Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

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Friday 29 May 2015

Looking for more Art (Deepdale cafe at Burnham Deepdale, Art Cafe at Glandford)

Deepdale Café,
Burnham Deepdale,
Open Everyday,

Art Cafe,
Open Everyday 10-4, 
Highly Recommended

After last years success of combing cycling and art (see Looking for art) then last Sunday I tried to repeat the experience by looking for more art as part of this years Norfolk and Norwich open (OPENN) studios programme. This time the studios would be in North Norfolk area.

When I tried looking for art last time I had made the mistake of going to the studios blind (not literally) without any criteria as to judge the art by. This meant I was unable to know what the good pieces were. I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice and had come up with a 3 point definition of what makes good art which I could apply when viewing

They were:
1. Could I have done it? If yes it is not good art.
2. Would I want it in my house? If yes it is good art.
3. Does the name of the painting or description bare any relevance to the art on show? if yes it is not good art (see point 1).

I would be using these criteria to determine which was the good art we saw today.

I was joined by Chris (Mrs Crusader) as today's cycling art guest and to make sure we squeezed in plenty of art we set off early to Norwich station to board the train to Sheringham.
Get on train to Sheringham at start of our search for more art
I had planned the studios we would visit based on combining the small descriptions of art available in the OPENN studios brochure with a suitable route and cafes stops. However despite my organised approach art was not as easy to find as you would think.

On arrival we set off to our first studio on the seafront in Sheringham and thanks to my meticulous planning the Garmin Edge cycle sat nav took us straight to the studio door. The next part didn't go so well as the door was locked with a sign that said the studio didn't open until 10 o'clock, which was 20 minutes away. This was not good as we had a lot of art to find today so there wasn't time to hang around for the opening. Instead we got back on our bikes and headed off to our next studio destination at Wells next the sea.

It was nearly a 20 mile ride along the coast and up some hills to our next planned art studio so after nearly 90 minutes of enjoyable riding we were hungry for some good paintings. Once again we went straight to the studio only to find it was closed today due to ill health. This was not only unfortunate for the poorly artist but we were already a third of the way through our ride and hadn't seen any art yet either.
Our second planned visit which was closed due to ill health
Wells next the sea was also the destination for our next studio but as luck would have it on the way there we stumbled across another open studio which was not on my target list. I would not normally so readily divert from my original plan but as we had already missed out on 2 studios, we decided to pop in. Although the art here, which were etchings, passed 2 of my 3 tests it was not really to our tastes so we quickly moved on and reverted to plan A which was to see John Ritche's paintings in what seemed to be an old fishing shed at the end of wells harbour.
Outside studio amongst fishing sheds in Wells next the sea
His works were much more to our tastes as they were sort of abstract landscapes and although the paintings were simply named I felt we had definitely found some good art. We thanked John and set off again.

It was another hours ride to the Deepdale cafe at Burnham Deepdale and just as we arrived it started to rain so I hurriedly locked our bikes and we went inside.
Outside the Deepdale cafe in Burnham Deepdale
It was very busy and we were lucky to find one of the few remaining tables in the corner. On the way there we went past the cake display so I quickly checked it out so I could award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating. It wasn't a big selection but had some good offerings so I awarded an appropriate score.
Cake selection

There was a small outdoor seating area in the courtyard but it was a bit wet for anyone to sit there today, inside there were plenty of tables with an American diner sort of feel. Despite the busyness the waitress service was very efficient so I ordered a hot chocolate, cheese scone (as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research) and franzipan tart. Chris went for a mocha and fried breakfast. As a fried breakfast is clearly not cake (or even lunch) she took no further part in cake related reviewing at this stop.
Drinks and food for reviewing (but not the fried breakfast)
The cheese scone had not been warmed but it was very tasting if a touch dry. It had an usual herb in it and although I couldn't decide which one it still added to the flavour. My franzipan tart was very nice so a good cake taste quality (CTQ) score.  

We both thought our drinks were of a good standard but not strong enough for top marks.

The Deepdale cafe is one of the busier cafes I have visited so was well organised and of a good standard which attracts lots of holidaymakers and daytrippers. It is a useful addition to my reviewed cafe's list.

Before we left we went to check out the art advertised in the OPENN brochure at one of the pop up shops in the retail area. After walking around for a few minutes we couldn't find it so I checked the OPENN studios brochure again only to find I had made another error as this art would only be here the following week. It was clear finding good art, even when you have 100's of open studios to choose from and 'good art' criteria, isn't as easy as it looks. So far I had only a 25% success rate.

Fortunately it had stopped raining so we set off for our next planned stop. On the way we passed an open art sign to a glass gallery so, despite the lack of success when we last went off piste, we decided to take a quick detour to Salt glass studios.
Detour sign to Salt Glass studios
On this occasion it turned out to be a good call as this was my favourite studio to date. I liked the glass objects on display (and they passed all 3 of my good art tests), the furnace meant it was warm on a cold drizzly day and the artist had the cricket on the radio. I like a bit of cricket so I enquired as to the score. Mr Glass said he had no idea as he was only listening to it as the radio could only get radio 4 long wave. How different the life of a carefree artist to an obsessive cafe cycle reviewer I thought.

We set off again to Houghton St Giles where we found art in a studio in the back garden of Tracey Ross. Here there were some very good landscapes and they passed all my art tests. However the painting Chris really liked, and would have wanted to buy, had just been sold so once again the gods of art were not looking favourably on us.

Next stop was Binham for some photographed art. They were very good pictures and better than I could take on my phone but somehow I never think of photos as proper art. I'm old school on this front and want my art painted or sculpted so we quickly moved on.
Photographed 'art' in Binham
Just round the corner we made another unscheduled stop at a gallery were Rosemary and Lionel were showing. This meant my target studio count was now back on plan so I was happy. We particularly liked one of Lionel's landscapes of Wells beach but with time pressing we only had time for a quick look round as we had to get to our next stop, The Art cafe, before it shut at 4.00 pm.

With some speedy pedalling we just made it to the Art cafe at 3.55. Fortunately it was not the sort of cafe that says it is open until 4.00 and then won't serve anyone past 3:30 so we went inside to order. On my previous visit the Art cafe became my number one rated cafe.
Just got to Art cafe 5 mins before it shut
The disadvantage of getting to a cafe late is that the cake selection is not as large as at the start of the day. However despite the cakes not being fully stocked and everything being a bit rushed we still rated the ECS and Atmosphere and Ambiance in line with it's previous number one billing.
Cake selection at late in day at Art cafe
The cakes (Chocolate cake and Lemon cake) were excellent and also got a good CTQ score. Sadly on the drinks front the previous high standard had not been maintained as both my hot chocolate and Chris's mocha were not as good and strong drinks as last time I visited with Andrew, and he is notoriously hard to please. Still good drinks but with the scores averaged out the Art cafe dropped down to no.2 on my list with Earsham street cafe returning to the No 1 spot (see tough at the top)
Cakes and drinks at the art cafe
While we were there I realised I had lost the key to my rubic's padlock when I discovered there was a large hole in my cycling top. There was much emptying of pockets, throwing things and huffing and puffing before I eventually admitted defeat and conceded the key was 'proper lost'. Fortunately this happened while the bikes were unlocked or we would still be there now searching for the key. On my return home I punished my cycle top by putting it into the clothes bank so it couldn't lose anything else of mine.

With the joint bombshells of the Art cafe losing its top spot and me losing my key we forgot to look at the art in their gallery, which was the main reason we had come in the first place. 

That was the end of the scheduled art and we set off for our final hour's cycling back to Sheringham to catch the train home. Although we had been to some nice Studios Chris had not seen anything she would like to purchase where as on last years hunt she had brought some pieces. This was therefore a much more cost effective art trip and has clearly allowed more money to be diverted to my cycling fund which is handy as I'm in need of a new cycling top. I was also satisfied all my art targets for the day had been met, although apparently that's not the point.

Scores for Deepdale cafe

Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Score for Art cafe based on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating


Click here to down load 65 mile Sheringham Burnham Deepdale GPX file for your GPS

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