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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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Data collection. (Harley's, Norwich)

Harleys,
Norwich,
Opening times Mon- Sat 09:00-17:00,

Sun 10:00-16:00
To make sure I had the best possible statistics for my 2015 end of year report I wanted to squeeze in one last ride this year. Fortunately Big George was in need of a cycle as well so agreed to be my cycling guest. 

Normally we aim to start our rides at 9.00am, then as I wait for his arrival, at about 9.10am Big George will text me to explain why he will be late before turning up at 9.30am ready to start. This morning I got everything in place as usual to set off at 9:00am and waited for his text. However today there was no text and he just turned up at 9:30am thus cutting out the unnecessary texting step. Despite it being the same for over two years he had apparently remembered the start time wrong. I recorded it as a late start in my 2015 cafe cycle statistics spreadsheet and added 'forgot start time' to the cycling guests excuses list.

We were going on a 35 mile loop to Acle and back hoping to find a cafe open there. On the way we compared our Christmases. It turned out we were in exactly the same trouble. Since Christmas Mrs Big George and Mrs Crusader had both sat on their sofas and scoffed all their Christmas chocolate gifts in a couple of binge sittings. After which they had both felt bad about themselves so blamed me and Big George for buying, or allowing people to buy them, something they liked as a present. Apparently it is also our fault that they need to eat so much chocolate all in one go as we have been told it isn't physically possible to spread consumption out over the whole festive period. I know this I foolishly suggested it. Mrs Crusader has now implemented total chocolate lock down at Crusader towers, not just for her, but no one is allowed to bring the stuff into house as if they did she would be forced to eat it against her will.

Apart from this Christmas seemed to have gone well, as was our ride and we soon arrived in Acle. Unfortunately of the two cafes I had lined up one was shut over Christmas and we couldn't find the other one. I updated my 2015 cafe cycle statistics spreadsheet to add one to the shut and one to the missing in action cafe count.

As I was aware of the risk of closed cafes at this time of year I had a plan C which was to continue back to Norwich and go to Harleys, a cafe near the river on the outskirts of Norwich.

Harleys brands itself as the cafe by the river, which is sort of true although there is a busy road separating you from the nearest river bank. However in between the cars going by and assuming no one has parked in front of you, you do get some nice views from the small continental pavement style outdoor seating area. As one of the tables was in use and the others blocked by a parked car we opted for a window seat inside instead.
Harleys taken from the river bank side of the road
Harleys seemed to specialise more in sandwiches and ice cream so there was only a carrot cake and a few mince pies in their cake selection meaning I could only award a low effective cake selection (ECS) rating. 
Cake selection only featuring carrot cake and mince pies
I was glad Big George opted for a latte as it helped boost the poor 2015 guest hot drink (GHD) latte count which continues to languish at the bottom of the GHD popularity table.

Our drinks and my cake arrived. I'm sure you can guess from the photo how disappointed I was to see the cake served on it's serviette further impacting the cake serviette serving coefficient target for the year. Remember #Keepcakeoffserviettes.
Cake, sadly served on its Napkin, and our drinks
My hot chocolate was nice enough and the carrot cake was perfectly fine but neither were absolutely top draw so I was very surprised when Big George declared his latte coffee to be very good indeed and awarded a high GHDQ mark. Further research of other reviews of Harleys concurs with Big George that the coffee here is very good.

Stepping in at the last minute Harleys had done well and looks like a good stop for coffee lovers. It also had the advantage of being close to the end of the ride so we didn't have far to go to get home.

I now have all the 2015 cafe cycle data collected so I can spend the next few days analysing it with a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit, correction plain biscuit.

Scores for Harleys
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.00
8.00
3.00
5.50
6.00
5.70
Route

Click her to download 35 mile Norwich Acle loop GPX file for your GPS

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