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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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Cake Crusader Sportive 16. (Earsham hall Tea room, Bungay)

Sportive 16,
Earsham Hall Tea room,
Bungay,
Mon-Sat 09:00-17:00, Sun 10:00-16:00
Highly Recommended
It seemed like it was about time for another Cake Crusader sportive. These are group rides on which I take my family, friends and other cycling guests to a previously visited venue. As well as it being a chance to go out with a group of like minded cyclists it is also a chance to check out any changes to an already reviewed cafe. 

Unfortunately I appeared to have picked a bad weekend for the event as the majority of my regulars were taking their offspring off to various Universities or were sick or injured. I had sensibly dumped my student at University during the week to avoid a clash but it was clear others had not planned so effectively.

Therefore a disappointing field of just 4 lined up at race HQ for today's ride.
Small group for today's sportive
We were going to Earsham Hall tea rooms near Bungay as I had been told it was under new management and much improved since I last went. On that previous trip  I had upset the farming community by getting lost on the way and ending up in the middle of a pig farm (see get off my land). I was hoping for a more straight forward adventure today.

Today's group were our Dutch team doctor Dr Hans and Mrs Dr Hans plus their friend and first timer Andy (coffee 'expert'). My cycling guests had obviously been taking some of Dr Hans special pills as they set off at a lightning pace taking it in turns to sprint off up the road causing me to have to close down each attempted break away. With this continuing for sometime it wasn't surprising that we arrived at Earsham Hall in double quick time.
Myself and new boy Andy at Earsham Hall Tea rooms
Earsham Hall Tea Rooms had certainly been decorated since I was last here and the previous disappointing cake selection had been replaced by a much more effective selection of sponge cakes and scones leading to a good effective cake selection (ECS) score.
Nice selection of cakes and scones
Outside there is a lovely outdoor seating courtyard area but after trying it out we decided it was too cold today and returned inside.
Outdoor seating courtyard arae
Andy (coffee 'expert') announced that he was a bit of an espresso coffee connoisseur and wanted some hot and cold water with his drink in order to be able to adjust it to his tastes. All of these were delivered as requested. I ordered a standard hot chocolate and the others cappuccino. We also had a selection of different sponge cakes. Finally I ordered a cheese scone as part of my cheese scone temperature serving research.
wide selection of cakes and drinks to try
The cakes and drinks arrived and Andy tasted his coffee. We waited with baited breath for his judgement and to everyone's relief he thought his espresso was excellent and didn't need water adjustment after all. He liked it so much he ordered a second one and wanted to give it 9.5 out of 10. As he was a first time reviewer I had to apply first time reviewer scoring coefficient but with this and the Dutch contingents high cappuccinos mark the guest hot drink quality (GHDQ) rating was very good. I also enjoyed my hot chocolate too so good drinks scores all round.

The cakes to got everyone's approval with my only disappointment being that my cheese scone was served cold. However it was a very good cheese scone and I added it to my contenders for cheese scone of the year.
Very good, if cold, cheese scone and potential cheese scone of the year
I was now left with a Cake Crusader cafe cycle ride scoring system (CCCCRSS) dilemma. The CCCCRSS rules state that if a cafe or tea room is visited more than once then it is rated on the average mark of it's 3 most recent visits. The previous two visits to Earsham hall tearooms had not scored particularly well which would mask the obvious improvement the new management had made. However it is not an easy process to change the CCCCRSS as it involves a number of forms to be filled and committees to meet to approve any changes. Despite this, on reflection, I decide a rule change was needed and would make the effort to fill in the necessary rule change request forms in order to be fair. The proposed rule would be 
  • If a previously visited cafe is under new management when being revisited then any previous ratings will be discarded and the current visit would count as the first effectively wiping the slate clean. (see there must be rules)
Earsham Hall tearoom has now become an excellent cafe cycle shop with a courtyard to safely keep your bikes and high quality cakes and drinks so I would now highly recommended it. Using the new under new management rule its ratings put it into my current cafe top 10 as well.

With this dilemma potentially resolved we set off back but as the effect of our large cakes kicked in and Dr Hans special pills wore off the way home took a bit longer. When I got back I started working my way through the mountain of paper work and blog updates required to take into account the CCCCRSS rule change but I think it is worth it to get these things right.

Scores based on last 3 of 4 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
8.08
6.77
7.80
7.65
8.27
7.71
Route

Click here to download 35 mile Norwich Earsham Hall loop GPX file for your GPS

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