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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Thursday 6 October 2016

Final chance (Fairchilds tea room, Diss)

Fairchilds Tea Rooms,
With less than a week before myself and Chris (Mrs Crusader) set off on our 8 day ride up to Scotland (see Norwich to St Andrews update) today would be our final available chance for a long training ride so it needed to be taken.

During our ride North fellow cyclist Ali, and his son Tom, have kindly volunteered to join us over the weekend stages either side of Whitby as Chris (Mrs Crusader) has made it clear that, despite saving up conversations over the summer, she would have run out of things to talk to me about by day 4 so some new people would be needed to avoid us cycling in silence. I therefore suggested to Ali that he might like to come along today so that I could see how well his training was going on both the cycling and conversation front.

To complete the hat trick of guests and cycle ride objectives then Barry and Helen and their tandem would be coming as well. This was because our target destination, Fairchilds tearoom in Diss, said on their Facebook page that instead of a Mocha coffee they did a chocolate infused ground coffee. As Helen, along with Chris, are my go to Mocha experts I thought it was important they were both there to test it out.

So with cycling guests and ride objectives all in place we set off to Diss. It soon became clear that all was not well on the cycle guest front as Barry and Helen's Tandem was clearly in a right sulk. It transpired that this was because Barry and Helen had recently been to a cycle shop to order another tandem and although they claimed they would still loved current Tandem, and would be using it in the winter, we all knew that this was a lie and that once the new one arrived current tandem would be on a one way ticket to E-bay (at best).

From a training point of view it was great conditions as we battle with headwinds and crosswinds. It was also the first ride for ages where the temperature had dropped and several of us had got our layering wrong and were rather chilly. We were therefore jolly pleased when we got to Diss and found Fairchilds tearoom.
Cycle guests arriving at Fairchilds tea room
Fairchilds is themed as an old fashioned tearoom from the early 20th century with tablecloths, proper napkins and china cups etc. There seems to be a growing trend of 20th century themed tearooms and I have been to several. I'm not sure that cyclists fit in very well with the target decor clashing with our hi-viz and Lycra so I felt a bit out of place in the surroundings today.

I decided to check out the cakes and was surprised to see that Tupperware and clingfilm must have been around for nearly 100 years as the cakes were authentically presented in them. There were a large number of interesting sounding cakes on offer so I awarded a good effective cake selection (ECS) score.
Cakes in early 20th Century Tupperware and clingfilm

Our main objective was for my Mocha team to see what they thought of chocolate infused ground coffee and were soon presented with a large cafetiere of it from which to fill their tea cups. Myself and Ali had opted for hot chocolate which turned out to be chocolate buttons melted in milk presented in an enormous china teapot. So top marks for originality and quantity but I only rate the quality so how was that.
Tea cups of filled with our drinks
I always like hot chocolate done this way instead of just adding milk to powder, but as milk chocolate buttons had been used it was a bit sweet and would have been better done with dark chocolate, however still a good hot chocolate mark.

My Mocha team thought the coffee was good but not chocolatey enough so Helen decided to make her own Mocha by adding some hot chocolate from our enormous teapot and felt the combination was more to her liking.

On the cake front there were again some interesting combinations as we tried malteser cake, rhubarb and almond cake and passionfruit and pineapple cake which were all nice but as Mary Berry might say 'the pineapple and rhubarb weren't really coming through for top marks'. 
Nice unusual cakes
But what of my other cycling guests, well Barry was having an all day Breakfast and as an all day Breakfast is not cake then Barry played no part in our reviewing activity and Barry and Helen's Tandem was still in a strop so refused to come in at all.

Over our cake and drinks Barry and Helen decided it was too cold and windy to cycle back and decided to catch the train home instead. Ali had concluded he needed new gears for our trip, as I had warned him he was coming on the most hilly section, which apparently meant he too needed to catch the train so he could get back quickly in order to sort new cycling kit out. My suggestion that a bit more training may be a better solution fell on deaf ears.

This left myself and Chris battling back through the wind knowing that our next ride would be day one of the 574 miles to St Andrews. By the end we were both hoping that we will get the wind behind next week and by then have been able to think of more things to talk about or it will be a very long 8 days.

Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click link to down load 57 mile Diss Loop gpx file to your GPS

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