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

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Friday, 19 July 2019

Along the Danube Day 6. (Visegrad to Budapest)

Along the Danube day 6
It was time for the final ride of the week as we finally went round the bend and on to our celebratory procession into Budapest.

First we would need to catch the 9:45 ferry back across the river to the cycle path where pedals down would be. It was heaving with other cyclists with their own bright red hire bikes, we were not alone.


All the cabins had been taken so we had to spend the whole crossing on deck.

Once over we had an hour to get to the final ferry. However the paths were very busy with other cyclists but fortunately Cathy was in no mood for dithering and happily pushed a small child into the  bushes to clear the way.

The path was again cut off from the river by houses and trees but without the distraction of views we sped towards the port. The bad news was that as we rounded the final corner the boat was pulling away.


The good news was that with an hour to wait for the next one we could be compensated by visiting cafe Eszterhazy which had an excellent cake selection. 

The hot chocolate was disappointing but the coffee and cake were excellent so with views of the river available from the outdoor seating area it was another top cafe stop.

As we were about to board the ferry the family from who Cathy had pushed over the small child early pulled up, awkward. We were keen to avoid another international incident so ignored them as they stood behind us on deck while we had our photo taken by a local.

The ferry had again concertinaed up the cycling tourists so when we were confronted with the busiest road of the week a long peleton quickly formed. It was every man for themselves as I found myself up the road in a breakaway of husbands and boyfriends. The father of the family group that Cathy had attacked was furthest forward and as we turned off he was preparing himself for a serious domestic from mother with small children.

To compensate us for that stretch we now had some pleasant riding through parks by the side of the river.

Due to the ferry based delay our original plan of lunch in Budapest had been abandoned so instead we stopped at the pretty tourist village of Szentendre for a typical overpriced and very average tourist lunch special.

It also turned out to be the tat shop capital of Europe which my cycling guests surprisingly went to explore while I stayed by the river. This was clearly a mistake as without my tour leadership they managed to turn what should have been a 2 minute excursion, max, into a substantial wait of nearly 20 minutes! Budapest was starting to feel a long way away.

On their return I was relieved to see they were tat free but they did report that, in case you are ever out this way, there were better cafes in the a lovely square. I got the picture church, statute, coffee shop etc.

There was a final push along the river as the landscape became more built up as we reached the outskirts of Budapest.

And then we rounded a final bend and the sites of Budapest stretched out before us as we reached our final destination.


There was still the matter of the best cafe with cake along the Danube and Budapest needed a chance. I chose JM6 bakery which was near the river and had an authentic feel.

As it was late in the day the cake selection was light but the cakes they did have looked good and tiramisu cake was selected.


The coffee and hot chocolate were possibly the best all week which put JM6 to top of the list as the best cafe with cake on the Danube. As seems to nearly always be the case the first or last cafe on my trips was the best so again rendering the need to do the actual trip superfluous. 


As our final treat we headed for the local spa to chill out and revive our aching limbs, as a bonus it was super authentic.



Once inside we sunk into the big 36 degree pool. Mrs Crusader is not a fan of a warm bath at the best of times let alone a communal one and she was freaked out by the whole experience. When we left she wanted to head back to the hotel for a shower of disinfectant and a calm down. That’s another idea off the Christmas list.


We all agreed that it had been an excellent trip but what have we learnt.
1. Riding by the Danube is very flat. You can climb more metres on a baby Col in the Alps than all week here.
2. You can nearly always get good cake anywhere on the route.
3. Virtually every town or village along the river Danube has been capital of Hungary at some point.
4. There is plenty of black and white action for fans of deserted border crossings.
5. All the sites, mueseums, big churchy things etc in any town or city along the Danube can easily be covered in a leiesurly half hour.
6. The majority of the cycle route is on excellent tarmac track but the couple of sections that aren’t are as bad as anything my old friend National Cycle route 1 has ever offered up, which is a shame.
7. There are only 7 songs that anyone can remember from the sound of music.
8. Cafes are surprised when you ask for a hot chocolate in the middle of summer with some insisting you wait until winter before you can have one.
9. The best cake based cafe shop between Vienna and Budapest is in Budapest.
10. I would recommend this as an experience to anyone who likes cycling and cake or preferably both.

Route


Cafe ratings table
Cafe
Drinks
Cake
Atmosphere and Ambiance
Rating
Uferhaus, Orth
7.5
8
8.5
8
Stadt, Helmut
6
7.6
7.1
6.9
Monarchia, Mosonmagyaróvár 
8
8.8
7.35
8.05
Kuglof, Gyor
8.47
8.46
7.4
8.11
Piskota, Acs
7.9
8.2
6.65
7.58
Cafe de Luxxe, Komárno 
7
8.6
6.45
7.35
Eszterhazy, Vac
6.9
8.65
8.3
7.95
JM6 bakery, Budapest 
8.63
8.72
7.6
8.32





















Cycle stats 

Route
Miles
Average Mph
Time on Bike
Metres climbed
Vienna to Brataslava
49.13
11.1
4:24
159
Brataslava to Monsonmagyarovar
24.07
11.1
2:10
43
Monsonmagyarovar to Gyor
27.2
10.48
2:35
38
Gyor to Komarom
35.4
10.14
3:29
174
Komarom to Visegrad
49.6
10.86
4:33
183
Visegrad to Budapest
34.26
9.9
3:26
175
Totals
219.66
10.5
20:37
772


Thursday, 18 July 2019

Along the Danube Day 5. (Komarom to Visegrad)

Along the Danube day 5
We had a long day ahead of us as there would be over 50 miles to travel and two ferries to negotiate. There was an option for a bailout boat ride after 34 miles but I had already dismissed this although my cycle guests were still to decide. Sadly breakfast at the hotel didn’t start until an outrageously late 8:30 putting the kibosh on an early start so pedals down wasn’t until 9:30.


The first stretch today was the easiest so far as we travelled for many miles on a flat tarmac towpath. Unfortunately some idiot had planted trees between us and the river so you only got occasional glimpses of it.


The only thing of interest was an old roman camp but as the information board was written in foreign I can’t tell you anything about it.


This area is also famous for Hungarian storkes (even though we were in Slovakia) and on a detour through a nearby village we were lucky enough to see a nesting family on a handy telegraph post.


We finally found a section of towpath where they had removed the trees so you could actually see the Danube. So why they had built a viewing tower at the one place that didn’t need one I just don’t know. But as it was there I had to climb it and capture the view.


FACT: the border between Slovakia and Hungary runs right down the middle of the Danube but sadly all the disused border crossings have washed away.

Just as we thought we were making excellent time the path deteriorated into the worst of the week along a gravelly grassy track that went on for several bouncy miles.  All conversation was stopped as full concentration was required to stay upright, which we all managed to do, well done us! 


When we eventually back on tarmac we were cheered up by fields of happy sunflowers planted in all directions, which was nice.


At the start of ride briefing on Saturday our unreliable rep had told us there was a very big basilica here, I think she said the biggest in the world and only one you could see from space or something like that, and I admit you could see it from many miles away as we honed in on lunch. Shocking there had been no coffee or cake opportunities on the route as we pulled in to Esztergom where the boat trip or cycle decision would need to be made.

We crossed the bridge back into Hungary but there were no obvious signs of any abandoned border crossings. Although this may have been one.


We were in need of sustanance so went for the Next cafe, literally. Food was standard Hungarian fare but sadly no cake.


With no persuasion from me my cycling guests had seen sense and would becoming on the cycle option. It would save them the trouble of having to explain to people that they had cycled from Vienna to Budapest apart from the 17 mile bit when they went by boat. Before we left Cathy wanted a photo of the big churchy thing so we cycled up a rare holiday hill for the best snap. Mrs Crusader is not a fan of museums or big churchy things and couldn’t see why we had bothered.


From here we were back on a nice stretch of cycle track along an ever widening Danube. During this stretch the border stops being down the middle of the river so despite several planned ferry crossings we would now be in Hungary for the rest of the trip.


We made it to the first ferry port but the ferry was not due for 40 mins. There there was a cafe here but again no cake so I waited patiently at the front of the queue to make sure we got a place on board before eventually getting to watch the ferry dock.


We safely alighted the ship and set sail for the other side, but would this be ferry of the day?


The remaining few miles were again on excellent cycle path as the landscape now became hilly rather than the arable fields we had had up to now. Sadly we won’t get the chance to cycle up any of them.

We reached the second ferry port and still no cake had been consumed. There were a number of snack bars here and I visited them all with no joy, until at the very last one there was a cake selection. I purchased two examples and excitingly returned to the dockside.


There was no time to try it as it was time for boarding but once safely underway we ate the cake and it was pretty poor so no cafes will be added to trip list from this stage.


Our hotel was right by the port and we were glad that it was as we were all rather tired after a long day and no proper cake stops. It is in a small village called Visegrád which you won’t be surprised to hear that King Charles l of Hungary made his residence and therefore the capital of Hungary in 1325.

Tomorrow we ride into Budapest (the current capital) and celebrate our achievement where I’m told there is plenty of cake. Let’s hope so.

Route

Cafe ratings table
Cafe
Drinks
Cake
Atmosphere and Ambiance
Rating
Uferhaus, Orth
7.5
8
8.5
8
Stadt, Helmut
6
7.6
7.1
6.9
Monarchia, Mosonmagyaróvár 
8
8.8
7.35
8.05
Kuglof, Gyor
8.47
8.46
7.4
8.11
Piskota, Acs
7.9
8.2
6.65
7.58
Cafe de Luxxe, Komárno 
7
8.6
6.45
7.35































Cycle stats 

Route
Miles
Average Mph
Time on Bike
Metres climbed
Vienna to Brataslava
49.13
11.1
4:24
159
Brataslava to Monsonmagyarovar
24.07
11.1
2:10
43
Monsonmagyarovar to Gyor
27.2
10.48
2:35
38
Gyor to Komarom
35.4
10.14
3:29
174
Komarom to Visegrad
49.6
10.86
4:33
183
Visegrad to Budapest




Totals
185.4
10.74
17:11
597