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/

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Great Ride North in aid of World Bicycle Relief. Day 2. Kings Lynn to Woodall Spa

The Great Ride North
Day 2
Caffe Aurora, Holbeach Open Mon-Sat 8-5
Haven Cafe, Boston, Now Closed Down

With day 1 safely negotiated it was time to see how back to back riding would impact on our limbs and bottoms. In theory it should be our easiest day as it was both the shortest and flattest. To keep with the golf theme we would be overnighting at the Golf hotel at Woodall Spa where the English golf union is based. 


Unfortunately our gear had still not dried out after yesterday's drenching so the day started with Chris (Mrs Crusader) using an improvised tumble drier in order to at least start the day dry.
Mrs Crusader with her improvised tumble drier
Before we set off I had offered her a choice of routes that we could take today. We could either stick to National cycle route 1 the whole way or start with a short cut, on slightly busier roads, and save ourselves over 10 miles of cycling. Showing a great lack of ambition, and with the thought of over 500 miles still to come, she chose the shorter option.

The first part of the route was on very flat roads with a selection of vegetables being grown on either side. As we also had the wind behind we made exceptionally fast progress on our short cut until we rejoined the official cycle route.
Very flat landscape featuring root vegetables
After crossing the river a couple of times we found ourselves in Holbeach. Because we had now returned to National cycle route 1 I could again resume my search for the best cafe on it. I had found it quite hard to find any potential good looking cafes in the Lincolnshire area so hopes were not high for Caffe Aurora on the main high street. I thought my spelling was bad but apparently caffe is spelt with two f's in this part of the world.
First cafe stop of the day
I was therefore pleasantly surprised by the welcoming atmosphere and the exceptionally good cake selection. It would be the envy of many a tearoom and one which I felt I had to award a high effective cake selection (ECS) rating to.
Cake selection was surprisingly good
With so many interesting cakes to choose from I opted for plum and almond. But what would tempt Mrs Crusader? There was chocolate brownie cake, or Crunchy/Rolo biscuit bar (two of her favourite sweets) so I was dismayed when she went for carrot cake (again) as apparently she had been panicked by the choice and wanted to stick with a safe choice.

Our drinks and cakes soon arrived and I felt my plum and almond was exceptionally good whereas the carrot cake was just 'fine'. Sadly on the drinks side they were not so good both being a bit weak and too sweet. 
Cakes and drinks
Caffe Aurora had been a surprisingly good cake stop but needs to up its hot drink offering if it is to ever become the best cafe on National cycle route 1.

We set off again but now we were heading more northerly so the winds were across us or against us. As there is nothing but vegetables to act as a wind break in these parts it became hard work with our peloton soon split apart.
The back of the peleton
However thanks to the motivation that a stunning cauliflower and cabbage based backdrop affords you we soon found ourselves in Boston, where, after spending a little while coming to terms with the unnecessarily complicated one way system, we arrived at Haven Cafe which was near the start of today's off road river section.
Outside Havens cafe
The Haven cafe had a continental canal cafe feel so despite it being rather cold we opted to sit in the outdoor seating area to make the most of the atmosphere and ambience on offer.

I went to check out the cake selection which could only be described as sparse, especially compared to earlier in the day. However they did advertise Mrs Crusaders go to refreshment, carrot cake as one of their two options so to confuse me further she went for chocolate. It then turned out carrot cake was off anyway so I ended up with Bakewell tart.
Rather small cake selection
The cake was nice but the tart a bit dry and despite the drinks being better than this morning they weren't particularly good either. So although the Haven cafe would be worth a stop for its location I still don't think I have found my winner.
Drinks at the Haven
We set off along the river tow path for the final leg of today's ride. We hadn't gone far when I heard a text had arrived and decided to check it in case it was important. It was from my mother so I quickly looked to see if there was an emergency to deal with. There certainly was and something that couldn't wait as it turned out that I had spelt Sandringham wrong in yesterday's post and it needed correcting ASAP.
Receiving an urgent text from my mother on the tow path
After the spelling based crisis had been resolved we continued along the river on both tow path and road for many miles with only the strong wind causing us any inconvenience. I foolishly tweeted that 'Lincolnshire maybe flat but it's very windy although we had not seen any rain yet'. As if by magic as soon as the tweet button was pressed the sky darkened and rain clouds appeared overhead.
Skies darkened ready for a downpour
Despite a desperate charge for home the rain gods were not to be mocked and we got a mini soaking for the last couple of miles to Woodall spa and our hotel.

Thanks to the flat terrain and my excellent motivational skills we got to the Golf Hotel, which is next to the Woodall Spa golf courses, at just after 3:00. Mrs Crusader said that this was good as she could squeeze in at least a quick 9 holes before it was dark but was then somewhat dismayed to find that I had not found a way of transporting her clubs in my saddle bag so she stropped off to reception to check in instead.
What no golf!
With a second day under our belts the trip gets notched up a level tomorrow as we have 10 more miles than either day so far and the first proper hill to tackle. Sadly it looks like the wind won't be our friend either although I'm keeping quiet on what the rain might do.

If you would like to encourage Chris to keep going all the way to St Andrews 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 2
Tiredness
Mood
Saddle Soreness
Confidence of finishing
Achy legs
Apprehensive 
 Getting uncomfortable 
Still a long way

Tomorrows Weather forecast is
Tomorrow's weather 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





















































































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
Day 3




Day 4




Day 5




Day 6




Day 7




Day 8




Overall
124.2
12.8
9:43
943

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