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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Monday 1 May 2017

Madness. (Norfolk Deli, Hunstanton)

Norfolk Deli,
Mon- Sat 08:30-5:00, Sun 10:00- 4:00,
I felt it was time I visited some tea rooms up in North West Norfolk as it is a bit of a hole on my locations map. To do this I have two options as it is a long way to go from Norwich. Option 1 is to drive part of the way while option 2 is do it as a two day ride. I had plumped for option 2 and when word got out another eight cycling guests asked if they could come along too. It was pure madness but I was up for the challenge so a large group of lycra clad cyclists descended on Crusader Towers ready for the 120 mile round trip.
Ready for the off
On the way I planned to visit some other cafes I had previously been to so that I could recheck their ratings as part of my on going cafe ratings audit program.

We left a few minutes late and collected the rest of the peloton at a couple of meeting points en-route. The last of these was Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) but he kept everyone waiting for nearly a minute until he eventually turned up at the Fox and Hounds pub at Lyng. 

With all 9 of the team now on board it was on to our first stop which was Hamptons at Stanfield. I have been here before (see Is it really there?) and knew that it was good stop.
First stop at Hamptons
There would only be time for two stops today, this one at about 11:00 and one in the Hunstanton area mid afternoon. Regular readers will know I like my meal times correctly segregated into their proper breakfast, lunch and supper slots, with only cake to be consumed between. As we would not be stopping in the requisite 12-2pm lunch period I reluctantly agreed that my cycling guest could select from the breakfast or brunch menu available, which they did. 
The cake options which were primarily rejected in favour of fried things
I obviously focused my meal choice on hot chocolate and cake, which on this occasion was a brownie. Mrs Crusader is well trained in these matters and also had some cake (coffee) but of the remaining seven only Tom had cake as well. It is sad to see the way breakfast creep is destroying the tradition of elevenses that helped make this country great.
Excellent hot drinks a Hamptons
As Cake Crusader rules dictate, Hamptons was rerated and it's mark averaged with the scores from the previous visit. We were all very impressed with the hot drinks which helped increase its overall mark moving it up my ratings table. Despite not being interested everyone insisted on telling me that their breakfasts and brunch items were excellent (all but Andrew that is, but he is notoriously hard to please so this was only to be expected).

From here we headed north west for another 30 miles towards the seaside town of Hunstanton with the only drama being our only puncture of the day. 
First puncture of the trip
I had a few options recommended to me in the area but as my punters were starting to whinge about needing a stop we decided to go for the earliest choice which was the Norfolk Deli.

I lined up for the traditional pre cafe photo only to find Barry and Helens new Tandem photo bombed the picture. This was appalling behaviour and something their old Tandem would never have done. I have asked that it be giving a good talking to but I suspect Barry had encouraged it in the first place.
Barry 'trying' to stop his new Tandem photo bombing the traditional cafe picture but it was too late
An advantage of this venue choice was that we could buy take away drinks and cakes before taking them to the seafront to enjoy. This negated the need for bicycle security as not everyone had come prepared with a lock.
Part of a large take away cake selection at The Norfolk Deli
Once again my cycling guest's disappointed me with their reviewing participation. This morning had been lack of cake, as they wanted to eat fried things and now it was lack of hot drinks as they claimed to be thirsty after cycling for nearly sixty miles and wanted a cold drink. I made a note to only invite committed cycling guest on future long distance rides. Fortunately regular cycling guest Andrew knew the drill and ordered a fancy coffee and Portuguese tart. Mrs Crusader also understands what's good for her so had a mocha and scone, although this may have been because I was in charge of getting her refreshments whilst she minded the bikes. 
Trying drinks and cakes on Hunstanton sea front
We went down to the seafront to have our refreshments where I started with an excellent looking sausage roll to test for #SROTY. I have to admit it was one of the best so far this year and could well make it into the sausage roll off at the end of the year. 
One of the best sausage rolls so far this year #SROTY
Chris and Andrew thought their coffees very good although the short walk to the seafront meant they were not super hot like they prefer. Sadly my hot chocolate was of the Cadbury variety and although it was very well made could not score well as Cadbury's hot chocolate barely tastes of chocolate at all.

The cakes were good with the brownie and Portuguese tart being the stars. I was still too cross to pay any attention to the other cake feedback I received as I didn't want to encourage my cycling guests in thinking they could mix and match what they fed back on. I believe that you should either do a proper hot drink and cake job (like me) or just don't bother.

The Norfolk Deli does have an indoor seating area as well and I would definitely recommend a visit, especially for sausage roll fans.
Cycling out of Hunstanton along the prom
From here we had another twenty miles, via Sandringham, to our overnight stop at the luxurious Kings Lynn Premier inn. The highlight of this part of the trip was passing some sheep dog trials. I felt the dog should have got off but the jury found him guilty. (boom tish)
Sheep dog action
After a good nights sleep the party regrouped for a 50 mile return trip to Norwich but this time with the added challenge of a 20 mph head wind for the whole journey.

Ready for the off on day 2
I had hoped for an uneventful, one cafe stop ride but the strong wind and several punctures made it into a very long day with the peloton stretched out over several miles of Norfolk lanes.
Some of my cycling guests riding through Norfolk
So there was much relief when I allowed us to stop at Penny's tearoom in Saham Toney which I last visited 18 months ago (see Back on track). The staff today were some of the friendliest I can remember which was a plus as my cycling guests helped me with the ratings audit.
A selection of the items being scored today
After a good rest we then struggled on further towards home. It was not long before Barry and Helen's Tandem got its first ever puncture which I felt was justice for yesterday's photo bombing incident. 
Barry trying to mend his new tandems puncture while I tried to put them off by tickling it
Once on the way again my cycling guests demanded an extra stop as they didn't think they could make it back without another break.It was a chance for me to prove how valuable my cafe research has been as I consulted my list of the 208 cafes I have now reviewed and suggested that the four seasons coffee shop at the Wymondham Garden centre (see Where are the cake based bargains) would be the best option.
Preparing to enter our final tea room
The scones here looked very good and proved a popular choice. They were just what was needed although the cheese scone was served cold (remember it's cheese scone hot, fruit scone not). 
It was mainly tea and scones for our final stop
On the road again there was just time for one last puncture before we made it home. Back at Crusader Towers I prepared the feedback form for my cycling guests to complete before I remembered that I wasn't really interested in their opinions so just filled in one myself. Once analysed the feedback clearly said that it was an excellent trip, the tour leader was very good and that their should be another overnight ride next year. So well done me.

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

Click here to download 74 mile Norwich Kings Lynn via Hunstanton GPX file for your gps

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