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

Available on Amazon


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Full. (Barnfields cafe, Castle Acre)

Barnfields Cafe,
Castle Acre,
Opening times Wed- Sat 10:00-16:00,
Highly Recommended 

In case I haven't mentioned it enough I recently did an ironman triathlon in Austria. As these things tend to take it out of you a bit I had spent the last couple of weeks in recovery mode so hadn't been able to go on any new cafe cycle rides. I was now ready to get back on my cafe mission so arranged to go out with Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) on a trip. As we would be going from Hard to Please House I asked Andrew to select the route and destination. I wanted to start my return slowly so was a little concerned when he had opted for a 50 mile route to Castle Acre.

My concern increased further when Andrew once again produced a tatty photo copied map with the route highlighted in crayon as our main navigation aid. After a few miles we were off familiar roads so the tatty photo copied map with the route highlighted in crayon was being produced at regular intervals. I asked him if he knew where we were and he had to admit he had no idea before we saw the name of the road we were on. It seemed very appropriate
With Andrew in charge of navigation it was no surprise we ended up here
As we continued to weave our way to Castle Acre it was time to catch up on all the recent news. Andrew was in full rant mode as we covered each subject but eventually he had to admit defeat on sorting out the worlds problems as there were just too many to deal with before we arrived at our destination, Barnfields cafe.
Out side Barnfield cafe
Barnfield cafe has a number of inviting outside tables but on closer inspection they all had reserved signs on them and then we saw a sign saying the cafe was full. Andrew said he knew we would have to book but hadn't because he doesn't like closure. 
Or were they?
I was less than impressed but he said he would try using his 'charm' and to my surprise managed to sweet talk the lovely waitress into letting us have an outside table. I had now shifted my opinion of Andrew to very impressed and when I saw an old couple looking dissapointingly at the full sign I must admit feeling a bit smug. But what was this they managed to talk there way in as well as did another three groups and anyone else who later turned up and tried. I was now no longer impressed with Andrews sweet talking abilities but curious to understand a marketing policy of pretending you are full only to then squeeze everyone in. On reflection it may be a good way of keeping the rif raf out in order to only attract really committed tea shop punters, which I'm all for.

While I considered this further I went inside to check out the cakes. There was an excellent selection including cakes, tarts, scones and slices so I awarded a high effective cake selection (ECS) score. I went for chocolate orange cake and Andrew fruit cake.
Good cake selection
For our drinks there was a choice of of Cadburys or Green and Blacks hot chocolate. Over the years I have found Cadburys is more of a milky sugar drink than a chocolate one so I splashed out the extra few pence on the Green and Blacks and was pleased I did as it was a very good hot chocolate. I suggest all visitors do the same. Andrew also thought his cappuccino was of a high standard. Our cakes were also nice too and got good cake taste quality (CTQ) marks.
Cakes and Drinks
As we sat their enjoying our refreshments in the sunshine it was clear Castle Acre attracted the older generation going out for the day, as there were a lot of them about. Fashion sense was not high as a number of the gentlemen seemed to think smart casual meant wearing jeans with a shirt and tie which is a look that can only normally be carried off by a good looking Italian in Milan rather than a tubby old bloke in Norfolk. Despite this Barnfields cafe had proved a very good stop scoring highly in all categories and I highly recommend a visit although you might want to book even if it wasn't clear if this was really necessary.

The way back continued to be a stop start affair with Andrew doing lots of looking at maps and admitting we had missed our turning on several occasions. It was therefore no surprise when it turned out that our 50 mile ride had become a 66 mile one. He claimed it needed to be a long ride for him to get all his ranting done but it was not really the gentle comeback I had requested although nothing an afternoon kip couldn't sort out.
Andrew seemed to have his photo copied map with the route highlighted in crayon out again
Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
8.5
7.70
route

click here to download 66 mile Alysham to Castle Acre loop gpx file for your gps

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