Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

I

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Is it Christmas? (Arts Desire Gift and Coffee Shop, Norwich)

Arts Desire Gift and Coffee shop,
Norwich,
Opening times Mon-Sat 09:00-17:30
Recommended
After the excitement of my recent Newspaper and TV publicity it was back to normality with a quick cafe cycle ride today. As it is currently the school holidays I had a collection of cycling guest available. Chris (Mrs Crusdaer), George (son) and Tom (friend of George) all signed up for the ride but there was a late withdrawal from Peter (student son) who decided he had some half finished urgent lying down to do that would not be completed until after we set off.

The ride was a 21 mile figure of eight loop out to Barford and back. Most of the ride was spent discussing what the middle of a figure of eight is called. Suggestions included apex, origin, centre, intersection etc but no firm conclusion was reached.
Unclear if this was the apex, origin, intersection or centre of the figure of 8 route
Apart from a quick puncture stop the ride was pleasant and uneventful finishing on a number of cycle paths through the outskirts of Norwich leading to the Arts Desire Gift and Coffee shop just off Unthank Road. 
Outside Arts desire with cycling guests
As Arts Desire is on a hill it took sometime to park our bikes, as they kept rolling away, but once this particularly challenge had been conquered we went inside to check out the cakes and award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating. For a small shop there was a surprisingly large selection of very good looking cakes spread out on a table. I therefore awarded a high ECS score. I did feel that they could have made better use of the limited space by using a smaller table but I'm no interior designer so what do I know. 
Good and effective cake selection spread out on large table
The front of the shop has a selection of arty crafty type gifts which is far from my specialist subject so I don't feel qualified to comment on this aspect. I'm more of an expert on seating arrangements and can report on a small three table cosy indoor seating area plus a nice paved garden outdoor seating option. As it was a bit cold we opted to stay inside. The combination of arty crafty gifts, choice of seating and friendly service lead to a good atmosphere and ambiance (AAA) score. 
Indoor seating area
My hot chocolate was nice but not the strongest I had had whereas Chris was very happy with her Mocha and it scored highly. Tom also had a hot chocolate but, as is often the case, I had to multiply his score by the first time cycling guest coefficient to get it to the same rating as I had given. Much to learn he has.

Today's cake reviewing would be very thorough as between us we had ordered chocolate fudge, coffee, lemon drizzle and carrot cake. We spent some time swapping bits of sponge and icing so all the offerings could be tried. They were all very good with the carrot cake being considered the best so a top cake taste quality (CTQ) mark was awarded.
Cakes and drinks
We had a real bonus on the serviette front, not only was the cake correctly not served on it but it was explained that due to recent stock control issues there were only Christmas serviettes available. This put us all into a cheery Christmasy mood and thoughts turned to the festive season. I wondered if maybe it had not been a stock control issue but clever marketing to make us subconsciously think about getting our Christmas gifts from the arty crafty part of the shop. Very cunning.
 Christmas serviette correctly served to the side of the cake
All in all the Arts Desire Gift and Coffee shop had performed well and had made an excellent cake stop at the end of our ride. I highly recommend a visit.

My next ride will be a solo effort when I plan to finalise the first part of my 20 cafe calorie neutral bike ride world record attempt route.

Ratings
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.00
7.50
8.00
8.00
7.00
7.30

Route

click here to download 21 mile Norwich Barford loop gpx file for your GPS