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


Saturday, 6 July 2019

Dover to Norwich on NCR1. (Day 5 Woodbridge to Norwich)

Dover to Norwich on NCR1 day 5
The Hideout,
Halesworth,
Open Mon-Sat 9-4
Highly Recommended
and
Spoon cake cafe,
Loddon
Open Mon-Sat 9-5
Highly Recommended

My work to complete the missing link between NCR1 and NCR2 was nearly done as we were returned to familiar territory yesterday. However before it was time to set off again and get back on the bikes there was the final chance for a breakfast to deliver some porridge. And at last it did as the Cherry Tree provided the first breakfast that was better than a Premier Inn offering. At the end of our first non Premier Inn experiment we concluded that it had been a good call as it added a bit of variety and drama at the end of each day. Just a shame about lack of porridge.
The only porridge of the trip
With breakfast sorted it was pedals down just before 9 for what was our longest day in terms of distance. 
Pedals down at 9.00
There was little to report in the opening miles as NCR1 delivered fabulous quiet country lanes under clear blue sky’s, until we go to the town of Framlingham. 
Good early morning riding
As we approached a junction my route said right but Barry and Helen and their Tandem (who had cycled in these parts many times before) were adamant it was better to go left. In the confusion they lost their balance and both fell off, Helen then refused to get up until I agreed to the change in route. I eventually relented so Barry helped her back on her feet and we were on our way again.
Barry Picks up Halen after her sit down protest
It soon became apparent why Helen had made such a fuss as it turned out that Framlingham was owned by pop star Ed Sheeran who lived in the castle on the hill. Barry and Helen and their Tandem are huge Ed fans so always ride past his castle shaped home in case they get a glimpse of their singer song writing hero, but they didn’t.
Ed Sheeran's castle (although not much of a hill really)
Once everyone had recovered their composure it was again straight forward cycling towards Halesworth where, apart from some skilful cow avoidance, we made excellent progress to our first cafe stop.
Cow dodging
As we had not visited a decent cafe all week I decided not to risk anything and go to a cafe I had been to before, the Hideout at Halesworth. Last time I went they were down on their normal cake selection so I wanted a chance to see it in full cake range mode.
Outside the Hideout cafe
It didn’t disappoint as there was a good variety of cakes this time, I went Apple and Cinnamon, while Mrs Crusader had banana and chocolate which she ranked near the top of her personal cake rating league (if she had one, which she doesn’t). 
Excellent cakes and drinks
The other good thing about the hideout is that it is the only cafe in the world that has a copy of the Cake Crusader book which can be borrowed from the information leaflet shelf, although I don’t believe anyone has. You will have to read my original post on the Hideout to find out more. (see spreading the word)

All in all everyone agreed this was by far the best cafe we had been to on NCR1 and I highly recommend a visit.

We were now really back on home turf with the only drama to report being crossing a railway line. 
Rail crossing action
The Monkey Puzzle tree game had gone quiet too until I controversially claimed a dead monkey puzzle tree in Beccles to go 7-4 up. No one has ever come back from a 3 Monkey Puzzle tree deficit with so few miles to go but when Mrs Crusader spotted ones in Loddon and Poringland she could still get a draw and I started to panic.

Before that there was one final stop at another Cake Crusader favourite, the Spoon Cake cafe in Loddon. It may not have a copy of my book but it is in it so if you want to know more I suggest you buy a copy.

The final cakes and drinks were good but the Hideout was crowned the best cafe on the route.
Final cakes of the week
Fortunately we were now not far from the Monkey Puzzle exclusion zone (where we know where all the trees are located) so I scraped home with a one point win. 

We waved goodbye to Barry and Helen and the Tandem before arriving safely home.

But what have we learned on this trip.
1. You can get a better hotel experience away from the premier Inn but you are risking not getting porridge for breakfast 
2. People who live near NCR1 are not fans of the Monkey Puzzle tree.
3. Although not mentioned in these posts you can also play the monkey puzzle tree game with garden trampolines and Shetland ponies, and we regularly do.
4. Cycling in Greater London is dull, dangerous and disappointing.
5. Whereas cycling by the sea is stunning, stimulating but slow.
6. The best cycling cafes and quiet roads on this section of NCR1 are in Norfolk and North Suffolk making this ride all a bit of a waste of time really although I am already starting to think about where next year’s national cycle route experience should be.

National cycle route 1 Cafes
Cafe
Hot Chocolate
Quality
Guest Hot Drink
Quality
Cake Selection
Cake Taste Quality
Atmosphere and Ambiance
Total
Mrs Knotts Tea Room
7.3
65.96.586.74
Forget me not Tearoom
4
6.57.276.86.30
Mews Brewery House
5.9
6.54.25.76.25.70
Hardie Park  Cafe
5
6.737.57.25.88
Bee Shed Coffee House
7.6
77.47.66.87.28
The Tea Cup

N/A
Le Tour Cycle Cafe
6
5.667.96.86.72
Hide Out
7.1
7.77.27.67.57.34

Route

Click here to download 63 mile Woodbridge to Norwich GPX file to your gps

Profile


Stats
Route
Miles
Average Mph
Time on Bike
Metres climbed
Dover to Margate
38.71
9.9
3.53
416
Margate to Rochester
56.3
9.86
5:42
500
Rochester to Maldon.
59.7
10.82
5:31
746
Maldon to Woodbridge
58.4
11.18
5:13
526
Woodbridge to Norwich
63.7
11.9
5:21
686
Totals
276.81
10.75
25:40
2817

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