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, 14 April 2016

Climbing practice. (Rocket House Cafe, Cromer)

Rocket House Cafe,
Cromer,
Opening times Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00,
Sat-Sun 10:00-17:00,  
Recommended 
As a keen cyclist one thing I really enjoy is watching the cycling on the telly, especially the mountain stages in the Grand Tours. I particular remember watching the last stage of the 2014 Giro (tour of Italy) when they went up monte Zoncoln which is considered one of the hardest climbs in Europe. I foolishly thought that I would like a go at it just to see how hard it is. Well in just 6 weeks time myself and Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) will be giving it a go as a result of an ill thought through conversation last year. 
Monte Zoncolon that doesn't look much like Norfolk
With this in mind I decided it was probably about time we did some hill climbing training but as Norfolk isn't renowned for it's mountains then finding somewhere appropriate isn't easy. In fact the only place with any gradients is the Cromer ridge (near Cromer) so that's where we headed today.

After leaving from Hard to Please House and with rain in the air, we cycled for about 20 miles before finding ourselves at the start of the planned training climb in West Runton. Andrew wisely suggested we remove our waterproofs so we didn't over heat on the way up which obviously meant that it started to rain for the only time all day. I set the gradient'o'meter function on my cycle computer to see how steep the hill got as we went up. As we climbed I shouted out the latest steepness reading, 9%,10%, 11% until we maxed out at 12 % on our half mile ascent. 
Looking back down our impressive training climb
Probably due to my London marathon training (did I mention I was running the London Marathon) at the top I said to a panting Andrew that, I didn't want to sound arrogant or patronising, but I hadn't found the climb very difficult. Andrew confirmed that I had sounded very arrogant and patronising and turned down my suggestion of going round again meaning our climbing training was now complete. Wet from the rain we put our waterproofs back on, just as the rain stopped, and headed straight for Cromer and today's cafe the Rocket House, which we found on the sea front.
Outside the Rocket House cafe
After locking our bikes we climbed the two flights of stairs (gradient unknown) up to the cafe area. The outside seating area has stunning views of the sea and pier but we opted to join the masses and reserve one of the last remaining lunchtime tables.
View out from outdoor seating area
As always I first checked out the cake selection in order to award the effective cake selection (ECS) score. It was spread out at the front and back of the counter with a number of good looking cakes so I awarded a good solid ECS mark.
Cake selection mainly on back shelf
I went for chocolate cake to go with my hot chocolate and Andrew millionaire shortbread to accompany his cappuccino. There was also flapjack which I purchased to test as part of my flapjack of the year 2016 competition.

The drinks and cakes soon arrived. I thought my hot chocolate a bit weak, especially compared to the run of hot chocolates made from real chocolate chips that I have had at several cafes recently. Andrew found his cappuccino to be a reasonably good example so I scored both the drinks appropriately.
Drinks nicely presented
On the cakes front my chocolate cake had some of the best chocolate topping I can remember. It was thick and a good chocolate taste with out being at all sickly like some icings can be. Andrew liked his millionaire shortbread but would have liked the shortbread bit to be a bit shorter.
Cakes ready to taste, with chocolate cake having a great topping
Although not cake, so forming no part in my cycle cafe rating system, I must report how much I enjoyed my lunchtime Cromer crab sandwich and chips which was the best crab sandwich I can remember and I'm very found of a bit of crab.
Fabulous crab sandwich
All in all the Rocket House cafe had proved a very good stop with the stunning views making it something special and I recommend a visit.

After the success of our half a mile of climbing training we decided to take the quick way back to Alysham before I drove back to Norwich for a quick afternoon nap, happy in the knowledge that if we can climb the Cromer ridge (0.5miles max gradient 12%) then Monte Zoncolon (6.5 miles average gradient 12%) will be a piece of cake, and I like cake.

Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.00
6.50
7.00
7.50
8.50
7.10
route

Click here to down load 36 mile Alysham Cromer loop GPX file for your GPS

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