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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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Training plan. (Three Willows cafe, Bungay)

Three Willows Cafe,
Bungay,
Opening times Every day 10:00-16:00,
Recommended 

Chris (Mrs Crusader) claims she likes to play 'a bit' of golf. If the definition of 'a bit' is at least 5 times a week then I would hate to meet someone who plays 'a lot' of golf. Not surprisingly with this amount of enthusiasm for the game she has become this years lady captain at her local golf club. Apart from giving her the opportunity to play even more golf then, being lady captain, also gives her the opportunity to raise money for her favourite charity. Obviously her favourite charity is bicycle related being world bicycle relief. The money raised provides specially designed, locally assembled bikes to students and healthcare workers in rural Africa; connecting them with education, healthcare and economic opportunities.

Pretending I was keen to offer support I said I would help in the fund raising by organising a sponsored bike ride for her but I had an additional motive. She eagerly accepted my offer so she could concentrate on golf related activities and therefore had fallen into my trap. As well as raising money for a great cause it would be an excellent opportunity for some cafe cycle reviewing activity as well. I have never reviewed any cafe, or tearoom, above the Wash and wasn't sure what the cafe culture was like up North. I therefore came up with a plan for us to ride from her Golf Club in Bawburgh to St Andrews golf club in Scotland. After some research I found it was only a 574 mile ride which I'm sure we could knock off in a week or so and visit a good 10-20 cafes for good measure.

It transpired that her idea of a sponsored cycle (100ish miles over a day) and mine were an order of magnitude out in length but after pointing out the golf theme of the ride she agreed to give it a go. Therefore in October we are going to undertake this trip doing 72 miles over 8 successive days and see how much money we can raise plus add some northern destinations to my reviewing activity.

Since she signed up to the plan I have seen plenty of golf but little cycle training so I have therefore taken on the role as self appointed personal trainer in order to get Chris ready for the trip. Yesterday was going to be our first training ride so, using the latest sports science techniques, I decided 50 miles was a nice round number for training purposes. It would also be just the right length to revisit the Three Willows cafe, which is now under different management from when I first visited it exactly two years ago (see Some like it hot) so my review needed updating.

Despite her lack of recent cycling Chris is no stranger to two wheels so we made good time down to Bungay were we found the Three Willows Cafe at the Three Willows Garden centre although I still didn't spot the three willow trees.
Outside the three Willows cafe in my world bicycle relief cycle top
There is an outdoor gazebo based seating area which looked very inviting on such a warm day and an improvement on the big umbrellas provide by the previous management. 
Add caption
However before taking our seats I went to check out the cake selection. In was competent if not spectacular with two sponge cakes, lemon drizzle slices and brownies plus both types of scone. I therefore awarded a competent if not spectacular effective cake selection (ECS) score.
Cakes on display
I went for some Victoria sponge with my hot chocolate and Chris opted for coffee and walnut cake and a Mocha. These were soon delivered to our table for us to try. The drinks were both of a good standard with a nice froth on the top so got good hot drinks marks.
Hot drinks with good size froth
Our cakes were nice too although we both felt the coffee and walnut was the better choice.
Nice cake slices
I added up the scores only to find that the three willows mark under new management was exactly the same as under old management (allow a much more consistent set of marks this time) making it very easy to update my cafe scores spreadsheet. It was a very nice stop with cheerful staff and good quality drinks and cakes so I recommend a visit if you are down that way.

Chris claimed she was still feeling good after her stop but as we approached 40 miles, her normal maximum cafe cycle ride distance, things began to slow down as her body obviously had decided we were home. However we made it back in one piece and cycle training is now officially underway. If you would like to sponsor Chris on her ride you can find her sponsorship page here http://fundraiseuk.worldbicyclerelief.org/christine-frazer

Scores 
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.0
7.5
5.5
6.5
7.0
6.70

Map of route
Click here to download 49 mile Norwich Bungay loop GPX file for your GPS

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