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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Monday, 17 October 2016

The Great Ride North for World Bicycle Relief. Day 6. South Shields to Lindisfarne

The Great Ride North
Day 6
Cafe Bertorilli, Newbiggin,
Open everyday 10-5
Shoreline cafe, Craster 
Open everyday 10-5

After Chris's (Mrs Crusader) wobbly day yesterday it was important that today was a much smoother experience (literally). On paper it looked promising, no big hills, no long stretches of muddy tracks, wind helping and the prospect of some spectacular sea views. On the downside it was going to be another long ride, and thanks to an aborted detour in search of chain oil turned out to be the longest so far at 82 miles.

An early start was again necessary but as Chris stumbled out of bed it was clear she didn't know which way was up as she attempted to dress (by putting her cycle shorts on as a top) and repack her bike (mostly by dropping things all over the floor). She was clearly still tired from yesterday and only became coherent after having a strong cup of coffee for breakfast after which she announced that she was fine to continue.


Our bikes had taken a right drumbing over the last two days as we cycled across the fields of Yorkshire and Teesside. They were making a lot of squeaking and clanking noises and desperately need a good clean and oil. The first part was easy as I invested £1 in the Esso garage jet wash machine which bought me 2 mins and 30 seconds of high pressure water action. The perfect amount of time to get the worst of the mud of both bikes.
Part of the cleaning action at the Esso station
The chain oil would have to wait until the shops opened later as next we had to find the Tyne pedestrian and cycle tunnel. This proved fairly straight forward due to the excellent signs.
Clear signs directing us to the Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle tunnel
However when we arrived at the Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnel we found that it was currently closed for renovation and had been for the last 4 years. It was clear to me that too much money had been spent on the signs and not enough on having an actual tunnel.

As we started to decided how to resolve this new challenge I noticed a mini bus with a bike trailer had just pulled up and people were loading their bikes on to it. We dashed over to find this was a bike bus service that will operate until someone can be bothered to fix the tunnel. We were shown how to secure are bikes and got on board for a nerve racking journey as we could see our bikes bouncing up and down on the trailer and hoped nothing had flown off on the way round. Fortunately it hadn't.
Chris nervously removing her bike off the bike bus tunnel service
The Bus ride had delayed us and things didn't improve as we went through the built up areas of North Shields, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Blyth which were painfully slow although we did get a number of excellent sea views for our troubles.
Beach at North Shields
In a futile attempt to convince everyone, and herself, that she was enjoying her cycling experience then Chris decided to attempt to grin like the Cheshire Cat in every photo today.

After one last delay in Blyth, when went in search of the aforementioned chain oil and failed to find any, we eventually arrived at our first cafe stop of the day over an hour later than planned. It was nearly midday and we still had over 60 miles to go, which was bad.
First cafe stop of the day
Cafe Bertorelli has a charming 50s feel inside as well as an outdoor seating right on the sea front. Unfortunately the view was obscured by sea defences (damn you global warming) but I made Mrs Crusader go and look at it to prove I had done my best to find a cafe with a sea view, and this is what she saw.
View from cafe if sea defences weren't there
While the obscured sea view was being checked out I was inside to inspect the cake selection, which was very good so a high effective cake selection (ECS) mark.
Good cake selection
Chris went for caramel cake and Mocha while I had fruit loaf with my hot chocolate. The cakes were good, Mocha excellent but hot chocolate was once again Cadbury rubbish so got a poor mark. Overall a good effort but not good enough to challenge for the best cafe on National cycle route 1.
Cakes and drinks
On leaving the cafe we finally found ourselves out on the open road and the quality of the views picked up too. Both these factors cheered up Mrs Crusader further and her enormous smile got even 'better'. 
Lovely view on the coast
There were no muddy cycle paths today with virtually every off road bit being proper tarmac causing much approval.
Smile of approval
We were still in search of chain oil and found some in an ironmongers in Amble. Over the years I have noticed that, when she's not smiling, Mrs Crusader has the sort of face that makes people want to tell her their life stories. So as I was applying the lube a passing stranger incidentally said "oh that will make it go faster" however he then noticed Mrs Crusaders 'tell me you life story' face and felt compelled to tell us about his past. In the time it took to squirt a bit of oil on two chains we knew that, he owned a tandem, his current wife is called Linda and likes a ride, he has been divorced, he has been on a cycling holiday in Cornwall and he used to mend bikes in his shed. 

We were now desperate to get away before we had to listen to any more but just as Chris was setting off he moved to block her path causing me to crash into her and fall over. Fortunately this distracted him long enough from his latest tale for us to give a quick, "nice to have met you" and cycle off down the high street, before having to sheepishly cycle back past him having set off in the wrong direction.
Great views kept coming
After this it was plain sailing with more lovely beach views before we got to Craster and our second cafe stop, Shoreline cafe.
Shoreline cafe
I thought I had done well as I knew how much the demented smiley one likes her sea view, which she got here by sitting in the outdoor seating area and peering in a gap between the houses.
Seaview would be improved by the removal of a few unnecessary houses
There was a good cake selection from which I chose the fruit of the forest cake of the day while Chris went for chocolate cheesecake. Drinks were solid but not outstanding but the cakes were very good indeed. If you could just knock down the houses between here and the beach it would probably have snuck into first place but for now it's in the silver medal position.
Excellent cakes and drinks
It was time to set off again for the final 25 mile run in to our hotel on the A1 near Lindisfarne and it was probably the most straightforward finish we have had with more great views and only the drama of having to cross the A1 (twice) to introduce any jeopardy and that turned out to be a non event.
Final stretch of ride today
So we arrived at the Lindisfarne Inn in daylight and ready to fight another day.
Outside the Lindisfarne inn 
Tomorrow maybe slightly less miles but we are forecast to be facing the cyclist's worst enemy, the strong headwind so the fat lady will have to wait in the wings a bit longer. My main concern is the wind will change direction as Mrs Crusader is posing for a smiley photo.

If you would like to encourage Chris to keep going you 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 6


Tiredness
Mood
Saddle Soreness
Confidence of finishing
Stayed awake over tea, just
Much improved 
It's my knees
Improving 

Tomorrows Weather forecast is



Tomorrows forecast
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
8.0
6.5
7.50
Lookout cafe 
5
7
5.5
7.25
9.5
6.85
Cafe Berterolli
5
8
8
7
7
7.00
Shoreline cafe
6.5
7
7
8.5
8.75
7.55





























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
Whitby- South Shields 
80.3
9.8
8:08
1206
South Shields to Lindesfarne 
82.1
11.1
7:20
770
Day 7




Day 8




Overall
437.8
11.5
37:58
3778

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