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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Friday, 27 October 2017

Crack. (Cliff top cafe, Overstrand)

Cliff Top Cafe,
Overstrand,
Opening times Every day 8am-4pm
While auditing my cycle cafe records I noticed that I visited the Cliff top Cafe in Overstrand over 4 years ago and although it had got a rating I had never posted about it. I decided that this needed to be rectified. On the previous trip I had been a little disappointed so I was interested to see if things had improved in the intervening period.

I met up with Andrew at hard to please house in Alysham and put him in charge of  route selection. It looked like a straightforward trip so we set off while discussing matters of the day. 

After a few miles I went over a pothole and was disturbed by a loud crack. I immediately slowed down and looked at the usual suspects on the bike. The tyres were in one piece, no spokes had gone, the chain was still in place etc so I thought no more of it as we continued on our way.

When we arrived at the Cliff top cafe I got in traditional cafe pose for the cafe snap. As I stood there with my handle resting artistically on the saddle I noticed that it was wobbling and on closer inspection realised the loud crack from earlier had been the seat post partially snapping. 
Outside Cliff top cafe when I first realised problem with my seat post
I showed Andrew the damage before we went inside. It was a little disconcerting but I decided that as we had got this far it would probably be ok for the rest of the ride (although as it turned out I was wrong).
Examining the pole damage
I was impressed with the make over the Cliff Top cafe had had since my last visit as it was now light and airy. Although I would have preferred it, Andrew insisted that it was too cold to sit in the nice outdoor seating area where you could really enjoy the fantastic sea view. As I'm always careful not to upset him and trigger a 'hard to please' style rant we compromised with a seat by the window. All in all a very high AAA mark.
View of sea from outdoor seating area
The cake selection was also good with a nice selection of cakes. I went for fruit cake and Andrew a bakewell slice with a cup of tea.
Good cake selection
My hot chocolate was a pretty decent one and the cakes were good too but they had made a mistake with Andrew's tea. It came fully constructed with teabag removed and milk already added. Andrew rightly pointed out that as everyone likes their tea different it is better to leave the bag in and let the customer add his own milk. As this one was too weak for Andrew's tastes he only gave a poor guest hot drink quality (GHDQ) score.
Cakes and drinks
Overall the Clifftop cafe was a very pleasant surprise after my previous visit and I'm sure it won't be 4 more years before I return.

As Andrew had had a disappointing guest hot drink experience he suggested we make a short detour to Holt  so he could go to his favourite hot drink provider, The Black Apollo. It is also one of my favourites too so I didn't take much persuasion.

Once on the hill out of Overstrand it was clear that all was not well in the saddle post department as it started to bend backwards with my saddlebag scraping against the wheel. I had an image of it suddenly snapping in half causing me a potential serious cycling injury so we stopped to investigate further.

As I picked the bike up to lean it against the hedge the seat post snapped leaving half of the pole stuck down the tube and the saddle half in my hand.
Cycle post in more than one piece
Cycling guest cycling top tip no 63: Make sure you regularly grease your pole to avoid it getting stuck when it needs removing.

Fortunately I'm a regular follower of cycling guest cycling top tip no 63 and so with a bit of a wiggle managed to free the broken half from the frame as this could have been a real problem if it had got stuck. I then put back in the half with the saddle on which meant my saddle was now a few inches lower than normal but I could safely cycle it again.
Repaired bike with low saddle
Fortunately the loose in length wasn't too uncomfortable so we continued to Black Apollo as planned. 
The black Apollo in Holt
The only weakness Black Apollo had ever shown was in the size of it's cake selection so I was excited to see it had grown with a number of excellent new additions making it into an extremely effective one. I had some honey and ginger and Andrew a portuguese tart. As well as the excellent cakes Andrew(who is notoriously hard to please) wanted to give his coffee 10 out of 10. I obviously couldn't allow this as I feel you always need to leave room in your ratings incase you come across an even better example in the future.
Cakes plus empty cups as we had already enjoyed our excellent drinks
However I did update my ratings spreadsheet with today's marks (remember cafe ratings are based on average of last 3 scores) moving the Black Apollo even nearer the top of my all time cafe's list.

There was no more drama on the rest of the ride but I will urgently need to find a new seatpost before my next planned ride in a couple of days time to save my knees and back from any permanent 'low saddle' damage.

Scores for Cliff Top Cafe

Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
6.5
5
6.2
6
8
6.34
route

Click here to download 41 mile Alysham Overstrand Holt loop GPX file to your gps

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