Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

I

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Talking matters. (The Sticky Bun, Dereham)

The Sticky Bun,
Dereham,
Open Mon 9-3, Tue-Sat 8.30-4.00

There is a lot of wind about at the moment which is the cyclists worst enemy, especially in Norfolk where, whichever direction you are cycling in, it is still always directly in your face. I had therefore been pleased to see that there was supposed to be a reduction in wind speed for yesterdays cafe cycle ride. Not fully trusting the forecast I planned a route West to Dereham in order that we would have any wind with us on the way home. I was joined for the ride by Big George. He is currently taking legal action against me for libel as he claims references about him made in this blog have challenged his macho image but I was still prepared to invite him on the ride. 

Despite the 'light wind' forecast we set off and were hit full in the face with a strong breeze which we struggled with for some miles. To help take our minds off the extra effort we were putting in I asked Big George if he had any housework to do on our return. He refused to answer this innocent question and produced a prepared written statement making it clear that there were only certain topics he was going to answer questions on and housework was not one of them. He handed over the list.


We continued in silence until we passed a house with a Dyson cleaner standing outside for sale. With his love of anything hoovering you could see Big Georges eyes light up, especially as it was an unusual pinky purple one which I know is Big Georges favourite colour. I could tell that it took all his will power not to stop and check out its suction action. He clearly wanted to talk housework but as it was not on the list I changed the subject to the weather, which was. 

We continued to battled through the gale force wind until we got to Dereham and found the Sticky Bun cafe.
Outside the sticky bun cafe
The Sticky Bun cafe can be found in a courtyard off the high street. There were lots of outdoor tables and chairs piled up ready to create an outdoor continental pavement style seating area but sadly we would not be enjoying that facility today so we locked our bikes against them and went inside.
Tables and chairs ready to create a continental pavement style outdoor seating area 
The Sticky Bun is more cafe than tea room in style and there were plenty of customers still finishing their full English Breakfasts despite it being nearly lunchtime. The cake selection was at the service counter at the back of the Sticky Bun and had the 3 cake staples of Victoria, carrot and fruit. There was also the flattest fruit scones I have ever seen but sadly no cheese ones for my on going cheese scone research. I awarded a standard effective cake selection (ECS) rating and choose the carrot cake. I was disappointed that despite the name there were no buns, sticky or otherwise, available and felt this was a missed opportunity by the Sticky Bun branding and marketing team.
Cake selection featuring fruit, Victoria and Carrot cake
As anything to do with cake was not on Big George's list of things we can talk about he deliberately didn't order any cake and once again went for a plain egg sandwich, on white no garnish, which was included on his list as an acceptable conversational area. This is two cafes running where he has taken this approach and I'm beginning to suspect we may see his egg sandwich cycling blog appear in the near feature.
Big George's Egg Sandwich on white no garnish
Fortunately coffee was on his topics list so once we had depleted our egg sandwich based chat he was prepared to rate his filter coffee for me. As the Sticky Bun has no frothy coffee machine both our drinks were as good as could have been expected and scored accordingly.
Cakes and drinks for reviewing
Whilst enjoying my carrot cake, which was nice although the filling got a bit much by the end, we discussed the proposed timetable for this years summer cycle trip. The plan is for myself and some cycling guests to cycle West to East across the widest part of the UK. The aim is to find the best cafe anywhere across Britain (literally). The winning cafe or tearoom will get one of my coveted home-made Cake Crusader winners certificates.

Overall the Sticky Bun was a fairly typical and nice in town cafe and rated at the same level as others of its type.

With wind now behind we flew along towards home. Big George told me about the Rugby club u18s tour he is accompanying his son on this weekend. Rugby is top of the list of topics he is prepared to discuss so no problem there. However I was surprised to hear that he would be in Robin Hood themed fancy dress all weekend as that didn't sound like something that corresponded to his macho image agenda. I assumed this meant I could add fancy dress, Robin Hood and green tights to the bottom of the acceptable topics of conversation list for our next ride, so I did.

Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
5.5
5.0
5.5
6.5
5.0
5.50

Route

Click link to download 37 mile Norwich Dereham loop GPX file for your GPS 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Are we nearly there yet? (Walsingham cafe, Great Walsingham)

Walsingham Cafe,
Great Walsingham,
Open Wed-Sun 10:00-4:00,
Highly Recommended

My mammoth March marathon of cafe cycling continued yesterday with my 9th ride this month. It was also the first one hosted by Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) so I wasn't sure what to expect when myself, with my other cycling guest for the day Chris (Mrs Crusader), turned up at Hard to Please House in Alysham.

Over a number of rides Andrew has demonstrated he has a very different approach to 'planning' and 'leading' a cycle ride to me. I like to plan the route out on my computer mapping software and then download it to my Garmin edge 810 cycling GPS so we can follow the route exactly. Andrew likes old school 'planning' letting the route develop organically as you go along. To me this means you have no idea how far you are going, how long it will take or where you will end up but he seems to like it that way. I wanted to make sure we had a suitable destination, and we didn't just go to Holt again, so I had instructed Andrew to take us to Walsingham Cafe at Great Walsingham.

As we set off Andrew proudly announced he had planned and memorised the route by using his waterproof cycle map of Norfolk whilst having a bath the previous night. Plus for additional back up he had also photocopied part of the map and highlighted the route with what looked like the work of a crayon from his colouring set. 
Andrew trying to study his home made map
Unfortunately it turned out that Andrew wasn't up to this memory feat which led to today's Cycling guests cycling top tip.

Cycling guests cycling top tip No. 22. To guarantee having lots of rests and view breaks on your cycle ride make sure you can't remember the so called planned route so you have to keep stopping every 5 minutes to check your tatty photocopied coloured in home-made map.
 Andrew claimed this was his favourite view
 but it was really just another excuse to stop to check his map.
As we stopped for yet another time so we could take in another of Andrew's 'favourite' views while he checked his map I asked if we were lost. He claimed we were not lost but he just didn't know where we were or which way we needed to go, which sounded a bit like being lost to me. However, somehow, by using his special navigation techniques we arrived at our destination, Walsingham Cafe.
Outside Walsingham Cafe by the one bench out door seating area
There was a small outdoor eating area but as it was still a bit chilly we opted to sit inside where there was a wood burner going in the converted barn indoor seating area.

I went to check out the cake selection but at the counter I also found award winning pies as this was not only a cafe but a pie shop as well. Even though this is not a pie based blog I still felt it my duty to test them out.
It felt like being transported back in time to Mrs Miggins pie shop
The cake selection was large although surprisingly, maybe distracted by the pies, I was only tempted by a couple of them so awarded a reasonable effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Cake selection
To go with my hot chocolate I ordered a chicken pie, cheese scone (as part of my continuing cheese scone research) and lemon drizzle cake. Chris had a mocha, sausage roll and chocolate and orange cake. Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) choose a cappuccino and a cheese ciabatta but no cake or pie which seemed to defeat the object of coming on a cake reviewing bike ride to a cafe which has award winning pies.
Hot drinks ready for tasting
The drinks were first to arrive and scored highly. The Hot chocolate was nice and bitter and chocolaty and Andrew thought the cappuccino had an excellent coffee flavour. As a mocha is basically a combination of the two it wasn't surprising that this got the thumbs up from Chris as well.

With three items of food to try it was important to get the batting order right. I opened with the cheese scone which came properly warmed and with onion marmalade. It was an excellent scone although I would have like a bit of butter as well. I have put it on my short list for 2014 cheese scone of the year.
Excellent scone with onion marmalade
Next in was the chicken pie which was very nice and for lovers of pie this would definitely be a good venue but as pie is not cake it would play no part in my cake taste quality (CTQ) rating. Last out of the pavilion to reach the crease were the cakes. Both were presented more like desserts and came with home made berry coulis.
Lemon drizzle and chocolate and orange cake
The cakes were good but we thought the coulis didn't really work very well with the chocolate and orange cake.

Overall Walsingham cafe and pie shop had scored very well and is definitely worth a visit.

The return journey started off through the sleepy villages of Little and Great Snoring (did you see what I did there). This time Andrew seemed to navigate back more efficiently although I suspect it had little resemblance to the route he had mapped out in his bath.

Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.75
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.50
Route
Click here to download 45 mile Alysham Great Walshingham loop gpx file for your gps

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Speak to my people (No 5. Harleston)

No 5 has now closed
No 5,
Harleston,
Open Tue-Sun 7:30-3:00,
 Recommended
Yesterday I cunningly planned to set off slightly later than normal for my cafe cycle ride in order not to miss out on the partial eclipse action that the press had been promising me. This turned out to be a complete waste of time and unnecessarily delayed today's important trip. I have made a note in my diary for August 12th 2026 so that I won't be taken in by Professor Brian Cox and his sciencey friends again when the next eclipse is due. My ride planned for that day will be leaving on schedule.
Partial eclipse non event photo
Once I had got over my partial eclipse disappointment thoughts turned to today's ride which was going to be a double whammy. First, as a result of last weeks calorie neutral world record bike practice ride (see so much to learn) I had decided that I needed to included a stop in Harleston to optimise my planned route. Secondly, you may remember, another one of my projects is to go to a cafe named No 1 to No 100. So far I have done No 7 and No 51 so this project could take sometime to complete. Therefore when I discovered there was a cafe called No 5 in Harleston I felt I had to go and try it out as soon as possible. For this ride I was joined by cycling guest Big George.

Recently Big George has become increasingly unhappy about the way he has been portrayed in this blog. He feels I have challenged his macho image by suggesting he has a passion for housework and often fades at the end of our rides. He has decided to take legal action to re-establish his image as a tough, ex Rugby playing, super fit, beer drinking Scotsman. Currently his people are talking to my people to see if we can come to an out of court settlement so he has been advised not to talk to me about dusting, hoovering or ironing and to make sure he keeps up on the ride. He followed this advise and only superficial small talk was exchanged on the route down to Harleston.

We found No 5 on the main road that runs through Harleston which meant there was no outdoor seating area available. Inside was smartly decorated although Big George was not keen on the flower baskets hanging from the ceiling as they were not in keeping with his hard man image. 
Outside No. 5 
We choose a table by the window and next to the cake selection meaning I could award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating from my chair. The selection looked very good with a number of large cakes available. I awarded a high ECS score.
Good cake selection
Big George had been advised by his people not to pander to this cake reviewing nonsense and to have something more Scottish and unhealthy. So, although not on the menu, he asked for a fried egg sandwich on white bread with no garnish, which is clearly not a cake so he would not be involved in any cake rating activity today.
Double egg sandwich on white no garnish and not cake
Despite his deliberately provocative action I was not to be put off my normal reviewing pattern and started with the largest cheese scone I have ever seen (which came correctly warmed) followed by a piece of green pistachio cake, which looked very green and interesting.
Enormous cheese scone and drinks
My hot chocolate was very good and scored well but Big George felt his Cappuccino was a bit weak although had a good flavour. Considering it's size the enormous cheese scone was very good and managed to maintain it's cheese flavour throughout. My cake was nice enough but considering the excellent colour it was not nearly as pistachio flavoured as I had expected.
Very green pistachio cake
No 5 was a very nice cafe and, although not part of my rating system, had a very good menu with large portions. It scored well across all categories so worth a visit.

On the way back it was obviously that Big George was very pleased with himself and felt he was clearly restoring his macho image. With his guard down I managed to extract from him his plans for the rest of the day. He was going to spend the afternoon on some serious hoovering which he would follow up with a nice relaxing bath using his favourite bath salts, and may be a few scented candles. As we approached Mulbarton Big George started to drop off the pace and I had a long wait at the next junction. When he eventually caught up he claimed he had stopped for a quick comfort break, although I expect his people told him to say that. Hopefully our legal differences will be sorted out before the next ride or we end up riding in silence several miles apart.

Ratings
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.75
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.15
Map of route


Click here to down load 43 mile Norwich Harleston loop GPX file for your GPS

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Double trouble. (Dove Cafe at Community shop and Post Office, Rocklands All Saints)

Dove Cafe at Community Shop and Post Office
Rocklands All Saints,
Open Mon-Fri 7.30-6.30,
Sat 7.30-5.30, Sun 8.30-1.00

After the excitement of my '9 cafe calorie neutral world record attempt practice bike ride' last week (see So Much To Learn) today I returned to the normality of a single stop approach. 

I had recently been told about Rocklands community shop and Post Office cafe at Rocklands All Saints. It looked promising on two fronts, firstly it is in a cafe dead spot on my locations map and second it stays open until 6:30 which could be useful for the later stages of the calorie neutral bike ride world record attempt route. So this morning, along with today's cycling guest Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please), we set off to check it out.

Conditions were foggy and damp and, although it wasn't raining, I sensibly packed my water proof in my back pocket just in case it started to. The weather and landscape reminded us both of what it was like when riding in the cycling spring classics in Flanders. Not that we have ever ridden in the cycling spring classics in Flanders but we have both seen them on TV so felt we knew what we were talking about.
Roads and weather looking like the typical conditions for a cycling spring classic
As we proceeded further the damp conditions turned to drizzle and then rain. This led to the first of two cycling guest cycling top tips for the day.

Cycling guest cycling top tip no 20. To avoid being cold and wet when you arrive at your cafe stop remember to put your waterproof on when it first starts raining and not just after it stops.

Have not followed cycling guest cycling top tip no. 20 it was not surprising that I was cold and wet when we arrived at Rocklands and the Dove cafe which is in the community shop and Post Office. As there was no outdoor seating area set up today we went inside.
Cold and wet outside the community shop and post office
where the Dove Cafe can be found
The Dove cafe is to the side of the main community shop and Post Office and serves hot drinks and cakes. We received a very warm welcome and sat down at one of the two tables available. As always I first went over to the cake area to check out the cake selection. It was a fairly small choice although there were some good looking ones so I awarded an appropriate effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Fairly small cake selection
While the friendly lady made our drinks and plated up our cake choices (Easter lemon muffin and chocolate fudge cake) we discussed matters of the day. Meanwhile on the table next door a group of wise village elders were holding their own version of loose women as they tucked into their drinks and cakes. It was definitely the happiest and liveliest local village store I had ever been in.
Dove Cafe to the side of the community shop
As soon as the cakes and drinks arrived we got down to business. My hot chocolate was a good solid offering so got a good solid hot chocolate quality (HCQ) score. However as the Dove cafe has only a small coffee area there is not a full blown frothy coffee machine so Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) felt his Cappuccino was not the best. If he had been keeping up to date with the blog he would know that drink quality from a non frothy coffee machine was a common issue and in these circumstances you should always chose a straight coffee or pot of tea rather than a fancy named drink. The chocolate fudge cake was too rich for Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) but I really enjoyed my very large Easter Lemon Muffin so a good cake taste quality (CTQ) score.
Cakes and drinks featuring Easter lemon muffin
We very much enjoyed our visit to the Dove cafe in the Rocklands All Saints community shop and Post Office as the super friendly atmosphere inside could not help but put you in a good mood.

Sadly the good mood didn't last long as just as we set off Andrew realised he had a puncture. Apparently this was my fault for picking a route with a muddy road. I suggested that the roads were fine and that he needed to use less worn tyres. With a now frosty atmosphere I refused to aid the inner tube changing process until he coincided my point, which he didn't.
Andrew fixing his puncture caused by his worn tyres
We set off again on some mud free roads. Andrew said he couldn't remember when he last had two punctures. Well six miles later he was able to make sure he now had such a memory as this time his back wheel got a flat which led to an unprecedented second cycling guest top cycling tip of the day.

Cycling guest top cycling tip No. 21. If you go out on a ride with clearly worn tyres make sure you bring with you more than one spare inner tube.
Andrew putting on fixed inner tube
Andrew admitted that he had not followed cycling guest cycling top tip No.21 and didn't have another spare inner tube. I helpfully pointed out that I always carry two. One in case you puncture and the second so if you do get a puncture you don't worry about getting another one. I then unhelpfully pointed out that as I was riding my Cross cycle bike my spare tubes would not fit his bike and he would have to repair the puncture. 

Andrew was now forced to conceded that his tyres could be considered slightly worn so as I felt vindicated and eventually wanted to get home we teamed up. I took his spare punctured inner tube, found the hole with the use of a handy near by puddle and successfully mended it while he removed the old tube and prepared to re fit the repaired one.

In double quick time he was back on the road and sheepishly promised he would get some new tyres before our next trip.
Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.5
5.0
4.5
7.0
7.0
6.0
Route

Click here to download 35 mile Norwich Rockland Loop gpx file to your GPS

Sunday, 15 March 2015

So much to learn (calorie neutral bike ride world record attempt fact find)

Calorie Neutral bike ride
World record attempt fact find
90 miles 10 cafes (ish) 


Despite it being Friday 13th, I took my preparation for the world record attempt for a calorie neutral bike ride to the next level with a planned (see Calorie neutral bike ride world record update) attempt to visit 10 cafes in one day. The purpose was to learn more about calorie neutral bike riding in order to plan the best route, gather data on timings and see if I could eat a lot of cake when cycling a long way without being sick. 

For those new to the concept then the 7 rules of calorie neutral bike ride world record attempts are at the end of the post.

First apologies for length of post but there were a lot of stops to cover. So if you would rather just look at pictures the summary is:
Got lost, still went to 9 cafes, had 7 pieces cake, 2 cheese scones, 7 cups of tea and 2 hot chocolates. Several things didn't go to plan but I learnt a lot and wasn't ill.

Here is the full story. I set off at 8:30 for my first cafe stop, an old favourite, the imaginatively named The Cafe at Brooke. It was a hard start to the day as I had to climb the mountainous ridge over Poringland before hurtling down the Bungay Road to Brooke. I burnt 42 more calories than necessary which as per rule 7 was wasted effort.


When I arrived at The Cafe there was no one about so I decided to save time and not lock the bike before dashing inside to order my first cake and drink of the day. I was wearing my bright yellow hi viz safety gilet and stood patiently at the counter waiting to be servered by the lady in the kitchen. After a couple of minutes she came over to serve me apologising 'oh sorry I didn't see you there'. I made a note to write to the manufacturers pointing out their bright yellow hi viz safety gilet clearly didn't live up to the 'make sure you are always seen' slogan which they had promised me in their advertising literature. 

With precious minutes lost I went out side to eat my brownie and drink my hot chocolate (which were both very good) and see where I was against the printed schedule I had prepared for the ride. This led to the first learning of the day which was not to leave the printed schedule you had prepared for the ride on your desk at home. Without it I would have no idea if I would get to all my stops on time so I would just need to go as fast as possible. To cheer me up I decided to take my evidential photos of venue, drink and cake that I wanted from each stop. To my horror, despite charging my phone yesterday evening, it was already showing low battery. My plans for regular twitter updates were now not going to happen as I turned off any battery draining  feature to save it for photos and future emergencies. 

I gulped down the rest of my hot chocolate and with a burnt mouth I paid the lady who commented that I had been quick (yes less than 12 and a half minutes I proudly thought) but I didn't have time to explain and thanked her for the lovely brownie and cake and set off for Loddon. 

Unfortunately things didn't go to plan. As per rule 6 more than 300 calories need to be burnt between cafes. To make sure I obey this rule it is sometime necessary to put extra loops in before arriving at my next destination. To speed things up and avoid the time consuming need to refer to maps I had pre loaded the route on to my bike sat nav. However as I arrived at one junction the sat nav showed the route going both ways but with no clues as to which was the right direction. Unfortunately I guessed wrong and a couple of miles later I realised I had missed cafe number 2 (Spoon cake in Loddon) altogether. There was no time to turn round so I pressed on to cafe number 3, Every Days a Picnic (EDAP) at Hedenham.

As it was still early I was quickly served and had a lovely piece of apple cake and tea. You may remember that when I did my 5 cafe practice last September I discovered it was not possible to drink more than 4 hot chocolates in one day without feeling ill so I planned to have a hot chocolate on every 5th cafe and drink tea the rest of the time. My first tea of the day was provided in a nice pot with cup and saucer. As I was not used to tea drinking I wasn't sure if I was meant to drink just a cups worth or the full pot. To avoid future issues and the need for arbitration I decided to add a subsection to calorie neutral bike ride rule 5 that in these circumstances you only had to drink a single cups worth of tea and not the full pot.

Even if I had had the printed schedule I had prepared for the ride and left on my desk at home, which I didn't, after missing out a cafe it would no longer have been of any use so after a brief (13.5 mins) and pleasant visit to EDAP I had no idea how I was doing. Undeterred I set off to Cake Crusdaer cafe of the year 2014, Earsham Street cafe in Bungay. It was a straight forward ride and again, as the cafe wasn't yet busy, service was quick. I sat out the back with my bike and enjoyed my cup of tea plus the most outstanding piece of cake of the day which was Pear and Almond with chocolate bits. With cake this good it could be my number one rated cafe for sometime to come.

After just under 14 mins of cake heaven it was once again time to get back on the bike and ride across to the Pennoyer centre in Pulham St Mary. With the wind directly behind this was the fastest leg of the trip but I decided for my world record attempt it would be better to add a stop in between, at Harleston, to optimise further my world record route.
At the Pennoyer Centre I had my first cheese scone of the day, which through force of habit, I foolishly asked to be warmed wasting valuable time. I was joined at my table by a local authour who had read about my trip via a tweet on the Pennoyer centre website. I was very excited to meet my first ever calorie neutral bike ride supporter. He told me about the political novel he was writing which sounded very interesting and I would have liked to stay for a longer chat as I had recently been on two politically based cycle rides and now considered myself to be a bit of a political expert. Fortunately he knew I was on a tight schedule so it didn't seem too rude when I said I had to dash even though this was my longest stop of the day at just over 15 mins. He promised to look out for me on my actual attempt at the end of the summer which was very nice especially if he makes a flag to wave.


Next it was a ride North up to the Tudor Bakehouse in Long Stratton where there was more calorie controversy.
Being a Bakery the Tudor Bakehouse has a good selection of bakery fare mainly in the form of muffins, biscuits, flapjacks and slices. Rule 4 clearly states that at each stop a cake or a scone must be consumed but no biscuits or flapjacks. I decided to go for the rather good looking toffee Tiffin but on eating it I rather felt it was more biscuit than cake. When I returned home I checked the Wikipedia definition which says that Tiffin is cake-like, composed of crushed biscuits and a layer of chocolate (or toffee) to hold it together and unlike regular cake it doesn't require baking. On reflection I fear Tiffin is not a cake or a scone so I broke rule 4. If today had been the world record attempt I would have been disqualified. To avoid any chance of this happening I have amended rule 4 to be clear that Tiffin is not allowed either.

It was now on to The Hen House in Wymondham, another top 5 rated cafe and winner of best atmosphere and ambiance 2014. Not only was owner Annabel expecting me, via my tweets about the practice ride, but she had her best atmosphere and ambiance 2014 winners certificate on display as well. 

As this was my 6th cafe of the day I was allowed my next hot chocolate which was very good as was the piece of excellent lemon cake. I sat in one of the sheds in the outdoor shed seating area and immediately felt calm like any man does when in his 'cave'. 
Sadly there was no time to soak up the atmosphere and ambiance for too long as it was straight back on the bike to Chalfonts at Hingham where I received some exciting news. 

However after I arrived and sat down I checked my heart rate watch and discovered I had only burnt 285 calories since the last cafe which broke rule 6 which clearly states 300 calories must be burnt between cafes. Despite the fact I was averaging well over 300 calories per stop rule 7 avoids any ambiguity stating that if this had been the real event I would have been disqualified, again. It was turning into calorie neutral cafe bike ride amateur night and all a bit embarrassing.
Chalfonts have a good selection of large cakes but it was against rule 4 to ask for a smaller slice which leaves no doubt that a standard portion must be consumed. I went for the carrot cake as that looked like the smallest but it was still a very generous slice. 

I have been here twice before but never managed to find out the opening times as they are not on display. Today I asked the lady and discovered they stayed open until 7.00pm on a Thursday and Friday. She also assured me they serve you right up to closing time, which as I would find out later is not always the case. This was the exciting news I mentioned, exciting as I had been struggling to find enough other cafes open past 5.00pm that I was going to need to be able to hit my world record target of 20 cafes in a day. The only problem was that the ride is currently planned for a Tuesday. I decided the date will have to change to make this most of this opportunity so to give myself the best chance of success the world record attempt will now be on Friday 11th September.

After leaving Hingham it was a straight forward loop out to the Kings Cafe in Shipdham for chocolate Brownie and cake.
Whilst there I decided to try and fit another cafe in to replace the one I missed in Loddon and decided to go back to Norwich via Wymondham. I still had enough battery on my phone to check my cafe cycle ratings and information spreadsheet which suggested that the recently opened Garden Tea rooms was my best bet. Unfortunately the remaining 20 miles of the route were going to be into the wind so I would have to work pretty hard to get two more stops in before closing time.
When I arrived at the Garden Tea rooms the whole of Wymondham was closing down so not surprisingly I was the only customer. I opted for a cheese scone with my pot of tea. Even though I knew it was very wrong I declined the offer of having my scone warmed and had it cold for the sake of time. Fortunately it was a very good cheese scone so it could carry off the lack of warmth. Despite having a nice chat with the owner as to if full English breakfast or roast dinner would be a bigger seller on a Sunday (I said the full English) this was my shortest stop at just over 11 minutes.

With 9 cafes down I still had 45 minutes to make it the 8 miles to Stephanie's coffee house in Eaton before their advertised 5.00pm closing time. Although directly into the Wind, feeling a little delicate after so much tea and cake, and having already done 88 miles I still managed a good speed and I arrived in Eaton with 10 mins to spare. Sadly I was greeted with the news that they had just stopped serving and it was drinking up time only now. This meant I was unable to get my 10th cafe of the day in.  

A little downhearted I rode the short distance home and slumped on the sofa. I decided not to have a nice cup of tea and piece of cake to relax with but sat back and thought about the day. Although I had failed to complete the ride as planned I was pleased that I had learnt many things and now had much data to analyse to help plan my final route and timings.

I also had an even cleared set of calorie neutral bike ride rules and regulations:
1. The holder of the record will have visited the highest number of different cafes during a single day.
2. All cafes must be independent and not part of national chains
3. All cafes must be visited within their normal opening hours and not open early or kept opened late for a record attempt
4. At each cafe a standard portion of cake or a scone (fruit or cheese) must be consumed. Biscuits, flapjacks, tiffin or anything pre-packaged will not count.
5. At each cafe a standard hot drink must be consumed. (Tea, coffee or hot chocolate). If served in pot or jug than one cups worth must be drunk.
6. From the time of arriving at the cafe 300 calories must be burnt off before the next cafe can be visited thus making the ride calorie neutral. (300 calories is based on in-depth internet research on average calories of cakes and scones plus average calories of a hot drink (Tea, coffee, hot chocolate). 
7. If extra calories have been used up between cafes then that is tough as they can not be credited against other legs of the ride.

Plus for all data fans here is the data from the ride
calories  time (min) miles av speed mph calories
/mile
calories
/min
Heart rate
To Brooke 342 42.6 10.5 14.8 32.57 8.03 111
The Café 22 12.6 1.75 74
To Hedenham 460 50.4 12.97 15.5 35.47 9.13 121
EDAP 29 13.5 2.15 84
To Bungay 301 37.4 8.9 14.3 33.82 8.05 117
Earsham Street 27 13.8 1.96 78
To Pulham St Mary 365 35.75 10.07 16.9 36.25 10.21 124
Pennoyer Centre 32 15 2.13 83
To Long Stratton 315 32.5 8.13 15 38.75 9.69 124
Tudor Bake House 29 13.4 2.16 86
To Wymondham 387 43 10.42 14.5 37.14 9.00 121
Hen House 22 11.5 1.91 78
To Hingham 263 27.5 7.72 16.8 34.07 9.56 122
Chalfonts 30 13.5 2.22 84
To Shipdham 281 33.6 7.92 14.1 35.48 8.36 116
Kings 26 14.9 1.74 78
To Wymondham 468 47.8 11.81 14.8 39.63 9.79 122
Garden Tea Rooms 23 11.1 2.07 82
To Stephanies 329 32 7.89 14.8 41.70 10.28 126
Totals 3751 501.85 96.33 15.11

In case you ever fancy a 10 cafe stop bike ride here is the route I meant to take 
Click here to download 10 cafe cycle route GPX file for your GPS