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

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Newbies. (Purdy's tearoom, Aylsham)

Purdy's Tearoom,
Open Daily 10:00 -16:30
Today was a great day for a bike ride, clear blue crisp sky's and the perfect cycling temperature. I was therefore very pleased I had arranged to go on a cafe cycle to a new cafe. However cafe cycle rules clearly state that a ride only qualifies if it has at least one cycling guest in order that the guest hot drink quality (GHDQ) can be rated. Fortunately due to a series of diary and communication mishaps I had managed to triple book and invite 3 different sets of cycling guest on today's ride so I wasn't exactly sure who was going to turn up.

I started to get nervous after one of my potential guests Chris (Mrs Crusader) had to pull out at short notice and then realised another, Barry, was currently refusing to partake of hot drinks and cakes so was useless on the cafe reviewing front.

I was therefore mighty relieved when Mick turned up on schedule with two newbies, Jenny and Roberta, in tow. As with all new riders they were keen to learn the ways of the cycle cafe reviewer and would be prepared to enthusiastically join in with coffee and cake rating. Obviously once they had come on several rides they would soon get bored, like Barry, with my insistence you eat cake and rate everything but for now it was good to have some new people on board.

It was also good to have some new cycling guests who hadn't heard the story of my Ironman triathlon (which I may have mentioned before) and I was therefore able to bore Jenny with the tale for many miles.

With the combination of fantastic biking conditions, keen new riders and Ironman chat I was amazed how quickly we got to today's venue especially as I had only got as far as the swim section of my Ironman story so still had the bike and marathon parts to cover after the cafe stop.

Today's stop was Purdy's tearoom at Woodgate Nursery which is just outside Alysham and near the Marriotts Way cycle track on the way to Reepham.

We pushed our bikes through the nursery plants where we found Purdy's Tearoom and a large outdoor seating area. We parked our bikes amongst a collection of pumpkins and selected a table for later use. 
Today's group parking bikes in pumpkin corner
Then it was inside the wooden cabin to check out the cakes. There were four available plus cheese and fruit scones and although not the largest selection it was still an interesting one and I therefore awarded a reasonable effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Cake selection
I ordered chocolate and orange drizzle cake plus a cheese scone (as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research, it was served cold). This was Mick's 4th time as one of my cycling guests and he had always chosen coffee and walnut cake on the previous excursions. I now considered him my go to man on the coffee and walnut front and knew I could now trust his expertise on the subject. With coffee and walnut cake available today I was both surprised and disappointed that he went for chocolate and orange drizzle as well as me. He said he didn't want to become predictable but I considered having a self proclaimed coffee and walnut specialist on the cake crusader reviewing panel to be a real asset and will make sure I direct him back to the ways of the walnut on future rides.

As usual Barry refused to become involved and had a diet coke and sausage roll so he would take no further part in any remaining reviewing activities today.

We returned back to our outdoor seating table and on such a stunning day awarded a high atmosphere and ambiance score.
Cakes and drinks pre reviewing
The newbies had both selected filter coffee and scones (one cheese and one fruit). Hopefully they will become more exotic in their choices in the future. They also had some work to do on their reviewing skills. The coffee was 'nice' as were the scones on the basis they 'weren't hard' which they seemed to think is the only scone quality differentiator. They have much to learn especially as I couldn't work with their descriptive style of input, I NEED NUMBERS!

The pressure was now on Mick (coffee and walnut cake expert) as my only credible cycling guest left and he didn't disappoint. Despite chocolate and orange drizzle not being his specialist subject he was able to give a full rationale for his rating. Moist sponge, good amount of chocolate but lacking enough orange tang which equated to a solid seven. I was in full agreement and felt my cheese scone, although cold, was a good one.

My hot chocolate was a bit on the weak side but, after further questioning of the cycling guests, it was felt the coffees were good and worthy of a high rating.

Overall Purdy's tearoom was a good stop and in an excellent location for a bike ride so worth checking out if you are riding that way.

I was looking forward to the return ride home as I could now talk Jenny through the Ironman bike and run legs but disappointingly she kept getting involved in conversations with the other cycling guests, if I didn't know better it was almost as if she was doing it on purpose. Still I can save the story up for next time which will surely encourage her to come on a return ride.

Scores based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

click here to down load 40 mile Norwich Alysham loop GPX file for your GPS

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