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/

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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour Sportive 12. (40 miles Bungay via Jesters of Bungay)

Sportive 12
Jesters of Bungay,
Open Mon-Sat 9:30-17:00.
Open Sunday during BST
Highly Recommended
Saturday saw the latest Norfolk cafe cycle tour head south for a 40 mile round trip to Bungay. The size of the entry had chopped and changed all week as people dropped in and out. Distance, injury and urgent haircuts were all reasons for potential non attendance but fortunately some late fitness tests, change of minds and rearranged appointments boosted the peleton to a respectable 7 cyclists lining up at race HQ.

With grey skys and conflicting weather forecasts, layering proved to be the first issue of the day with discussions on need for waterproofs, double socking and over shoe usage occupying the participants allocated pre ride faffing about time. To add to the pressure Barry announced he still had an urgent haircut booking to attend and politely requested we got a move on. Despite this, pre ride faffing about continued for a while longer until everyone was happy with their kit decisions and the ride could set off albeit 5 minutes late.
Sportive participants team photo
It wasn't long before it started to rain, which it continued to do for most of the ride to Bungay causing some people to regret some of their early more optimistic clothing choices.

On the way down I complained to team doctor, Dr Hans, that at last weeks triathlon I had come second in my age group to later find that the winner had only beaten me as he had been faster in transition, while I had been faster at the actual sporting bits. Dr Hans said he could help me, not with one of his usual 'special pills' he likes to hand out but that he had been experimenting with grafting cleats straight on to your feet saving the need for cycle shoes. If I were to fly out to his Colombian medical headquarters he would be happy to perform the procedure. It seemed definitely worth thinking about.

With lots of inter peleton racing and chatting going on we soon forgot about the rain and arrived safely at Jesters of Bungay in Bungay, which is not only a cafe but also the entrance to Bungay Castle (50p for adults and 20p for children). 
Arriving at Bungay castle
Another key fact about Jesters is that it won last years Norfolk Cafe Cycle Tour's award for best Hot Chocolate. I was therefore very pleased they had put the coveted certificate I sent them proudly on display on the entrance door.
Coveted award winning best Hot Chocolate 2014 certificate
Another two cycling groups had already beaten us here so there was no room inside but fortunately Jesters has a large outdoor seating area and double fortunately it had stopped raining and the sun was coming out so after drying off the tables we sat down. 
Drying off in outdoor seating area surrounded by bikes
As an added advantage we were also nice and close to the excellent multi media model castle exhibit which the history buffs in the group went to enjoy (although sadly the big screen wasn't working so it was more of a mono media model castle exhibit today) and tell us all about Bungay. (I already reported on the history of Bungay castel on my last visit see Cycling tips).
History buffs lapping up information on Bungay Castle
 from the multi media model castle exhibit
Whilst all this was going on I quickly popped inside to check out the cakes of which there were only a few so I couldn't award a particularly high effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Small selection of cakes and scones
I obviously ordered award winning hot chocolate while others in the group ordered a selection of coffees (Latte, Cappuccino and Mocha). Then out of left field Jodie (Australian) choose a chocolate milk shake. As this is clearly not a hot drink she would play no further part in guest hot drink (GHD) reviewing today.

On the food front I had a cheese scone (as part of my cheese scone research) and Ginger cake. Others had carrot cake but Dom (old school cyclist), Dr Hans and Barry all had a cheese toastie. As a cheese toastie is clearly not cake they would play no further part in cake reviewing today.
Cakes, scones and drinks
My hot chocolate was even better then I remembered it and awarded my equal highest ever hot chocolate quality (HCQ) score. It is well placed to retain its Hot chocolate of the year award. Not surprisingly, as Mochas are half hot chocolate, my guests found them to be excellent too. The Latte and Cappuccino drinkers were not so impressed finding their coffees a bit weak which balanced out the GHD rating. I didn't really understand why you would want to have a coffee at a cafe that has won awards for it's hot chocolate so they only have themselves to blame.

In terms of the food my cheese scone, although not warmed, was one of the best I can remember and the addition of mustard seeds was a master stroke. It has gone straight into the running for cheese scone of the year. The ginger cake and carrot cakes were both good if not exceptional but, partly thanks to the cheese scone, I still gave a high cake taste quality (CTQ) score.

For some reason people in the group then started to give me scores for their cold drink and toasties (incidentally all 9s) but as I had made it clear that these form no part of my scoring system I couldn't understand why. It was almost as if they were making fun of me but then I realised that they must be practising ready to start their own milkshake and cheese toastie based blogs. 
Part of a cheese toastie
We all thought Jesters of Bungay was an excellent stop and even improved it's score slightly from my last visit. Well worth a trip especially for hot chocolate lovers.

Just as we were thinking if we should visit Bungay Castle (50p for adults and 20p for children) Barry started to get restless again and reminded us of his urgent haircut. As he had downloaded today's route on to his new cycle GPS from my useful routes facility he said he would set off and we could catch him up. This seemed like a good plan and as the rest of us started faffing about with waterproofs, soggy gloves, dripping helmets etc he set off.

The rest of the group were only a couple of minutes behind Barry so I led the charge to catch him up. It soon became apparent that he must have gone the wrong way as he was no where to be seen. A few phone calls later it transpired he had followed the route backwards and headed back the way we came by mistake. He had then called his support vehicle to come and rescue him and was in the back of a car going straight for the barbers. To everyone's relief we later found out that his urgent haircut had been a great success.

This is the first time, so far, I have lost anyone on a sportive but I suspect it may not be the last. The remaining group continued in the right direction until we all safely returned to race HQ.

Score for Jesters of Bungay based on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Map of route that most of the sportive took

Click here to download 40 mile Norwich Bungay loop gpx file for your gps

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