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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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Norfolk cafe cycle tour sportive 10, 50th birthday special. (28 miles via Tabnabs, Mattishall)

Sportive 10
Open Mon-Sat 9-4.00,
Highly Recommended
Yesterday saw the first sportive of the year which also doubled up as Mrs Crusader's 50th birthday sportive saving me the need of organising a party. For this special occasion a bumper entry of 13 had turned up at race HQ for the ride out to a Cake Crusader favourite, Tabnabs at Mattishall. With so many riders it was important to put safety first so I stood on the wall and gave a full briefing. You could tell it was a safety brief as I had my hi-viz health and safety gilet on. 
Delivering a full safety briefing in correct safety gear
As there was such a big field it was also important that our team Doctor, Dr Hans, was amongst us today. He takes his roll very seriously so he first checked that the first aid kit was up to standard, and had gauze. Then, like any good cycling team doctor he insisted on giving everyone one of his 'special' pills, no questions asked, to help optimise our peformance. With all health and safety matters now dealt with we were ready to set off.

During the ride out to Mattishall the peleton split up with many break away attempts. The highlight was my bid to be King of the Mountains (KoM) as I shot off up the biggest climb of the day Col du Barnham Broom. To my horror George (son) went passed me half way up the hill to try and claim the polka dot jersey but then slowed down when we reached the top thinking he had won. Fortunately he had made the school boy error of not realising that I decide where the imaginary finishing line is and today it happened to be just past the point I overtook him again and I was therefore able to claim my KoM crown.
The peleton streamed out on the way to Mattishall
Still telling each member of the peleton about my fantastic KoM win we pulled into Tabnabs.
Tabnabs was very busy and another large group of cyclists had beaten us there and had filled up the downstairs indoor seating area. They appeared to be sneering at us from their seats. Probably as a result of taking Dr Hans 'special' pills some of the peleton reckoned that we should have them but before there was an unsavoury incident Mrs Tabnabs came out to save the day.
Chaos in Tabnabs car park as it was full of rival cyclists inside . 
She kindly said we could sit in the conservatory of her house which was next door, and have the birthday party there. This seemed like an excellent solution and armed with outdoor chairs we marched over and squeezed inside. 
Inside Mrs Tabnabs conservatory
Inside the conservatory we were joined by two other 'riders' who had called off from the cycling part of the sportive as they thought it was too cold for cycling and had come by car instead. They did however offer a non cycling guest top non cycling tip.

Non Cycling Guest top non cycling tip No 13. To avoid people crying off from your 50th Birthday cycling sportive party try being born in the summer.

We ordered our take away drinks which were delivered to the conservatory along with a chocolate and beetroot birthday cake that Mrs Tabnabs had made for the occasion.
Drinks in special takeaway containers
I decided that a full cafe rating was not appropriate due to: there now being 14 guests (12 on bikes, 2 not), that everyone was having the same cake and that we were in Mrs Tabnabs conservatory rather than her cafe. I did however do some random quality rating spot checks (RQRSC's) to make sure the normal high standards of Tabnabs had been maintained. All the drinks were highly rated with the hot chocolate coming in for special praise. The chocolate and beetroot birthday cake was superb and is already an early entry for Cake Crusader cake of the year 2015.
Chris showing excellent candle extinguishing skills
 by blowing out all 5 candles (each one representing 10 years) in a single breath
The RQRSC's showed that, as usual, Tabnabs had performed very well and remains in my top 3 cafes and tea rooms.

We returned home, and thanks to my safety briefing, had no further incident. Despite the potential seating shortage problems it was agreed that the sportive had been a great success. To make sure we don't have venue issues next time I'm about to book Tabnabs function room for Chris's hundredth birthday sportive in 2065.

Map of route

Download GPX file of route to load onto a GPS 28 mile Norwich - Mattishall loop

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