Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

I

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Did I mention the Ironman? (Elveden Estate Cafe. Elveden)

Elveden Estate Cafe,
Elveden,
Open Mon - Sat 09:30-17:00, Sun 10:00 – 17:00,
Recommended
"How do you know if someone has recently done an Ironman triathlon, you don't have to know as they well tell you all about it."

In case I haven't mentioned it I completed the Frankfurt Ironman last weekend. Now that it is out of the way I can once again concentrate on cafe cycling. I have lots of rides, sportives and special events planned over the next couple of months as I continue on my quest to find the best cafes to cycle to. 

To start with I thought I would explore some new cycle path. Like lots of people from the Norfolk area I have been stuck in many a traffic jam while watching the Elveden duelling project being built over the last few years. However now that it is open I have noticed that included in the plans appears to be some cycle track which I have been itching to check out. Therefore myself and today's cycling guest, Big George, set off for a trip to Elveden Esae Cae to see what it was like.

I got up early to rebuild my bike from out of the bike box I had packed it in to in my Frankfurt hotel room a couple of days earlier (just after completing an Ironman triathlon). 
Bike in pieces in Frankfurt Hotel ready for packing
I completed this task just as Big George arrived and we set off with my handy work untested. I was therefore mighty relieved that it had appeared to go back together correctly without introducing any new clunks or rattles.

Big George told me how keen he was to hear about my Ironman experience. I think his exact words were 'just tell me how long you took and spare the stories' which I assume really meant 'please go through every part of the race in excruciating detail' which I did for a while until, surprisingly, Big George started to cycle ahead of me just out of earshot. He had clearly not realised I was still tired after the race and unable to keep up.

We continued to cycle at some pace as I tried to catch him up in order to tell him all about the ironman nutrition plan I had used but he kept increasing the speed so I'm not sure if he got to hear that much. With plenty of ironman chat left to tell him we arrived at the start of the new duel carriage way just outside Thetford and found the cycle path.
New cycle track along the A11
The cycle path runs a few metres from the road on a nice smooth surface and continues for a couple of miles. Then, as the new A11 curves away, you re-join the old A11 all the way to Elveden. It was a bit weird cycling on a very familiar near empty road that would have been impossible a few months ago. This took us to Elveden Esae Cae our destination for the day.
Appears to be shortage of t's and f's or just poor spelling
We were able to take our bikes into the smart court yard outdoor seating area where there were lots of tables available for us to rest them against. 
Outside entrance in courtyard outdoor seating area
I propped up my bike and went inside, which had a more formal restaurant style indoor seating area, to check out the cake selection and award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating. There were the four traditional classic sponge cakes, Victoria, carrot, chocolate (with or without gluten) and coffee available but nothing else on display. I explained to the waitress lady that I was checking out the cake selection and she said they also had scones and teacakes as well. I decided not to point out that despite teacake having the word cake in it they are not a cake but a fruit bread and therefore do not qualify in my ECS rating system. 
The traditional 4 classic sponge cakes were available
I immediately ordered hot chocolate, plus chocolate cake (with gluten) and a cheese scone, as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research. The speed and decisiveness of my ordering put Big George into an ordering panic as he blurted out that he wanted a white coffee. To make things worse he was given the choice of a flat coffee or and Americano with milk on the side. Big Geroge had no idea what any of these terms meant. He went pale, glazed over and asked for a cheese scone. The nice waitress lady suggested she would bring him a black filter coffee and some milk in a jug to go with his scone. He just nodded.
Relaxing courtyard outdoor seating area
Sitting in the relaxed courtyard out door seating area Big George soon recovered but when our food arrived he announced that he didn't know why he had ordered a cheese scone because he doesn't even like them but it had been the first thing that came into his head when put under such ordering pressure. Although I noticed that he still ate it.
Drinks and cake
We thought our drinks were excellent and both scored well. Sadly the cheese scones were served cold but still nice. I found my chocolate cake was tasty but slightly dry for top marks.

All in all the Elveden Esae Cae had scored well in all categories and I recommend a visit especially if you want to check out the farm shop as well or have some proper food which looked excellent.

We had decided to return by train so set off for Brandon station to catch the 13:44. On the way I was shocked that the famous Elveden traffic lights had been removed but was pleased to see the quite cycle route continued south. I will have to explore it further on a future ride.

With Big George again bombing along out of earshot we arrived at Brandon station in time for our planned train.
Train at Brandon station like the one we caught back to Norwich
Once on board I had a full 45 minutes with Big George as a captive audience to tell him about my Ironman Frankfurt results analysis that I had been undertaking over the last couple of days. Sadly he must have been tired after his fast pedalling as he seemed to fall asleep from almost the point we sat down. I will have to email him further ironman details instead so he doesn't miss out.

Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.50
7.50
6.00
6.50
7.50
7.00
route

Click here to download 47 mile Norwich to Brandon GPX file for your GPS