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


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Is it really there. (Hamptons at Stanfield)

Hamptons (Now The Barn Cafe),
Stanfield,
Changed Hands since this post 
(see Scorchio post)
I had recently heard, from a Mr Marvin Gaye on the cycle cafe grapevine, that one of my favourite venues, Hamptons at the barn in Bawdswell, had possibly opened a second outlet. I searched the Internet for more information but although I could find some mentions of it I couldn't find any details of opening times or exact location etc. Unfortunately Marvin didn't seem to know either so I wasn't convinced that a trip out there would end successfully as I may not be able to find it or if I do it might be shut. All I knew was it was somewhere near Stanfield, a village in West Norfolk that I have never heard of. 

You may recall I'm currently training Chris (Mrs Crusader) for our sponsored 560 mile (subject to getting lost) cycle ride from Norwich to St Andrews in October for world bicycle relief. (See here for details). So as it was a perfect weather day it looked like an ideal opportunity to go on a 50 training mile loop, via Stanfield, to see if I could find the new Hamptons. 

Recently I foolishly revealed to Chris that I carry some emergency chocolate energy bars on each ride in case anyone bonks while out. So it wasn't a surprise when just a few miles in Chris claimed she was feeling a little low on energy and felt that maybe one of my emergency chocolate bars could help speed her up. I couldn't really say no but suspected someone just fancied some chocolate. I certainly won't be telling her about my secret stash of jelly babies.

Now topped up with energy I noticed exactly no difference to our speed as we continued through the sunny Norfolk country side to Stanfield.
Perfect weather conditions
As we approached this potentially mythical destination I was already planning what an alternative cafe option could be but just as I was starting to worry it turned out that Marvin had been right and there it was on the main road meaning we never did make it all the way into Stanfield village, which may or may not exist.
Outside the new Hamptons near the possibly mythical village of Stanfield
Hamptons was virtually empty today but we were told it was heaving on yesterday's bank holiday. I assumed this was why the cake selection wasn't as vast as at the other Hamptons as the holiday makers had eaten them all, but there was still enough choice to keep it interesting. I therefore awarded a reasonable effective cake selection (ECS) score and opted for a white chocolate and raspberry blonde and Chris chose the lemon and gin cake. (yes actual gin and not ginger as I assumed).
Part of the reasonable but interesting cake selection
We decided to sit in the rear courtyard outdoor seating area which was extremely pleasant, although the inside seating area and front terrace outdoor seating areas both looked very nice too.
Part of the courtyard outdoor seating area
It wasn't long before my hot chocolate and Chris's Mocha arrived and both drinks had an excellent taste but could have been a bit hotter for even higher marks.
Very good tasting drinks
Our cakes were also excellent with the blonde being really exceptional. You couldn't really taste the gin in the gin and lemon cake, which was probably for the best, as we still had another 25 miles to do before we got home.
Top cakes
Our trip to Hamptons new branch at Stanfield proved to be a success and was of the same high quality as the original so I would highly recommend a visit. Thanks for the tip Marvin.

On the way home it got even hotter and, despite refilling her water bottle at the cafe stop, Chris ran out of drink. She asked how much drink I had left so I passed her my bottle which came back almost empty (so none really). I have noted that for our big ride in October I shall have to offer a full refreshment service from my bike if we are to make it all the way.

Scores based on two visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
8.08
7.75
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.57
route

Click here to download 56 mile Norwich Stanfield loop gpx file for your gps

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