Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

I

Monday, 27 July 2015

On location. (Earsham Street cafe, Bungay and Rosy Lees Tearoom, Loddon)

What happened when I was on the BBC
with Celebrity cyclist Alex Dunlop
It was going to be an exciting day. The local paper (EDP) had done an article on my cake crusading exploits and I had been told, that subject to there not being any proper news, the article would be published today. Little did I know that this was just a start of a whole media storm of blog publicity coming my way today. 

I had got up early to queue at the local newsagents in order to get my copy of the paper. Once purchased I nervously thumbed through the pages until I made it to the converted pages 28 and 29, where I found a double page spread  (EDP link) about all things cafe cycle Blog. Sam (Journalist) had done a great job. I was particularly pleased to see a mention of my #keep cake of serviettes campaign. 
Double page spread (pages 28 and 29) in EDP
To celebrate I thought a cafe cycle ride was in order. My previous days ride had gone badly wrong when I had failed to cycle off-road from Norwich to Yarmouth (see Follow the Wherryman ). I therefore felt it was important to get back to a traditional cafe cycle ride.

Big George was to be today's cycling guest. The weather forecast did not look too good for the afternoon so we had set off early on our 50 mile round trip out west to Saham Toney near Watton confident that we would avoid an afternoon soaking, although as it turned out we didn't.

The ride was going well and we had covered about 15 miles when I heard my phone ring. It was Chris (Mrs Crusader) so I thought I better answer. She told me the BBC were trying to get hold of me as they would, subject to there not being any proper news, like to do a feature on me for tonight's Look East.

This was very exciting news so obviously I immediately rang the BBC and went straight through to Alex Dunlop (the actual man off the telly). He had seen the article in the EDP and had been working on making it into a news feature. He had come up with a plan to film at my current number one rated stop, Earsham Street cafe in Bungay (see tough at the top) and then on to his favourite cafe. He hadn't expected me to already be out on my bike so thought the idea would not work but this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss and although Bungay was in the opposite direction my cycling GPS said it was only 30 miles away so we could get there in a couple of hours. 

Big George is a bit of a media tart, having been interviewed on radio 5 during the last General Election, so was keen for another opportunity to increase his celebrity status and immediately agreed to the change of plan.

So we set off again but this time in the opposite direction, on a dash across Norfolk arriving at Earsham Street Cafe in Bungay exactly at the agreed meeting time.
Arriving at Earsham Street cafe right on time
We wheeled our bikes through the cafe to the outdoor seating area where I was proudly directed to my very own reserved table. After we had sat down Alex (the man off the telly) arrived and joined us to explain the 'storyboard' for the 'shoot'.  

Through force of habit I had already checked out the cake selection so ordered some vanilla crumble cake and a hot chocolate.
Today's very effective cake selection
Alex kept insisting on filming our drinks and cake being both served and eaten, fortunately this didn't seem to affect the taste and as always they were both excellent.

After some more filming of us going in and out of the cafe with our bikes, Alex said he had arranged for us to go to his favourite cafe which turned out to be Rosy Lees Tearoom (also one of my favourites) in Loddon where I had been only yesterday (see Follow the Wherryman ).

The forecasted afternoon rain had now caught up with us as we cycled across to Loddon and met back up with Alex who had been joined by a cameraman making this into a full blown film crew. We went into Rosy Lees where we had some more excellent drinks and cake, which all had to be filmed, before it was time for me to be mic'd up for my in depth interview on the world of cafe cycle blogging. 
Outside Rosy Lees Tearoom
The questions were very probing and I had to be on my toes to make sure I wasn't caught out. With all the recent press I was pleased not to be tripped up on the controversial topic of cake eating on the Tour de France. I am convinced the riders eat cake during the tour and I wasn't afraid to say so on camera.

By now it was pouring with rain but we still needed to film some 'cut aways' of me and Big George cycling with the man off the telly. So we set off on our bikes to meet the film crew on some quiet roads nearby. Halfway there I realised I was still mic'd up and Alex and his cameraman could hear what I was saying. I was worried I could be at the centre of another Gordon Brown style incident. I played back in my mind what I had been talking about in case I had made any inappropriate remarks which would allow Look East to run a very different story; "Bigoted Norfolk cyclists outrages cakist views". Much to my relief Big George assured me we had been mainly talking about housework. Nice try BBC.

I noted the 'cut aways' with us and the man off the telly give the impression he had been out on a long cycle. In fact, where as me and Big George had ridden about 70 miles, I estimate he had done about 70 metres over the course of the day. But that's the magic of TV.
Me and the man off the telly about to do some cut aways
We excitedly went home to gather our family and friends around the TV to watch the report. I was pleased to see there had been no proper news today so would be on the show. Fortunately most of my interview babble had ended up on the cutting room floor but I noticed the controversial Tour de France cake question had made it in. Despite my family and friends rolling around on the floor with mirth I thought it was a very good feature. The only criticism was that I felt there was far too much of Big George in it and they hadn't pixelated out his face like I had requested. Also despite repeatedly bringing up my recent ironman success throughout the day there was no mention of that either.

Today's publicity jamboree had proved very successful with several thousand additional hits to the blog in one day. Hopefully it will help encourage more people to go for a cycle ride and enjoy a cafe stop with cake, if it ever stops raining.

This week I hope to get back to a normal cafe cycle ride before my focus turns to the two big events coming up soon.
First, in August, I'm cycling from St Davids in Wales to Lowerstoft to find the best cafe across Great Britain, literally (see finding best cafe across Great Britain).
Then in September I plan to visit 20 cafes in one day to set a world record for a calorie neutral bike ride  (see Calorie Boffins)