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

Available on Amazon

Saturday 26 September 2015

Back on the track. (Penny's Tearoom, Saham Toney)

Penny’s Tearoom,
Saham Toney,
Opening times Thur-Mon 09:00-15:00,
When I left Big George at the end of Lowestoft pier back in August I wasn't sure if he would ever speak, let alone ride, with me again. With fellow 'cyclist' Dom, we had just completed my mission to find the best cafe anywhere across Great Britain. It had been a 6 day 500 mile trip involving hills, rain, sickness and suffering (see St Davids to Lowestoft day 6). To keep up spirits and help to bring us home I had had to use my legendary motivational skills by using phrases like 'is that as fast as you can go', 'well I cycled all the way up without getting off' and 'if we went any slower I would fall off' but the team had not responded well to my tough love and eventually, in protest, refused to eat any more cake at our cafe stops. However we made it back in one piece and on schedule so obviously my approach had worked. I might even write a book on how to motivate, I will call it 'If you're a bit rubbish, try harder'.

By the end of the ride Big George did not seem happy. He was not only refusing to eat cake but claimed to be too tired to join in cycling chat as he had contracted dengue jungle fever (man flu) at the start of the ride which a days soaking and 500 miles cycling appeared not to be the cure for although he had received little, in fact no, sympathy from me.

So despite asking several times since we got back today was the first time he had been prepared to join me on a ride as he was now feeling much better and ready for some more punishment. Things started well as we caught up on all the stuff that we had been up to since the last ride. He was particularly interested in my cafe by cafe account on the calorie neutral bike ride world record attempt (see Is it a record), although he pretended not to be, and I listened with interest to his very assuming story of how he got his Dyson fixed after the ball punctured during a seriously heavy hovering session.

I had planned a 50 mile loop out to Penny's Tearoom at Saham Toney which has been recommended to me by several people. The last time we had tried to go there we had been diverted when the BBC phoned to ask if I could be on that nights local news (see on location) so I was relived to make it there this time without any media distractions.

We arrived safely in Saham Toney and found Penny's Tearoom at Lowe caravan park. Some other cyclists had just arrived before us which is always a good sign. We parked our bikes and headed inside to check out the cakes.
Arriving at Penny's Tearoom
There was a big open plan indoor seating area with the cakes on display on the kitchen counter. It consisted of 3 sponge cakes plus scones. I went for a cheese scone (as part of my cheese scone temperature serving research) and some coffee and walnut cake. Big George ordered a cup of tea and an egg sandwich which, as an egg sandwich is clearly not cake, I took as a message that I still wasn't fully forgiven for our previous trip. I will know I am back in his good books once he orders coffee and cake again.
Cake selection
We decided to sit outside in the very pleasant outdoor seating area and discuss matters of the day.
One of the outside seating options
Our food and drinks soon turned up. Big George said his tea was good and he had two cups from his pot. Unfortunately I found my hot chocolate too weak and milky for my tastes. I would have given it a good stir but the spoon provided was shorter than the glass making this task impossible with out a potential finger burning incident. This is not the first time I have come across this phenomenon and have seen other establishments solve the problem with the introduction of longer spoons or shorter cups. I'm happy for either of these ideas to be adopted here without being credited with them.
Spoon length issue
I think my cheese scone had been warmed but wasn't totally sure as it certainly wasn't hot. I suppose as we were sitting outside it could have just cooled down quickly. It was still a nice scone though. The highlight was the coffee and walnut cake which was excellent and one of the best examples of its type I can remember as it is very easy to make this type of cake very dry.
Cakes and drinks
Penny's tearoom seemed slightly gung ho on the serviette front with each item, plus cutlery, coming with its own yellow napkin meaning we ended up with 6 between two of us. Fortunately they were all correctly delivered off the cake and as I had a bit of a cold I recycled the ones unused on crumb wiping for nose blowing purposes.

Penny's tearoom is a good stop, particularly for cycling as there is lots of room to safely leave your bikes, and it fills a cafe gap in this part of the region. It would score even higher if the hot chocolate issues were resolved but worth going to for the cake alone.

We had the wind behind on the way back so practised our slip streaming skills as we sped home. I had an afternoon snooze on the agenda while Big George was planning a meeting with Mr Dyson on the downstairs carpets. I think Big George's memories of our previous epic ride our fading as we haven even planned another cafe cycle for next week. Maybe he will even have some cake.

Ratings on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click here to download 50 mile Norwich Saham Toney loop gpx file to your GPS

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