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

Available on Amazon


Friday, 25 August 2017

Rant Lite (Vera's Coffee shop, Stalham)

Vera’s Coffee Shop,
Stalham,
Opening times Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30,
Sat 8:30-4:00, Sun 9:30-3:00
Cycling guest have been at a premium this summer and I have not been able to ride with Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) for sometime. I was therefore expecting a full blown rant-a-thon from him on yesterday's ride from Hard to Please House in Aylsham.

To make sure the trip went soothly I had planned both the route and the destination myself, despite knowing this would lead to much criticism of my road choices as I was in Andrews manor.

We were heading to Stalham in Broadland but first we rode out to the coast to lap up the summer seaside atmosphere. 
At the East coast. You can't see the wind in the photo but there was a lot of it.
As it was rather fresh and windy there didn't seem to be any summer seaside atmosphere so we continued towards Veras coffee shop at the Meades Garden centre on the far side of Stalham instead. Unfortunately the only way you can get to it by bike is along the busy A149. As a cafe cycle rider you are a slave to the establishments location which sometimes forces you on to such roads, but are any of us really free, are the birds just slaves to the sky? I think that's enough philosophy for now, what about the cake?

Once at Vera's things got off to a bad start as there was nowhere one could easily leave a bike so we hid ours behind some bags of potting compost and secured them with my extra heavy lock.
Outside Vera's, no bike in photo as it was hidden behind some John Inness No. 3
We made our way through the garden centre to Vera's which was extremely busy, probably with people who had found it too cold and lacking any summer seaside atmosphere for a day on the beach. I had only come after receiving a couple of recommendations to check out their sausage roll for #SROTY. 

At the counter I was impressed by a good cake selection which also had an excellent cake of the day (carrot) and scone of the day (date and walnut) feature. Andrew opted for the cake of the day with his cappuccino while I went for the date and walnut cake with my hot chocolate as I didn't fancy a scone.
Great cake selection including a cake of the day blackboard
I also purchased a couple of sausage rolls to take back to Crusader Towers to test later. (Which were very good and led to much debate with Mrs Crusader as to if they should make the final sausage roll off, especially as they were short crust and not flakey pastry. As I go to press the jury is still out.)
One of the sausage rolls being debated
The drinks were both of a good standard and the cakes excellent which was a pleasant surprise as garden centre cafes can be a bit hit and miss.
Drinks and cakes both scored hiighly
Vera's Coffee Shop had a very high quality product but wasn't a very cycling friendly stop so you need to be brave to cycle there.

We set off again on another long stretch of A149 before returning to quieter roads and I suddenly realised Andrew hadn't ranted or complained all ride. It wasn't until we were nearly back in Alysham and we passed the new MandS convenience store, built as part of a new garage on the Cromer road, that he could contain his ranting no longer as he described the queues that had formed when it first opened last week, which somehow led on to why he could never go in an Ikea and he was back on form.

As we were nearly back by now his ranting was curtailed and it will be another 3 weeks before we meet up again and I can hear the end of his thesis as to the evils of flat pack furniture.

Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.5
7.0
7.5
7.75
5.5
6.85
Route

Click here to download 38 mile Aylsham Stalham loop GPX file to your GPS

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