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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Friday 22 July 2016

Got to catch them all. (Church farm tearoom, Hethersett)

Church Farm Tearooms,
Opening times Mon- Sat 09:00-17:00,
I have visited the Church Farm Tearooms twice, once in summer 2016 as per the post below, and once with a group in Spring 2017 from which I have updated some of my initial comments.
Me and some of my cycling guests about to set off to Church Farm Tearooms in Spring 2017
Back in July 2016 I had been surprised to find that Peter, my student son, had voluntarily left his bedroom and gone outside for a walk. This was most out of character but after engaging him in a game of yes, no, fine, mhhm, I discovered he had started to play the new Pokeman Go game that had become a craze with young people. Apparently if you go out looking for Pokeman on a walk or bike ride then this gives you additional important stuff the further you travel. 

I decided this new enthusiasm for the outdoors gave me a series of opportunities.
1. To get Peter to come on a bike ride
2. To review the recently opened Church Farm Tearooms near Hethersett 
3. To try and understand the ways of the young person

On the promise of plenty of Pokeman action Peter, Chris (Mrs Crusader) and myself set off on my shortest ever cafe cycle ride, just under 13 miles, and
 opportunity number one was in the bag. 

On route we had to stop every few minutes for Peter to check that the Pokeman Go app was recording the ride. I was informed if we did 5k he would hatch a virtual egg, which is apparently a good thing. Sadly the 3G network in rural Norfolk is poor to non existent even on good days, and this was a bad day, so any potential Pokeman capturing and hatching on this ride wasn't going to happen. I tried to usefully point out that there were some real cows in the field but that didn't seem to help.
Peter seeing if there was any 3G signal so Pokeman could be found
As it was only a short trip it wasn't long before we arrived at the Church farm Tearooms at the Church Farm farm shop just outside Hethersett. Once again there was no 3G service so still no Pokeman activity was possible. 
Outside the Church Farm Tearooms
Personally I couldn't see the point of trying to collect virtual monsters on your phone when you could be doing something useful and interesting with it like me. The church farm cafe has a small outdoor seating facility featuring a table and 4 chairs. Using my phone, I recorded the detail on my outdoor seating areas data capture spreadsheet and snapped a photo to put in my outdoor seating areas picture album. If that's not using technology usefully I don't know what is. 
Outdoor seating area photo to be put in my outdoor seating area album
We decided to go inside and sit in the nicely appointed indoor seating area in a separate part of the shop. But first it was to the counter to check out the cakes so as to award the effective cake selection (ECS) rating. It wasn't the biggest selection but covered all the bases with cakes, brownies and scones. I therefore awarded a covering all the bases sort of ECS mark. 
A covering all the bases sort of cake selection
I had gone for chocolate and orange cake with my hot chocolate, Peter a brownie and a hot chocolate while Chris went for a Mocha and a cheese scone.

When they arrived I was shocked to see my pet hate that the cakes had been delivered served on their serviettes thus rendering the napkin useless for future crumb wiping activity! Remember #keepcakeoffserviettes. 
Cake served on top of the serviette
However I was soon presented with a new dilemma as when our drinks arrived we were given extra serviettes. Did this mean they had solved the #keepcakeoffserviettes problem. 
Extra clean serviettes
After careful consideration I decided this approach may have fixed the crumb wiping issue, as this second serviette could now be used for this , but the first one was clearly unnecessary and a waste of paper as it served no useful purpose other than to get tissue on your cake, which is bad. 
State of 1st serviette after the cake had been eaten
I therefore added the photo to my #keepcakeoffserviettes twitter campaign. I'm sure, like the majority of establishments I have highlighted this issue to, that they will see sense, save money and cut it out. (I'm sure you will all be glad to hear that this practice had indeed been 'cut out' on my return in Spring 2017 as the photo below clearly demonstrates.)        
Cake and serviette clearly separated
While I was tackling the serious issue of unnecessarily mixing cake with serviettes, whilst taking lots of photos of paper tissues, Peter had returned to his game to inform us it hadn't worked due to lack of 3G. He was therefore left with no option but to join in with tasting drinks and cakes. We decided that the hot chocolates were nice but could have been a little stronger, however Chris thought her Mocha was very good and awarded a high guest hot drink quality (GHDQ) score. The cakes all got our approval as they were excellent and so attracted high cake taste quality (CTQ) marks.

Cakes and drinks pre tasting
The Church Farm Tearooms had only been open a few weeks (although the shop has been there many years) but I was informed they had plans to keep expanding the tearoom range and are still learning the ropes and looking to continually improve (note my serviette suggestion). Despite the lack of Pokeman it was a very pleasant stop and I have high hopes for it's future on the cafe cycle circuit. I would definitely recommend a visit.

With opportunity two on the list completed we set off on the short trip back home which fortunately had a 3G signal most of the way although not enough for the game to be explained to me in ways I could understand. Surprisingly Peter said he was prepared to try a cycle ride again but this time the ride would have to be in more urban territory where a phone signal could be guaranteed. This is clearly the way of the young person so maybe I had cracked opportunity three as well.

The view of my cycling guests in Spring 2017 was very consistent with my previous visit and they were particularly complimentary of the coffee. In fact the ratings of the group were exactly the same as the ones I gave previously. Despite Barry trying to use 'alternative facts' when reviewing his coffee, it just went to show that my rating system was operating like a well oiled machine. They too would recommend a visit as they all said how much they had enjoyed their stop.

 Scores based on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Route (In 2017 I managed to get my group of seven to do a more respectable 28 miles.)

Click here to download 13 mile Norwich Hethersett loop gpx file for your GPS

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