olive Branch by the wooden bench outside seating area
Outside the Olive Branch there are a number of wooden benches forming a pleasant outside seating area, however it was too cold for these today so we went inside. I was very impressed with the indoor decor as they had set up a cycling corner with flags, posters and jerseys which, as we were cyclists, we made use of. This made sure of a high Atmosphere and Ambiance (AAA) rating.
Cycling corner
I went to check out the cake selection so I could award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating. There were only 3 types of cake available, as well as the promise of scones, so I awarded a moderate ECS.
Rather small cake selection
I ordered cherry and almond loaf and a cheese scone, Chris some chocolate cake and fruit scone. Helen went for a toasted tea cake. Despite having cake in the name a toasted tea cake is clearly not a cake so Helen played no further part in any further cake reviewing. As always Barry refused to engage in cake tasting antics and ordered a sausage roll.

While we waited for our drinks and cakes to arrive Barry gave me his cycling guest top cycling tip for the ride.

Cycling Guest Top Cycling tip No. 14. When out on a cycle ride don't waste your's and everyone else's time by photographing every thing you see for a pointless cake based blog, unless the blog is about fried breakfast.

The cakes, scones and drinks arrived and all looked very appetising. One of my goals for the year is to discourage cafes and tearooms from serving their cake on top of the serviette as it renders it useless for later use. Sadly, for the first time this year, I must report this rule had been broken. Therefore as soon as I had taken the cakes and drinks photo I quickly whipped away the paper napkins and just managed to salvage some serviette for later crumb wiping use. Not a good start but fortunately things soon got better.
Drinks with cakes and scones served on their serviettes
My guests all thought their coffees were excellent, both hot and strong although my hot chocolate wasn't as good and I found it a little too weak.

I couldn't help notice that my cheese scone was triangular in shape rather than the more traditional circular and I wasn't sure how I felt about this. Once I had tasted it I was converted to different geometrically shaped bakes as it was a very fine scone and easily the best I have had this year making it an early contender for Cake Crusader cheese scone of the year 2015. Chris's fruit scone was also very nice as was my cherry and almond loaf although the chocolate cake was not as good and slightly dry. However overall I awarded a high Cake Taste Quality (CTQ) rating.

I found the Olive Branch to be a very good stop, especially for cycling fans, and I would recommended a visit.

I was expecting an uneventful ride back to Norwich but the excitement had not ended as we went over 3 level crossings, 2 of which were unmanned, during the ride. Having checked my records this is the most level crossings traversed on a single ride, so quite a day for records.
Completing our 3rd crossing of a railway line on a single ride
and thus setting a new record
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Click here to down load 26 mile Norwich Tunstead loop GPX file for your GPS

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