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

Monday 4 June 2018

Catch up. (Great Bircham Mill, Great Bircham)

Great Bircham Mill,
Great Bircham,
Opening times Everyday 10-5,
This post is a complex one as it makes reference to several other trips and associated posts. So if you want the complete picture of today's ride I have put all the necessary links in the post so you can undertake your background research for maximum enjoyment. However I believe most people only read this blog to find out about potential cafes for their next ride, in which case I suggest you scroll down to the photo of a windmill and start from there.

Followers of my Cake Crusader Facebook page or twitter feed (@cakecrusader1) will know that on Saturday I cycled up to Holkham Hall on leg 6 of the Norfolk cycle parkrun challenge (details on my Norfolk cycle parkrun challenge Facebook page) in order to run the Holkham Hall parkrun. It was an excellent 75 mile bike ride but although, for auditing purposes, we did record ratings for the Holkham Hall cafe I had already been there so won't be posting about it due to my one cafe, one post rule. 
Runners preparing for start of Holkham Hall parkrun
Yesterday I returned to North West Norfolk for a full blown cafe cycle ride with cycling guests Mrs Crusader plus Cliff and Sharon who were part of the team who cycled across India with me in search of a decent cup of tea (worth more than 7 out of 10). You can read about that adventure on the trips page of the Cake Crusader Website. As Cliff and Sharon are based in Ely and Crusader Towers is in Norfolk I used the gift of the ruler to find a point equal distance between us to start from. It turned out to be in a field just East of Kings Lynn so we met up there.

I had planned a 54 mile loop taking in a couple of tearooms where I could help educate Cliff and Sharon on British cycle cafe rating (which includes cake) rather than that used in India (which does not). 
My cycling guest at the start of our ride
As we cycled North towards Thornham Cliff brought me up to speed with what he had been up to since we waved goodbye at Cochin Airport. On our Indian trip I had told him how I always mend that years pile of punctured inner tubes on Christmas Eve while I listen to carols on the radio. He had been very taken with my approach and had recently run out of new inner tubes so had to fix his 12 punctured ones. He too had settled down to mend them in one go on a hot day in May but had been unable to find any Christmas songs on the radio so missed out on the full experience. 
We made use of cycle route 1 for a lot of today's route
As you can image with our inner tube based chat (including a flow diagram of Cliff's post repair testing process which I will almost certainly implement this December) the time flew by and we soon found ourselves at Thornham Deli in Thornham. 

I reviewed Thornham Deli a few weeks ago and today it performed equally well maintaining its highly recommended status. There was much tea drunk and the cake was not only good but extremely large although for some reason served on wooden chopping boards instead of plates (very North Norfolk).
Very large cake served on chopping boards
From here we weaved our way through the undulating countryside towards Great Bircham. Cliff asked how sales of the Cake Crusader Book were going as he had downloaded a copy to his Kindle during the promotional period when it was available for free. He hadn't actually read any of it but thought it looked like the type of book that once you had put down you couldn't pick up. I told him I was very happy with progress and the book is available on Amazon (for a small fee) and all good bookshops (as long as it is Jarrolds book department in Norwich).
Start reading from here if you just want to know about today's cycle cafe stop
We arrived at Great Bircham Mill and took our seats in the outdoor courtyard seating area.
In the courtyard area beside the tea rooms
I checked out the cake selection which was quite good with another enormous Coffee cake available, which Cliff opted for. I had carrot cake with my hot chocolate and Mrs Crusader just an Americano as she was still full from the previous cake. Sharon had tea and a cheese wrap (which isn't cake).
Cake selection with another very large coffee cake
My hot chocolate was a Cadbury offering which is not my favourite but Mrs Crusader thought her coffee was good. The coffee cake was excellent and superior to the carrot one I had gone for. 
Mine and Mrs Crusaders refreshments
Great Bircham Mill was a very pleasant setting and has decent refreshments so I recommend a visit. For an additional fee you can even climb the windmill, pet a small furry animal and play in the sandpit but sadly we didn't have time.

But that was not all because as a bonus there was another event going on and I discovered that standing in field next to your Land Rover all afternoon is actually a thing.
A field full of Land Rovers
With the sun now fully out we enjoyed riding the final few miles back to the field where our cars were.

I told Cliff there was a second point where the rulers had met which was just East of Thetford and would be a good starting point if they wanted another cafe cycle ride. Unfortunately Cliff explained he had checked his calendar and it appeared he had something on every weekend for the rest of his life so it might not be possible. 

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

Click here to downlaod 54 Mile North West Norfolk loop gpx file for your GPS

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