Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

I

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Champagne moment. (Cafe 24, Wells-next-the-sea)

Café 24,
Wells-next-the-sea,
Opening times not stated 
Last year Chris (Mrs Crusader) was given a gift voucher for a champagne tea at Byfords in Holt as a thank you for helping on a charity cycle ride. However yesterday morning she suddenly noticed that the voucher expired that very day so if we were to make use of it we needed to go to Holt post haste.

I obviously insisted that we had to make this trip into a cycle ride but as I had visited Byfords before (see same again) and champagne tea does not meet my cafe rating criteria we would need another cafe to be included on the ride as well.

Due to the urgency and lack of preparation time I decided it would be easiest to drive to Holt and do a ride beginning and ending there so I immediately went to my maps and designed a 35 mile route with a planned stop in the Wells-next-the-sea area exact venue to be decided on arrival.

Champagne tea at Byfords is only available from 3-5pm so the ride had to be timed correctly to hit the requisite tea time window slot.

Things started badly as our original departure time was delayed when I discovered today's bike of choice had a puncture which I needed to mend. Once it was fixed and car loaded we made our way to Holt only to find that so had most of the old folk of Norfolk as all the available car parking spaces had been used up and the streets were gridlocked with pedestrians in woollen cardies. We eventually found some off road parking, a little way outside Holt, but just as I thought we were getting back on track I discovered that I had forgotten to download today's route on to my cycling GPS so without a map we had no planned route.

It was fortunate we were well away from the old folk as I turned the air blue when I discovered my mistake. However I was not to be defeated and knew if we followed sustrans local route 30 for a bit and then turned right we would find Wells-next-the-sea next the sea. 

We therefore set off from Holt, much, much later than expected, before being delayed further by another puncture (different wheel). 
Mending second puncture of day, this time front wheel
By the time we arrived at Wells-next-the-sea we were both very hungry and running very late. Looking at my watch I realised that back at Byfords tea service was about to start. However I hadn't come all this way not to do a cafe review.
Wells-next-the-sea habour where we were in search for a cafe
One of my many cafe cycling related projects is to try and visit cafes that are only named after their street number until I have been to 1-100. So far I have been to a 5, 7 and 51 with no swaps. I was therefore excited to spot cafe 24 to add to my collection.
Cafe 24 a number I had not previously been to
Cafe 24 is a small cafe on the main street in Wells-next-the-sea. It has two tables outside to give that continental pavement cafe feel, one of which was currently free so we elected to sit at it. But first things first it was time to check out the cake selection. It looked good as it covered all the sponge cake bases with 4 large home made sponges (Victoria, chocolate, carrot and lemon) plus fruit scones.  A good selection for a small cafe so a reasonably good effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Home made cakes, you could tell they were home made
as it said home made on all the labels

I ordered Hot chocolate and lemon drizzle and Chris a mocha and tuna panini. As a tuna panini is clearly not cake she would play no further part in any more cake reviewing today.

Our drinks were both nice and hot but a little on the weak side.
Hot drinks on a hot day
However the home made lemon drizzle cake was excellent and scored very well. 
Home made lemon drizzle cake
With time ticking away quickly and Byfords well into tea time service we scoffed our food quickly and got back on our bikes. I decided we needed to go the direct route back along the coast road. As long as we did some fast pedalling and got no more punctures then we should just about get back on time. A good route choice for us but didn't prove so popular with the car drivers as, with the aid of a bus and dust cart, we first caused total gridlock in Stiffkey and followed this up by sitting at the front of a long tailback worthy of a BBC radio travel update. However this did mean we made it back to Holt in time to use our champagne voucher which was now only a few minutes from expiring.
Champagne tea
Despite it not being the largest tea I have ever had it was certainly the best (and only) champagne tea I have tasted but if I was to rate it I would need to start a new champagne tea based blog and with all my other cafe cycling projects I simply haven't got time to do that so feel free to use the idea. 

All in all a successful day with another cafe reviewed (a numbered one at that) and the champagne tea voucher not wasted, just. So I was confused when Mrs Crusader asked why we hadn't just driven out to Holt for a wander round the shops and then enjoyed a leisurely champagne tea like normal people would have. I had no idea what the point of that would have been so went back to updating my cycling facts spreadsheet with the latest ride data so I could share it with her later.

Ratings
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
5.50
5.50
6.00
7.50
5.50
6.00
Route I would have taken if I had remembered to download it to my cycling GPS

Click here to down load 35 mile Holt Wells next the sea loop GPX file for your GPS