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, 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

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