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/

Cake Crusader Book

There is now a Cake Crusader book available where you can follow my journey from humble local trips to world record attempts and near-death experiences. How did a simple method of keeping track of decent cycling café pit stops turn my life upside down? Track my adventures into Europe, up mountains and right across Great Britain as I become a 'rising star' on social media. Will I prove my critics wrong? Should cheese scones be served hot or cold? Do I really have nothing better to do with his time? A must read for lovers of cycling and cake or anyone wanting to make it big in the virtual world

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Thursday 16 July 2015

Yes I know you've done an Ironman, get over it. (Market Row Cafe, Beccles)

Market Row Café,
Opening times Mon-Sat 08:45-16:00
Highly Recommended
Thursday was a lovely day so I was pleased that I had arranged to go for a ride with cycling guest Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) who I hadn't seen since doing the German Ironman event nearly two weeks ago. On a recent ride he said he had not been on his bike via Reedham Ferry for many years. Being an excellent cycle ride host I had picked up on the hint and therefore planned a route down to Beccles crossing the river via the ferry.

We set off across Norwich and then to the roadworks at Postwick. Here we discovered the road that we wanted to go on was closed. Instead of having to cancel the ride there and then this turned out to be a bonus as we were directed to a section of new cycle track I was previously unaware of that bypassed the difficult Postwick junction. Due to the normal heavy traffic in this area I had always been put off from riding out this way but with this new facility I'm tempted to use the route more often. 
Excellent new cycle track at Postwick
Once we were out in the country the traffic noise died down and I was able to update Andrew with stories about my Iornman adventure as he had foolishly enquired how I got on. I have noticed that with each new telling the temperature on the day gets hotter, the difficulty of the event harder and the pain of completing it more intense. At this rate I will eventually get to the stage when it will be too, hot, hard and painful that I don't finish the race. I continued going through every last detail until, with Andrew now barely awake, we made it to Reedham ferry.

As it was such a lovely day I had decided not to book cabins but instead spend the journey up on deck enjoying the views and the sunshine during the crossing.  
On deck during the river crossing on Reedham Ferry
After we had successfully disembarked south of the river Andrew asked me about my potential cycle tour of Europe I was thinking of doing with Chris (Mrs Crusader) which I had once mentioned. I liked the idea of an epic ride as it would not only be a chance to explore la continent in the best way possible but the chance to get touring bikes and lightweight camping gear would open up limitless investment shopportunities far outweighing those offered to me by cycling alone (although they are fairly extensive as well). 

Andrew started to quiz me on every detail of what I was planning to pack down to the minute detail. I did try to explain this trip was just a possibility and over 2 years away but he still wanted to know things like if I would be taking plastic or metal cutlery (metal of course I do have standards). After a while I realised he was not really interested but just desperate to make sure he didn't have to listen to anymore Ironman stories.

We rode into Beccles but I couldn't find the original cafe I was looking for in the town centre. Instead I spotted the Market Row cafe down a little side alley which looked like a good venue so we decided it would be today's cafe of choice.
Market Row Cafe in Beecles
Before reviewing our seating options we went inside to check out the cake selection and award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating. There were scones, brownies and flapjack but the only real cake was a large honey and almond sponge. They all looked good but with the limited choice I could not award a very high ECS score.
Available cakes on offer
We both ordered the honey and almond sponge to go with my hot chocolate and Andrew's cappuccino. I also ordered a cheese scone as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research 

As it was a hot day we couldn't decide if to take a table in the traditional table and chair indoor seating area, in order to stay cool, or venture outside and enjoy the sunshine. We eventually decided on the compromise of outside seating area but table in the shade option and selected a table in the alleyway which not only enjoyed views of the Beccles one way system at either end but was also nice and quiet and not very busy.
Shadey or sunny tables available in outside seating area
As soon as the food and drinks arrived I checked the scone temperature and was pleased to see it had been nicely warmed. It was also delicious and one of the best cheese scones I have had for a while so I immediately added it to my short-list for cheese scone of the year 2015. (note it went on to win the cheese scone of the year 2015 award).
Food and drink
I was also very impressed with my hot chocolate that was the right temperature, hotness and thickness so good marks there as well. Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) thought his coffee pretty good but not up to the same high standard as my drink. The honey and almond cake went down well although I was a bigger fan than Andrew who was in one of his more hard to please moods.

Overall I was very impressed with the Market Row cafe and give it a highly recommended status as it is definitely worth a visit.

On the way back I told Andrew I had entered another Ironman next year, this time in Austria. He was clearly overjoyed to hear the news. Not only hours more Ironman based chat but it would mean the chance to repeat our 'not particularly high altitude training camp' we did in Slovenia earlier this year again (see Day of climbs). Andrew agreed he would come along as long as I didn't mention the word Ironman again for at least six months. Although I promised I wouldn't it seems unlikely.

Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Click link to down load 50 mile Norwich Beecles loop gpx file for your gps

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