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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Saturday 12 May 2018

Posh cafe. (Courtyard Cafe, Holkham)

Courtyard Cafe,
Opening times Everyday 10-5
(closed Jan-Mid Feb) 
Despite all the recent nice weather, I had managed to arrange a cafe cycle ride with Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) on the first chilly and windy day that we have had in ages. I had put Andrew in charge of logistics after requesting a route from Hard to Please House out to Holkham Hall cafe, as it was in his neck of the woods.

The ride started smoothly until we had gone about 10 miles when we were out of range of the roads that Andrew was familiar with. Here we had to stop and resort to using his photocopied map with crayoned route for guidance. After studying it for sometime Andrew confidently pointed in the proposed direction of travel and set off. Five minutes later, and after several left turns, we found ourselves back at the same point but this time heading in the opposite direction.
Andrew using the latest navigational system (he is familiar with)
I didn’t like to say anything and Andrew seemed happy that we were on track so we continued on our way and much to both of our surprises arrived at Holkham Hall with no further navigational incidents.
Andrew claimed it looked like the poshest cafe I had taken him to
Once within the hall grounds we soon found the courtyard cafe which was one of the biggest cafes I have been to.
Outside one of the cafe entrances
As well as the large indoor seating area and courtyard based outdoor seating area there were three tills in operation, which is two more than I’m used to.
Part of the courtyard based outdoor seating area
However, probably due to the recent good weather, there seemed to have been a rush on cakes. There were lots of labels describing what was meant to be there but next to these were empty spaces were the cake should have been. On the plus side there was brownie available to test for brownie of the year #BOTY although it wasn’t good enough to make it to the current potential finalists list.
Today's brownie offering
We both opted for the fruit cake and Andrew went for a tea as his hot drink.
Cakes with a few gaps
We paid, at till number 2, and returned to the courtyard to consume our fare.
Our cakes and hot chocolate
Both our drinks were decent but the fruit cake was a bit on the dry side. I don’t think we caught the Courtyard cafe on its best day and it would be interesting to come again when there are more cakes and someone to test the coffee. Fortunately I plan to do just this as I’m currently cycling to every parkrun in Norfolk (followed by run and cafe visit) and Holkham is happening in a few weeks time. So the jury is out until then. (Scores now include my parkrun visit).

On our way again we cycled down the mile long drive out of the hall. I checked my cycle computer and reported that our average speed had already dropped 0.3 mph in the short distance since lunch. Just then a Red Kite swooped out of the trees and gave us a full bird of prey display. Andrew was very excited to see such a rare sighting. As we set of again I told Andrew that it was unbelievable, as I couldn’t believe that Andrew had actually slowed down to watch a bird right after I had said our average speed had dropped. I was furious.

With the wind behind and no more raptors to distract us I made sure we recovered our average speed so was in much better mood when I got home to fill in the ride stats on my computer. I discovered this was the 4th Courtyard Cafe I had been to in Norfolk so I suggest a bit more imagination is needed in the local cafe naming department.

Scores based on 2 visits
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click here to download 58 mile Aylsham Holkham loop GPX file for your gps.

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