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/

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Cold! (The Painted Barn, Barnham Broom)

Painted Barn,
Barnham Broom,
Mon-Sat 09:30-16:30,
Highly Recommended
In the winter Mrs Crusader has a strict 30 mile ride limit for any trips she is invited on. Therefore I'm always excited when I hear of new cafes in the Mrs Crusader winter ride goldilocks zone (MCWRGZ). So I couldn't believe my luck when last week I was told about two MCWRGZ cafes via my Facebook page.

I immediately arranged to visit the first one, The Painted Barn at Barnham Broom, for this week's ride.

However when I woke up this morning we had been visited by a slight frost. Don't get me wrong I'm always up for a bit of health and safety and don't fancy the thought of skidding off my bike but with the sun out I was confident conditions would be fine. Mrs Crusader was persuaded it would be ok but then I was contacted by the other cycling guests I had invited (and they know who they are) who had decided it was too risky and pulled out. Fortunately Mrs Crusader was still prepared to give it ago.

This put my cycle ride safety credentials under pressure so I was mighty relieved that road conditions did turn out to be acceptable (just) and although we rode cautiously it wasn't the road surface that was the main problem but the fact it was really, really cold. I had the quickest loss of feelings in my extremities on record (yes I have a spreadsheet for this) so when Mrs Crusader suggested we cut out part of my target 30 mile loop I was easily persuaded (although of course I pretended to be disappointed). In fact I had already planned a shortcut to Barnham Broom where we found the Painted Barn on the village outskirts.
Outside The Painted Barn and it was proper cold
The cafe is part of a barn complex that includes, a yoga centre and home furnishings shop so it was unsurprising when I found that I was the only bloke there and as more people turned up there seemed to be a midweek mid morning natterthon going on inside.

Inside the Painted Barn as the tables started to fill up
I obviously had more manly things to focus on so I went to check out the cake selection which had 3 of the big 5 sponges plus a good selection of scones (although sadly no fruit ones) and tray bakes resulting in a good effective cake selection mark.
The sponge cake part of today's cake selection
I went for Coffee and Walnut to accompany my hot chocolate while Mrs Crusader had Carrot cake with her black americano.
Very good cakes and drinks on offer
The cakes were very good and Mrs Crusader thought her coffee was at the top end of the black americano ratings. My hot chocolate was a good one too. The Painted Barn has only been open since the summer and although this was my first visit I'm sure to be back (especially as it is in the MCWRGZ) and I highly recommend a visit.
It was a very cold, crisp and short ride today
Now we were finally warm it was time to go outside again to refreeze. Fortunately it had warmed up a bit and any remaining slippery patches had gone so we could make quicker progress on the way home. Hopefully it will be warmer weather when I visit the second new MCWRGZ cafe in a fortnight's time when my less hardy cycling guest may even come to.
Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambiance and Atmosphere
Café Rating
Route (we would have taken if it wasn't so cold)

Click here to down load 30 mile Norwich Barnham Broom loop GPX file to your GPS

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Birthday Boy. (Old Cobblers Cafe and Deli, Norwich)

Old Cobblers café and deli,
Everyday 08:00-16:00,
Highly Recommended
As the days get colder and the nights draw in then opportunities to get outside are becoming more limited. Therefore I have been using this extra time wisely to get my Cake Crusader admin up to date. In the process I have noticed I'm approaching two exciting landmarks. The first is that my blog has nearly been visited a quarter of a million times (probably mainly by bots from Russia and my mother) with only about 3000 to go. Secondly, after updating my locations map with recently visited cafes and removing all the closed ones I'm just 12 short of 250 active venues. I therefore think that with a bit of effort I might be able to hit these two milestones by Christmas.

If I do you will hear all about it, if not I probably won't mention it again. However as well as lots of cafe visits I will be going for a bit of a social media blitz on my facebook page and twitter feed too.

To start with then yesterday I was joined by Mrs Crusader and birthday boy Mick for a short loop into South Norfolk before searching for a cafe in Norwich.

Things started well as we set off on a crisp autumn sunny day but before long the skies darkened, the winds picked up and it started to pour with rain. As this was the first time since summer we had hit these conditions we were ill prepared and had a distinct lack of waterproof footwear and gloves. Unsurprisingly it wasn't look before we had all lost contact with our extremities and what had started as a lovely birthday gift for Mick had turned into an ordeal which was now just an unpleasant slog.

Conversation had come to a halt as we were pedaling as fast as we could towards today's target cafe area whilst being too numb to speak.

After what seemed like an eternity we made it back into Norwich's Golden triangle and headed for the nearest cafe on my potential list which was the Seedhouse cafe and deli (although it seemed to be being renamed to something cobbler related as it used to be a shoe repair outlet).
Freezing outside todays cafe venue
I sent Mrs Crusader and Mick inside to buy anything hot while I struggled to lock the bikes with my super feeling free fingers.

The Seedhouse cafe (which might be now called something cobbler related) had a hipster/vegan (in a goodway) feel and we awarded it a high atmosphere and ambiance score although we may have been biased just because it was warm and dry.

There were several seating options including outside, which was instantly dismissed, but we opted for the indoor breakfast bar style window seating area. The cake selection was a bit small but had a GF brownie (which I went for) and a sort of bakewell vegan cake that Mrs Crusader went for. 
Cake selection
As it was his birthday then as well as taking him on a lovely pneumonia inducing and character building bike ride Mrs Crusader gave Mick a small piece of her cake and bought him a flat white coffee. I think he was touched by our generous gifts.
My GF brownie, the vegan bakewell cake looked similar but lighter in colour
The hot chocolate did a good job of warming me up while Mick and Chris though their coffees were great. 
Todays drinks, we had to drink some of them to get warm enough to operate the camera
The cakes were excellent too and we all agreed that the Seedhouse (or cobbler based named cafe) was an excellent find and I highly recommend a visit.

Fortunately it was only a couple of miles back to Crusader towers where I spent the afternoon in the airing cupboard.

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

Click here to download 28 mile Norwich Wymondham loop GPX file for your GPS