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

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Saturday 3 October 2015

Way out West. (Orchard Tearoom, Wisbech)

Orchard Tearoom,
Opening times Mon-Sun 10:00-16:00,
One of my Cake Crusading missions is to spread my cafe cycle reviewing activities as far as possible. To make this a practical proposition it sometimes involves driving or railwaying to somewhere and starting the ride from there. As I had recently bought a Sustrans cycle map for Fenland I thought It would be good to ride out in the Fens for a change. Also, as a way of building bridges with Big George, I decided that this would be an excellent destination for him to join me as the cycling guest. You may remember that going up hills was the cause of our falling out when riding in Wales earlier this year, what with him being rubbish at getting up them and my motivational need to point this out. However as the Fens are a no hill zone there would be no such problems although I learnt that this would turn out to be a mistake for me.
Cycling in the flatlands of the Fens without a hill in sight
I decided we should drive to Castle Rising just north of Kings Lynn and cycle to the Orchard Tearoom just south of Wisbech as they are one of the cafes that follow me on Twitter. I had agreed to drive although when Big George turned up he was unhappy when he remembered I have a VW and was worried I would be polluting both him and the Norfolk country side. I pointed out I had only got the car as it easily fitted two bikes in the back and not for its low emissions (although if there is ever a class action against VW then I clearly did buy it for it's low emissions). We put on our anti pollution face masks and set off.

Once at Castle Rising we parked the car and were soon on our way which included a lovely stretch along the river tow path near Kings Lynn. We both agreed this would make an ideal site for an incinerator.
View from cycle path when leaving Kings Lynn
As we continued cycling along the flat roads, surrounded by small dykes and arable fields, I commented that it was just like cycling in Holland, something which I have done on many occasions (see Going Dutch). Big George agreed that it felt very Dutch before remembering that he had never actually cycled in the Netherlands and had only seen it on the telly.

With a bit of help from a light breeze and the flat roads we whizzed along for 30 miles before arriving at the Orchard tea rooms. Coincidently all around the Orchard tearoom were fields full of fruit trees. On arrival we parked our bikes round the back in the outdoor seating area and went through the indoor seating area to the serving counter were there was the cake selection.
Parking our bikes in outdoor seating area before heading inside
It was both a large and interesting cake selection including a number of cakes I fancied such as marmalade cake, bread pudding and several sponges, it therefore got a high effective cake selection (ECS) score. I choose a black current sponge and a cheese scone (as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research). Big George was still refusing to cake on our trips but did have a cheese scone to accompany his tuna melt.
Very effective cake selection
We decided to sit outside under one of the apple trees although I was afraid we would just become a wasp magnet and so I was very surprised when there weren't any buzzy around, apparently they had moved on recently.
Seats in the apple tree and surprisingly wasp free seating area
Our cakes and drinks soon arrived and I was pleased to see that the Orchard Tearooms had got the spoon and cup length combination right which is not always the case at every cafe stop.
Impressively long spoon for high cup
My hot chocolate was a bit too weak for my liking but Big George thought his filter coffee was of a good strength and quite liked it. The cheese scones had been correctly warmed and were very good as was my black current sponge cake.
Good cakes, scones and coffee
All in all we both agreed the Orchard Tearoom was a very good stop and had been well worth the effort of coming out to.

We now had to complete our cycle loop back to Castle Rising much of which would be into the wind. Despite the wind being very light today the fact that there is no shelter in the Fens means that even the gentlest breeze seems like a gale when riding directly into it. I wouldn't fancy riding here if there was a strong wind.  

For some reason this seemed to inspire Big George who was keen to gain cycling revenge by trying to break me on the way back. He had brought his posh fast bike, he confessed he had been doing lots of training and there were no hills, which he is a bit rubbish at cycling up, so today was his big chance as he set off like a maniac. It took all my effort to hang on and I was relived when we got back to the car still riding together as I couldn't have kept it up for much longer. I made a note to only take him on hilly rides in future so that this could never happen again. 

Scores for Orchard Tearoom
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Map of route

click here to download 60 mile Kings Lynn Wisbech loop gpx file for your gps

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