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

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Nothing I like better. (Hug a Mug, Lingwood)

Mon - Thurs 8:45-3:00,
I had recently been contacted by Jean from Hug-a-mug cafe at the Village Hall in Lingwood suggesting I give them a visit. There is nothing I like better than a community run cafe as the cakes are always made by the local villagers and therefore often of a high standard. I was therefore keen to try it out and arranged to go with Mrs Crusader today.

However there is nothing Mrs Crusader likes better than a round of golf and our planned ride clashed with a golfing opportunity making her unavailable to be selected as my cycling guest. Fortunately Andrew, who is notoriously hard to please, had not had any better offers so signed up for the trip as there is nothing he likes better than a bike ride (except of course a rant).

The only problem now was that the ride would start from Hard to Please House in Aylsham and not from Crusader Towers in Norwich meaning the route was transformed from a pleasant 30 mile loop through southern Broadland to a 50 mile ride via some busy roads as we needed to cross many rivers and there are few options that avoid spending time on the A149 (which we did).
One of the many rivers to cross, this time at Potter Heigham
I had not seen Andrew for several weeks so there was much to catch up on. This was not easy due to a particularly noisy wind making Andrews rants harder to hear than normal although he manfully stuck at it.

The wind was also against us so it was a bit of a slog for 30 miles until we found Hug-a Mug at Lingwood Village Hall just as Jean had promised. She told us it had been opened over a year so, as the self appointed number one cycle cafe reviewer in the Norfolk area, I felt I was failing by not knowing about it sooner.
Outside the Hug a Mug cafe. Our host Jean was a bit camera shy so hid round the corner
We went inside to check out the cake selection. It wasn't the biggest but all looked extremely good. We both opted for the chocolate cake which Andrew accompanied with a cup of tea.
Today's good looking cake selection
We both agreed the chocolate cake was excellent getting a high cake quality mark. Andrews tea was obviously awarded the standard cup of tea mark, while my hot chocolate was a solid offering. Although not part of my cafe rating system Andrew said his cheese toastie was one of the best he had had so all in all a very good stop and I recommend a visit.
Todays cake and drinks although my hot chocolate mug was wrongly labeled
We said goodbye to Jean and fully refreshed set off to complete our 50 mile loop. Due to the river crossing issues we again had a few busy roads to go on as we returned to HTPH, however one advantage of busy roads is you tend to go faster as you can't ride side by side or have a chat, therefore we completed our 50 mile route in quick time. 

A second bonus was went past a number of cafes I have previously visited so I took the opportunity to pop into number 14 at Wroxham for some scone action in my continuing search for Fruit Scone of The Year. I was glad I did as it rated highly and went into the current top 8 of potential finalists (see Cake Crusader website for more details).
Todays fruit scone to test from Number 14 at Wroxham. 
It had been a very enjoyable day, a nice fast ride, a good cafe and time to catch up on important rants. But it was all spoiled when Andrew told me his very plausible theory on the ending to the BBC drama Line of Duty, which, if he is right will spoil the final two episodes. Not wishing to ruin it for anyone else I won't let you in on his theory but will let you know if he's right in a future post.

Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Route to be published shortly

Friday, 5 April 2019

Poster Protests. (The Weavers Tearoom, Peasenhall)

The Weavers Tea room,
Thurs-Tues 9:00-4:00,
It was a good day in the world of cafe cycle reviewing as all 3 of my current projects had activity.

First off I was able to continue my search for the top 10 free car parks from which to start a cycle ride from. Today's offering was St Helena car park. Fortunately this isn't on the Island of St Helena in the Pacific Ocean as, according to google, this would take 32 hrs and cost over £18,000 to get to (rather negating the benefit of the car park being free). No this is St Helena car park in Dunwich Forest which is about an hour from Norwich and costs nothing (as long as you get your cycling guest to drive and they don't charge you for petrol).

Todays cycling guest was Big George who drove to the car park and didn't charge me for petrol. The car park itself was excellent with lots of spaces in a lovely wooded setting. There are lots of places to explore from here including Southwold, Snape and Aldeburgh. It is also near a number of good national cycle routes so currently rates first (out of 4) in my top ten.
St Helena Car Park in Dunwich Forest
Once parked up we set off to tour the posh bit of Suffolk. It was a very pleasant route and we commented on how friendly and courteous the car drivers were.Then suddenly we turned a corner and Big George went red with rage. Big George is a passionate Scotsman and the last thing he expected to see on a ride along the Suffolk coastline was a campaign against Scotland having more power. It is already a pretty unimportant backwater (Scotland not East Suffolk) so who would begrudge it a bit more power I thought. Well apparently the people of Suffolk would.
An anti SNP poster in Suffolk
Big George immediately twitted Sturgeon to warn her and tried to keep calm down as we headed past more anti Scottish posters plus some more for another campaign against the building of Sizewell C. They clearly like a good poster protest campaign around here.

After a few more miles we arrived at today's target cafe which was The Weavers tea room in Peasenhall. It had a nice outdoor seating area but it was far too cold for that today so we went inside.
Outside the Weavers Tea Room
Here we found a reasonable cake selection on a cake selection displayer dresser with 4 good looking sponges.
Today's cake selection
Best of all there was a large fruit scone for me to test out in my fruit scone of the year comp #FSOTY and it turned out to be both large and tasty.

I opted for coffee and walnut cake while Big George had an americano and a cheese sandwich. Although a cheese sandwich plays no part in my cycle cafe review system Big George said it was a very good one although he thought his coffee was rather ordinary.
Todays cake and drinks
Both my hot chocolate and coffee and walnut cake were very good as both had excellent flavour. It was therefore a good stop and I recommend a visit.

We still had 20 miles to go to complete the ride which covered some lovely scenery, the highlight being crossing the river at Southwold on a footbridge. 
Crossing the river Wold near Southwold
Fortunately we were now out of the protester posters hartland so were nicely calm and relaxed as we returned to Dunwich forest and my number one rated best free car park to start a bike ride from.

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

Click here to download 47 mile Dunwich, Snape, Southwold loop gpx file to your gps