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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Friday, 19 June 2015

2005 revistied. (The Mardlers' rest cafe at the Gressenhall muesum of Norfolk life, Gressenhall).

The Mardlers' rest cafe,
Gressenhall muesum of Norfolk Life,
Open Every day 10:00-17:00/16:00 March to Nov,
 Recommended

It has been a couple of weeks since I was able to do a UK based cafe cycle ride. This was partly due to my recent alpine cafe cycling reviewing adventure, partly due to my ironman training commitments and partly due to lack of potential cycling guests. So I was pleased when Big George said he was up for being today's cycling guest as he had a surprise.

He also told me he recommended the Mardlers rest cafe at the Gressenhall museum of Norfolk life as a venue as it was very good when he last went. I therefore planned a 45 mile route to get us there.

When he turned up Big George's surprise was that he had with him a shiny new bike which he had got for a bargain price off e-bay. This was bad news for me as it meant Big George would be trying to go fast to give his bike a good work out which would mean he would either end up running out of steam sooner than normal or he would keep racing me and I would have to race him back as I can't stop myself however hard I try. I was feeling very tired after all my ironman training (don't know if I mentioned anywhere I was doing an Ironman triathlon) so had been hoping for a leisurely ride. As predicted we set off at a super fast pace as Big George shot off on his new machine and I was forced to chase after him. 

As a man who is quite partial to buying new bikes there is one thing I always do before using it.

Cycling Guest top cycling tip No. 32. When you get a new bike buy some good quality tyres as the ones that come with it are always cheap and prone to punctures.

Sadly Big George had not followed Cycling Guest top cycling tip No. 31 and after a few miles we had to stop for him to replace his inner tube. While he fixed it I noted down the puncture on my cycling data spreadsheet which, incidentally, was the 6th cycling guest puncture this year but first since mid March. I feel a graph coming on.

Big George repairing puncture on his cheap tyres
After the unplanned stop we set off again with Big George acting like a nine year old by putting in lots of fast surges for me to chase down but we had no further incidents until we arrived at the Gressenhall museum of Norfolk life. 

As Big George had recommended the cafe I assumed he knew the way from the museum car park to the cafe. To my surprise he told me he couldn't remember as it was over 10 years ago when he came. On hearing this news I was no longer sure how relevant his recommendation now was or even if there was a cafe here at all.

Fortunately there still was a cafe and thanks to the excellent selection of site maps and signposts we found our way to the entrance.

Outside entrance to the Mardlers rest cafe at the Gressenhall museum of Norfolk life
The first thing I noticed was the wide range of seating choices. First was an outside courtyard seating area, then a standard cafe based indoor seating area and finally a glass conservatory indoor seating area. It was all very quiet and pleasant so I awarded a high atmosphere and ambiance (AAA) score. However we had come just before lunchtime on a Thursday out of school holidays so I suspect it could be very different at other times of the year.
Some of the seating options available
We went inside and checked out the cake selection to award the effective cake selection (ECS) score. There were a good number of offerings including a large toffee apple cake, but on closer inspection a number of them were biscuits so don't contribute to the ECS rating. Big George had told me he remembered the tiffin being very good but sometime in the last 10 years they seemed to have stopped selling it.
Cake selection with several being biscuits
I ordered a hot chocolate, cheese scone (as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research) and a slice of the toffee apple cake. Big George had a filter coffee, sausage roll and coconut and apricot biscuit. As neither a sausage roll or a coconut and apricot biscuit are cake then Big George would play no further part in any cake reviewing today.
Drinks and food, not all of which were cake based
Despite our drinks coming from a machine they were both good and nice and strong so good drinks quality marks. My cheese scone was served cold but despite this was still nice. The toffee apple cake was a top ranking piece of cake and therefore scored well. As an aside Big George said his sausage roll was excellent as well.

Overall Big George's recommendation of the Mardlers rest cafe at the Gressenhall museum of Norfolk life had proved a good one and I have given it my recommended status as it performed well in all categories. You can visit it without having to go into the museum but Big George said the museum was very good as well although it may have changed somewhat in the last ten years. He had particularly liked petting the animals in the farm but I had to break the news to him that the ones he had made friends with were now dead. 

After a few tears (but no hugging) Big George felt ready to set off back to Norwich. This time we had the wind behind so Big George could go extra fast, which seemed to make him forget about his departed farmyard friends and he was soon happy again. I asked him if there was any interesting news he wanted to chat about. He said he had heard that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics and that someone called David Cameron had become the conservative leader. I said I was aware of these things but didn't like to point out they happened 10 years ago.

Ratings based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.00
7.50
5.00
7.50
7.75
6.95

Route

Click here to down load 45 mile Norwich Gressenhall loop gpx file to your gps

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