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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Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Great Ride North for World Bicycle Relief. Day 5. Whitby to South Shields

The Great Ride North
Day 5
Cacau Brazilian Patisserie, Redcar Open mon-sat 8:30-5, Sun 10-4
The Lookout cafe, Seaham Open everyday 9-5

Today was always going to be the toughest day as we had the most miles to cover, some proper steep hills to climb and tiredness had started to set in. We therefore decided on an early, 7:30am, start which was earlier than our hotel did breakfast on a Sunday. Fortunately I had accounted for this possibility by stealing a selection of pastries and flapjacks from yesterday's premier inn buffet breakfast so we tucked into them in order to set us up for the day.
Pastries stolen from yesterdays Premier Inn
Yesterday mystic Trace's 'cycling prophecy of doom' had happened just as she predicted so I was worried that she had spoken again, this time through the gift of Facebook. She foresaw clear sky's and following winds today. However all the weather forecasts had confirmed there would be solid rain this afternoon so her prediction was clearly nonsense and fuelled solely guilt. To confirm this the morning sky was red and as we all know; Red sky at night shepherds delight, red sky in morning shepherds warning, meat and potatoes shepherds pie. 
Red sky in morning forecasted bad weather today
Yesterday I had warned Chris (Mrs Crusader) and our other cycling guests, Ali and son Tom that the first part of the ride today would be rather steep and hilly so I was pleased when they didn't spot the early warning sign and cycled off in good spirits.
A warning of things to come
It wasn't long before we were all in our easiest gear struggling up a steep hill. Ali was first to crack and get off to push. Chris then tried to get off but got her foot stuck and took a tactical dive into the verge. I heard the commotion behind me but wasn't quick enough to get out my phone to capture the moment. After freeing herself and walking for a bit she managed to get back on again to cycle the next part of the climb.
Chris struggling up the first steep hill of the day
After this it wasn't long before we came across the second big climb and steepest one of the day. This time only I bothered to stay on my bike as all 3 of my cycling guests decided they would prefer a hiking section.
Suddenly my cycling guest appeared to be on a walking holiday
However it wasn't the up that was the main problem as Mrs Crusader attempted the very steep descent, this time on her bike, down the narrow slippery road. Her mind started to fill with disastrous scenarios and by the time she reached the bottom she had a meltdown and I needed all my skills in motivation and lying to persuade her there was nothing that scary to come so that we could set off again.
.
After a few more lesser hills and some more bike pushing from my guests, we made it to the flat section and our first stop for the day; Cacau Brazilian Patisserie.
Today's first cafe stop in Redcar
Once again I was in trouble for not choosing a cafe on the seafront but pointed out that there were not that many options in Redcar open at this time on a Sunday. The Brazilian owner was very friendly and despite the piped Brazilian music, the inside seating area was nice and welcoming. The cake display was also very impressive with some tremendous looking cakes so a high effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Impressive looking cakes
Chris had a Mocha and the rest of us Hot Chocolate all of which scored well. On the cake front we tried the Oreo, Kitkat and coffee cakes all made with real cream and all rather good. 
Very rich cakes
Although not quite the best cafe I have found yet on National cycle route 1 it was definitely the best Brazilian Patisserie I have ever been to, at least in the Redcar area.

It was now a long section through Middlesbrough where we would be saying goodbye to Ali and Tom as they were catching the train back to Beverley. However a couple of miles before the station Tom had a puncture so rather than hang around to watch them mend it we said goodbye there and left them by the side of the road fixing it. 
We left our weekend cycling guests mending their puncture
As we cycled across Middlesbrough the sky's darkened and it looked like the promised rain would be starting right on time so we put extra jackets and layers on. However although there were a few spits and spots it had still not got going when we arrived at the start of a very long off road section.
Finishing getting through Middlesborough
This turned into a very hard slog across a variety of surfaces including a lot of muddy tracks. Mrs Crusader made it quite clear that this was not her idea of fun. 
Apparently this didn't count as fun
It had been 40 miles since our last cafe stop when we came to the coastal town of Seaham where I was confident of delivering the sea view Mrs Crusader had been demanding of me at the Lookout cafe.
The lookout cafe Seaham
The view was outstanding so the cafe got a very high atmosphere and ambience (AAA) score but what of the rest of the ratings.
View from the lookout Seaham
Well the cake selection was average, the cakes quite nice but my hot chocolate was just a Cadbury one and Chris's Mocha only ok so it just goes to show that a good sea view doesn't add up to a great cafe. Point proved methinks.
Despite great view cakes and drinks were a bit disappointing
Chris insisted on sitting outside to enjoy the view properly. The cafe staff obviously felt sorry for us shivering on their balcony so provide us with blankets to keep warm.
Cafe provided blankets for the more hardy customer
It was now time for final push which started on more muddy paths leading to a Mrs Crusader strop as she complained about the quality of cycling surface I had provided and that she was too tired to go any further on non proper roads. 
In strop mode
Fortunately soon after this we hit Sunderland and tarmac to ride on. We went past Sunderland marina (who'd have thought) before making it to the seafront.
Sunderland Marina
By this time the promised rain had not materialised and the sun was out, so two out of two from mystic Trace on the prophecy front, and now on a proper cycle path Mrs Crusader's mood seemed to brighten up as we watched the waves lash against the prom.
At the seafront in Sunderland
Then before we knew it we were at our South Shields hotel. No welcome photo today but just look at the state of those legs.
Legs after 80 miles of muddy riding
After 80 miles of cycling drama today then tomorrow's is another biggie of 79 miles riding along the coast, hopeful Chris can hold it together long enough for us to finish the last few days.

If you would like to encourage Chris to keep going all the way to St Andrews then you can make a donation at her World Bicycle Relief page where you can also find out more about the charities great work in Africa.

Mrs Crusader's cycling progress dashboard after day 5

Tiredness
Mood
Saddle Soreness
Confidence of finishing
Shattered
Subdued
Least of her worries
Moderate

Tomorrows Weather forecast is
Weather forecast for Monday
Today's route

Cafe ratings for cafes reviewed on National Cycle route 1

Cafe
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Café Selection
Cake Taste Quality
Atmosphere and Ambiance
Total
Post office Guist
9.5
7.75
3.75
7.5
6.5
7.00
Thaxtons Coffee Shop
7
6
7.5
7.5
7
7.00
Caffe Aurora 
5
3
8.5
7.5
6.5
6.20
Haven cafe
5.5
7
3
6.5
7
5.80
Jossals cafe
7.0
7.5
4
8.0
6
6.50
Honey Pot cafe
6.5
6
5.5
7.5
7
6.50
Burton Agnes Hall
7.5
9
7
7.5
8.0
7.80
Francis tearoom

7
6
7.5
7.5
7.00






Cacau Brazilian Patisserie
6.5
8.5
8.0
8.0
6.50
7.50
Lookout cafe
5
7
5.5
7.25
9.5
6.85




































Stats (Mrs Crusader)

Miles
Average Speed
Hours on bike
Meters climbed
Bawburgh- Kings Lynn
61.1
12.0
5:04
854
Kings Lynn - Woodall Spa
63.1
13.5
4:39
89
Woodall Spa- Beverley
75.9
12.4
6:06
740
Beverley - Whitby
75.3
11.2
6:41
889
Day 5
80.3
9.8
8:08
1206
Day 6




Day 7




Day 8




Overall
355.7
11.6
30:38
3778

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