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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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

So long old friend. (Salhouse Garden Centre tearoom, Salhouse)

Salhouse Garden Centre Tearooms,
Salhouse,
Opening times Mon-Sat 09:30-16:30, 
Sun 10:00-15:45
The weather man on the telly had told me that today would be the first proper cold day of the winter and when I looked out of the window this morning it was clear that Jack Frost had indeed been busy overnight. Fortunately it was just cold and not icey so the conditions would not impact my planned cafe cycle ride with Chris (Mrs Crusader) plus Barry and Helen and their Tandem. It would be the last time that Barry and Helen's Tandem would be coming on a ride with me as they pick up a new young bike from the Tandem breeders just before Christmas. I asked Barry what would be happening to the current Tandem and he mumbled something about a sack, bricks and the river. Remember Tandems are for life not just Christmas.

Despite double socking and gloving my extremities were all very cold as we set off to our meeting point and they didn't fully recover until we got back home, as despite the clear blue sunny skies the temperature never warmed up.
It may have looked like a warm day but it was freezing
Today's ride would be a shortish one visiting the Salhouse Barn tearooms at the Salhouse Garden centre. On the way there we went past the Olive Tree Cafe in Tunstead. Their facebook page had said that they were temporarily closed for staff training although they have been since the end of July. I was keen to see if they had reopened as by now the staff would be some of the best trained in the world and this would surely up their already good Atmosphere and Ambiance rating. Sadly as we cycled past there were For Sale signs up, clearly they had spent too much time and money on staff training and the business had now gone under. I will therefore be removing it from the blog and adding it to the closed cafe archive so as not to confuse future cafe cyclists.

Still cold we continued the ride to Salhouse Garden centre and the Salhouse Barn Tearooms. There is both an indoor and outdoor seating area available with plenty of room but only one hardy customer had opted for outdoors and we decided not to join them and headed inside.
Outside the entrance to Salhouse Garden centre and tearooms
It was clearly a very popular destination as it was packed with people spending their grey pound on hot food on a cold Tuesday lunchtime. 
Busy indoor seating area
However I was more interested in the cakes so first checked out the range in order to award the effective cake selection (ECS) score. It was a pretty good selection so I awarded a pretty good ECS before joining the back of the food queue.
Good cake selection
I went for Cherry and Almond cake with my hot chocolate whilst Chris and Helen both went for Mochas, one with chocolate and one with coffee cake. For once Barry had a coffee (cappuccino) and hadn't gone for his normal sausage roll but a cornish pasty instead. As a cornish pasty still isn't cake Barry played no further part in any cake rating activity. As Barry and Helen mercilessly tucked into their cake and pasty their Tandem said it was too sad to be able to eat anything on it's last ever cafe cycle ride so patiently waited for us by the Christmas trees.

Our drinks performed very well on the 'being really hot on a really cold day' front but not so well on the strength side as they were all a bit milky. The cakes were reasonably good but just the wrong side of the dry to moist continuum.
Cakes and drinks
I also tried some of the Salhouse Barn tearooms flapjack which was very good indeed. You will have to wait for another week to see if it made it onto my final short list for the flapjack of the year flapjack off next month (see flapjack news).

As we left the cafe the old folk were still queuing up to get in so the Salhouse Barn seems to be doing a lot of things right and I don't expect that I'll need to be adding it to my closed cafe archive anytime soon.

We finished the last few miles of our ride before Barry and Helen and their Tandem turned off for home. Before they left I said a last good bye to Tandem, and with a tear in my eye we took a moment to remember the many enjoyable rides we had been on together. However age eventually catches up with us all and there is no way for anyone to avoid ending up in that great bike rack in the sky (or possibly rusting at the bottom of a river) just Barry and Helen's Tandem will be going there sooner than it realises.

Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.20
Route
Click here to down load 26 mile Norwich Tunstead loop GPX file for your GPS

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