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/

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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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Sunday 29 November 2015

Cake Crusader Sportive 18. (43 miles Mettingham (nr Bungay) via TallyHo tearooms)

Sportive 18,
Tally Ho Tearooms,
Mettingham (nr Bungay),
Opening times Tue-Sat 10:00-17:00,
Sun 11:00-17:00,
Yesterday's Cake Crusader sportive was always going to be high risk as you never know what the weather will be like at this time of year. As a rule winter sportives have a 30 mile ceiling but for this trip I wanted to go a bit further, push it out to over the 40 mile mark and hope the weather would be kind to us. As a result I seemed to have scared off all but the most committed sportive riders and therefore a field of just 5 line up on the start line at race HQ.
Hard core riders
I thought it would be good to go somewhere a bit different and therefore had opted for a return to the Victorian themed Tally Ho tearooms near Bungay. I last went there 2 years ago (see a matter of taste) with Big George who had not really got his head round the whole Victorian theme set up seeming to believe we really had gone back in time. He took several months to recover from the experience so I was keen to see how today's set of cyclists would react.

The weather on the way down was good. A bit chilly, a slight wind but at least the sun was out meaning we were rewarded with some fantastically typical Norfolk views and sky's. Despite a few moans of "how much further" we made pretty good progress and arrived at the Tally Ho Victorian themed tea rooms bang on mid day. 
Sorting out bike security outside the Tally H Tearooms
I had clearly not realised that today was international 'eat out at a Victorian themed venue' day as the tea room was packed. The only space still available to us were the comfy sofas in the jams and chutney area but we were more than happy to take them and get out of the cold.

I checked out the cake selection which had a solid offering of traditional sponge cakes. There was a coffee cake so it was good that Mick (Coffee and Walnut specialist) was one of today's riders so we could get his expert opinion. 
Selection of traditional sponge cakes
As it was lunchtime and we were hungry after our ride we all selected sandwiches or soup but disappointingly two of the group seemed to believe that this meant they didn't need to have cake. I made my displeasure known by disqualifying them from any part in cake reviewing activity today. After punishment that severe I don't thing they will be refusing to cake on future rides. I, on the other hand, stepped up to the plate (pardon the pun) and had both carrot cake and a cheese scone as part of my cheese scone serving temperature research. Sadly despite the olde rhyme 'cheese scone hot, fruit scone not', which I believe the first recorded use was during Queen Victoria's reign, it came cold.

While we waited for our drinks and cakes to arrive we discussed the atmosphere and ambiance rating. There was a wide range of opinions depending if you liked themed things but it came as no surprise that Dom (old school cyclist and wannabe Victorian) really rated it, he especially liked seeing all drinks served in proper China cups and that real children were being used to clean the chimney. 
Drinks in proper china cups
My hot chocolate was excellent, strong, thick and hot and just what was wanted on a cold winters day. Not surprisingly this meant the Mochas also scored well so it was thumbs up for the Victorian drinks. Our cakes were nice too although Mike prefers his coffee cake to include walnuts as well and felt a bit short changed that this one didn't. I pointed out walnuts were not invented until 1927 so it was actually authentic for the time.
Nice selection of Victorian food
The Victorian waiter asked how far we had to go to cycle home. We told him about 25 miles expecting him to be impressed but he wasn't as he said he often did 100 mile rides, which was all the more impressive as I assume this would be on a penny farthing. Those Victorians are well hard.

Despite it being a different group of people to the ones on my last visit here it was good that today's set of ratings were very similar showing good consistency of both my excellent scoring system and the Tally Ho tearoom, which I recommend you try if you like something different or are Victorian.

Sadly the weather started to worsen for our pathetically short 25 mile return ride as it rained and the wind started to gust so we were all pleased to get home to warm up, which I did by getting in my tin bath in front of the coal fire. 

Scores for Tally Ho Tea rooms based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click here to download 43 miles Norwich - Bungay loop  GPX file for your gps

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