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, 17 October 2015

Cake Crusader Sportive 17. (30 miles Poringland via Acorn tearooms)

Sportive 17,
Acorn Tearooms,
Opening times Everyday 10-4,
It had been a quiet few weeks on the cafe cycle front as the excitement from my world record attempt died down and normal cycling service started to be resumed. However things were about to go cake crusader cafe cycle crazy (CCCCC) as over the next few days four rides were planned. The first of these was today's sportive to the Acorn Tearooms at the Royal Oak pub in Poringland.

I wasn't sure how many riders were joining me today as the signing up process had consisted of a series of excuses and maybe's this, combined with a forecast of rain, could mean I would be doing the sportive by myself, in which case I wouldn't be bothering posting about it.

Clearly someone must have turned up or you wouldn't be reading this now and in fact I was surprisingly joined by 5 sportive guests at race HQ.
Today's sportive guests
Three of today's riders, Mick, Chris (Mrs Crusader) and Gwyn had recently been on a bicycle maintenance for beginners course meaning we would be in safe hands if there were any mechanicals on the ride today. The course was clearly excellent as when Gwyns chain came off, before we had gone a few yards, she was able to put it back on, eventually, without assistance and we were back on our way.
Gwyn finally managing to complete getting her chain back on
Most of the ride was spent with my sportive cycling guests complaining about how far it was to the cafe stop, as it came towards the end of the ride, and uttering comments such as 'there must be a quicker route to the cafe than this'. I suggested that on that basis they could always have gone in the car but this would be missing the point of going on an actual bike ride. With my point well made we finally arrived at the Acorn tearooms at the Royal Oak pub. Despite all the moaning and the dull and windy conditions, there was general agreement that it had been a good route on some nice quiet country lanes and we were definitely ready to cake.
Arriving at the entrance to Acorn Tearooms
We parked up are bikes and went inside where Mrs Acorn was on hand to give us her usual warm welcome whilst we reviewed the good cake selection and ordered our drinks. 
Good selection of proper sponge cakes
We took a table for six in the corner and entered into the traditional debate as to if the Acorn tearooms at the Royal Oak pub felt more like a tea room or a pub that serves cake. As on previous visits the jury was split although as they have a stained glass indoor window with tearoom written on it and had put a table cloth on the pool table it felt all tearoom to me.
Indoor stain glass window clearly saying tearoom
I was pleased to see that everyone had ordered a different hot drink so I would get a good view on the accuracy of the guest hot drink quality (GHDQ) rating and was looking forward to a lively and informative debate.
An excellent selection of guest hot drinks
Gwyn had ordered a cup of Earl Grey tea and wanted to award it 8 out of 10. I explained this was not possible as cafe cycle reviewing rules clearly state that there is a cap of 7 on a cup of tea rating as at the end of the day it is just a cup of tea. So I scored it as a 7. Gwyn was not happy with this approach and said that in that case she only wanted to give it a 6 out of 7. Once again I had to explain it didn't work like that as it was a cap of 7 not out of 7. Gwyn was now quite agitated and insistent about her score being 6 so I was forced to suggest that if she was not happy with my scoring approach maybe she would like to start up her own tea based blog in which case she could implement a tea rating system of her choice. I noted her drink as a 7 and moved on to gather the other guests hot drink thoughts as they clearly agreed with me or didn't care.

After a lively and informative debate, in which there was a wide range of views on the different coffees, I collected all the scores and the average came out to the same GHDQ score as of my previous visit making drinks GHDQ scoring today all a bit of a waste of time really. 
Excellent cake
We all thought our cakes, especially the sticky toffee one, were very good and once all the remaining category scores were entered then the Acorn tearooms had ended up with the same score as when I visited before once again proving the consistency of my rating system. The Acorn Tearooms at the Royal Oak pub proved a very welcome stop after a 'long' ride on a cold day and remains in my recommended category, definitely worth a visit and as a bonus you can play the tearoom vs pub that serves cake game.

We set off home in the drizzle with the first of the CCCCC rides successfully completed. The only disappointment was that Gwyn, Mick and Chris had not had any further mechanicals with which to demonstrate their bicycle maintenance beginners skills. Before the next ride I may deliberately deflate Chris's (Mrs Crusader's) back tyre to see what her pumping up ability is now like.

Scores for Acorn Tearooms at the Royal Oak pub after two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Map of route
Click link to down load 30 mile Norwich Poringland gpx file for your GPS

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