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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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Warm hands. (North Lodge Park Tea Rooms, Cromer)

North Lodge Park Tea Rooms,
Cromer,
Opening times Tues-Sun 10:00-16:00,
Highly Recommended 
Back in September Lizzie (barista and baker) wrote to me about the recently opened North Lodge Park community run tea room in Cromer. She promised great cakes and I promised to come on a cycle ride at the earliest possibility. Four months is about as good as my earliest possibility gets so today I drove to Hard to Please House in Alysham to met Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) who would be today's cycling guest.

I had noticed that recently my cycling guests had stopped coming up with any useful Cycling Guests Cycling Top Tips for me to share. I had planned to raise this with Andrew on the ride but before I left to meet him he had texted me an excellent top tip he had stumbled across when preparing for a ride at the weekend.

Cycling Guest Cycling Top Tip No 41. To keep your hands warm on a cold winters day leave your gloves on the Aga for a few minutes before you set off.
Gloves being warmed on Aga
Here is the science behind this tip. Normally it takes a little while for the heat from your hands to warm up your gloves making your fingers cold during the early stages of your ride. This method makes sure the gloves are already warmed inside and your hands heat just keeps them topped up and warm throughout.

WARNING: Cycling Guest Cycling Top Tip No 39 only works for country folk who own a posh Aga cooker. Do not try the tip on your gas hob as this will only set your gloves on fire, make them useless for the forthcoming ride and upset Mrs Crusader.

With his toastie warm hands and my freezing cold ones we soon made it to today's seaside destination. North Lodge Park is just behind the old lifeboat station on Cromer seafront. 
Cromer showing location of  today's tearoom
There is a small outdoor seating area in front of the tea room building which both over look the boating pond. Sadly no one was boating today.
Outside North Loadge Park Tea Rooms
Lizzie (barista and baker) had told me that "We have home baked cakes daily and lemon/sugar, chocolate or cheddar crepes plus a "proper" coffee machine. Plenty of room to park bikes in the park as well."

There was indeed plenty of room for your bikes in the park although I'm not sure why you would want to leave your bike at the far side of the park and then walk back to the tearoom so we locked ours up by the boating pond and went inside to the busy indoor seating area.

As Lizzie (barista and baker) had promised I spied a number of good looking cakes on the counter. I thought it looked a good selection but then spotted another table with some large and excellent looking sponge cakes on it moving the effective cake selection (ECS) rating up to the next level.

They also had flapjack which I would be separately rating as part of my search for Flapjack of the year 2016.
Small part of the excellent cake selection
I chose ginger cake and Andrew the virgin slice from the coffee and walnut sponge to go with his cappuccino.

Once our drinks and cakes arrived I first rated the flapjack against the three T's of flapjack quality (Taste, Texture and Topology) and it scored very highly making it an early contender to qualify for the Flapjack off at the end of the year.
Cakes, flapjack and drinks
Both my hot chocolate and his coffee were reasonably good and warmed us up nicely, however the cake was something else. It was without question the finest ginger cake I have had with the right amount of ginger and a great icing. I was worried that Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) would not like his coffee and walnut sponge but nothing could have been further from the truth as he too thought his cake was superb being nice and moist. It is rare when all cakes and slices perform well on a visit so it was a high 9 out of 10 for cake taste quality (CTQ).
I totted up the scores to find North Lodge Park tea room had made it into my current coveted cafe top 10 and I highly recommend a visit.

I also noticed that it was a community cafe run by volunteers with all profits going into maintaining and improving the park. At only £8.00 for our drinks, cakes and flapjack I'm not sure they are maximising their profit making potential.

Before we left, Andrew asked if he could warm his gloves on their Aga and was puzzled to find that they, like most people, didn't have one. Unfortunately Cycling Guest Cycling Top Tip No 39 therefore didn't help him on the return ride.

As we set off I noticed I had ripped my cycling trousers. This was good as it gave me another cycling shoportunity to go with the order to replace my fire damaged cycling gloves.
Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.50
6.50
8.50
9.00
8.00
7.70
Route

Click here to download 27 mile Alysham Cromer loop GPX file for your gps

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