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, 1 September 2017

Half Marathon News (Mardle Cafe, Lound)

The Mardle Cafe,
Lound,
Opening times Mon-Sat 9:30-16:00,
Highly Recommended 
Not that I like to talk about it, but as well as being the self appointed number one cafe cycle reviewer in the Norfolk area I also enjoy running races and triathlons. When taking part in the recent Great Yarmouth half marathon (where I became the 50-54 county champion) I ran through a place called Lound which had a nice looking cafe. I decided it looked like an ideal destination for a ride.

The more cynical readers may believe I have only chosen to do this 55 mile round trip so that I can mention becoming county 50-54 half marathon champion. This is clearly true but in the end it also turned out to be an excellent decision.

For today's cycling guest I had opted for Big George. We had recently decided to try and up our cycling game and set ourselves the 50 at 20 challenge. This is to ride 50 miles at 20mph in a local sportive next spring. We probably will never achieve it as the fastest we have ever averaged is about 15 mph but 50 at 20 has a better ring to it.To get our training underway we attempted our own 10 mile time trial (with wind behind) down to Loddon at the start of today's ride. It was partially successful as we could manage the target speed but only on the downhill bits. Up hill looks like being more of an issue. Hopefully we can find a 50 mile downhill sportive.

After we arrived in Loddon we needed a bit of a rest before we headed further East to Lound where we found the Mardle Cafe in the village.
In the outdoor seating area at the Mardle cafe
There is a small outside seating area behind a picket fence which, on such a lovely day, we opted for. Inside was very nicely laid out and with the addition of some very friendly staff I awarded a high Atmosphere and Ambiance score.
Nice selection of table and chair options inside
There was an excellent looking cake selection of big cakes, plus scones and there were also Sausage rolls available which I took away to check out for sausage roll of the year #SROTY. This lead to a high effective cake selection (ECS) rating.
Great looking cake selection
Note the sausage roll was very good and has made it into my current shortlist of finalists for the end of year sausage roll off.
Good looking sausage roll
I ordered a hot chocolate and was pleased to be offered the choice of Milk, White or Dark. In these circumstances I always go dark. I also had some ginger stem cake. Big George had a cappuccino plus lemon and coconut cake.

As I suspected my hot chocolate was very nice but the ginger cake was amazing and one of the best bits of cake I have had for sometime. Big George's cake wasn't quite as good and could have been more zesty but I still gave high hot chocolate and cake taste quality marks.
Cake and drinks
There hasn't been a new entry in my cafe top ten for a very long time but with a good coffee score the Mardle Cafe would make it in. Big George worked his way through the froth to declare it was a first class cup of coffee and I had a new top 10 cafe on my hands.

As the Mardle cafe scored highly in each category I'm likely to take other cycling guests there which has the added bonus that I can tell them about how I found it during my half marathon win (for old blokes). I therefore highly recommend a visit.

The way back was hard work as we were tired from our earlier time trial and had the wind against. However we did get to go on the excellent Reedham Ferry and also got to see the Cantley sugar beet factory (which is my all time favourite sugar beet factory) for the second time in a day. I don't think you could have a better cafe cycle ride than this one.
Waiting for the ferry to arrive and dock
Scores
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
7.8
7.75
8.0
9.0
8.5
8.21
Route

Click here to download 55 mile Norwich Lound loop gpx file for your GPS

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