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, 5 March 2015

Celebrity cyclist Chloe Smith MP recommends the Wherrymans Way for a bit of off road action.

Celebrity Cyclist Chloe Smith MP,
Cycling along the Wherrymans Way
Norwich - Great Yarmouth
(although we only did the first bit)

Today see's the second post of my exciting new feature called 'Celebrity cyclist x recommends...'. I have written to some of my favourite cyclists and celebrities (known for their cycling enthusiasm) asking them to recommend their favourite cafe or tea room and/or associated bike route for me to ride and review. (See Celebrity cyclist Chrissie Wellington recommends for first edition).

With a general election around the corner it seemed appropriate to get some political 'celebrities' recommendations. As the Cake Crusader is apolitical, I'm only interested in the cycling and cake agenda, I decided to do some in depth research to decide who to contact.

I started with the local Norwich MP's and went straight to Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia North Norwich MP Chloe Smith is a keen cyclist so, despite there being a disappointing lack of cake references on her page, Chloe seemed an ideal political cycling celebrity candidate. 

A few days after writing I was very excited when Chloe replied to my E-mail with some cafe and route suggestions. As you know Wikipedia is not always the most reliable source so I was worried in case the cycling bit had been made up but Chloe confirmed she does love to get out on the bike and uses a hybrid or road bike in Norfolk. However her first suggestion was an excellent cafe she had visited while mountain biking in Coed-y-Brenin, Wales. Not exactly what I was hoping for as according to Google maps Wales is a long way from Norfolk.

Fortunately she had also come up with a more local suggestion of cycling on the Wherrymans Way and using Whitlingham broad visitor centre Barn Cafe for our stop. The Wherrymans Way is a recreational route, mainly off road, between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and known to be less mountainous than Wales (Wherrymans way info). Having not gone off road on the blog before this seemed a great idea so today myself and Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) got out our off road bikes and set off to Whittlingham broad and the start of the Wherrymans way ready to cycle the first section.

On leaving Whitlingham we went on the road by the broad and then out through the sewage works before turning off road on to the Wherrymans way. 
Start of Wherrymans way
We soon reached the river where the path was very narrow, muddy and slippery. On one side there was river and the other a barred wire fence. This led to today's cycling guest top cycling tip.

Cycling guest top cycling tip No 18. Before riding along a narrow muddy track with river on one side and barred wire fence on the other make sure you decide if you would rather get cut or wet as you won't have time to weigh up the choices when you fall off.

Fortunately Andrew had followed today's tip so when he did fall off his bike he had already chosen the barred wire fence and therefore only got a cut rather than drowned.
Andrew getting back on bike after slipping off into the barred wire fence.
Fortunately he had followed cycling guests top cycling tip 15 or he may have drowned
After the tricky river bit had been almost successfully negotiated the rest of the ride was on far more straight forward tracks or small roads until we arrived at Rocklands, where there is a circular route back towards Whitlingham. After some more off road action we completed the loop and arrived back at the Whitlingham broad visitor centre Barn Cafe. 
Outside the Barn Cafe at Whitlingham Broad
I had been to Whitlingham broad visitor centre Barn Cafe last year (see toddler entertainment) which had score reasonably well but I always rate a cafe on each visit so out came my cafe rating spreadsheet so we could get down to business. 

Although rather cold we decided to sit in the outside seating area as inside is a bit dark. The cake selection, and drinks all scored reasonably well today in line with my last visit. The highlight was the cherry and chocolate flapjack, which, despite Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) being disappointed that it contained glacier rather than fresh cherries, was extremely good and you got about 1kg of it for less than £2.. 
Cherry and chocolate flapjack which was excellent value
Although food is not part of my cake based rating system we were both rather disappointed with the paninies as they were fairly pricey and appeared to come with austerity salad.
Half a panini and full austerity salad
Despite the lack of any political chat we both agreed that our first politics and off road ride had been a success. So If you like off road biking then you could follow the Wherrymans Way although you may want to avoid the narrow parts by the river as they are a bit dangerous. And if you like politics you could follow the general election although you may want to avoid the party political broadcasts as they are a bit dull. 

Thanks to Chloe for her recommendation as it was a good adventure. My next ride is also a political celebrity recommendation when I'm off to the London for a suggestion by someone who is famous for having a type of bike named after him. 

Updated scores for Whitlingham broad visitor centre Barn Cafe based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

A map of Wherrymans Way can be found here http://www.wherrymansway.net/wherrymansmap.pdf

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