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, 5 April 2021

Egg Hunt. ( Station Cafe, Reepham)

Station Cafe,

Reepham,

Everyday 10-2:00 (during lockdown),

Recommended

Lockdown has obviously been a difficult time for cafes and tearooms and although I try and do my bit every week there is only so much takeaway cake you can eat and sadly some of my favourite venues have shut down. I was therefore very happy to hear that the Railway café at Reepham was still going strong after a change of management last summer, so I felt it was time for a visit.

As it was Easter Sunday I was surprised that Big George had agreed to be todays cycling guest because each year he is normally out looking for presents from the Easter bunny but he promised he would complete his search in time for our departure. Sadly he reported that for the 50th year running the Easter bunny had not left him anything but he thought it may have been because he hadn't looked hard enough and would continue his search on our return.

As I hadn't been sure that Big George would make it I had also invited Alastair as back up cycling guest and upon his arrival at Crusader Towers the three of us set off toward Reepham.

On the way to Reepham

The café is situated on the Marriotts way but we took a road based route as we enjoyed the lovely Spring sunshine and blue skies.
Lovely spring weather for todays ride

When we got there I was pleased to see there were lots of other cyclists littering the site. It was obviously a bit of a cycling Mecca but fortunately the café was very efficient so people didn't have a long to wait for their drinks. 
Lots of cyclists could be found all round the café
Social distancing and mask wearing was also being properly observed.
Outside the café ready to venture in 
The cake selection was a good one and I chose a blondie with mini eggs, in order to get into the Easter spirit. Sadly Big George had led Alistair astray and they both went for a sausage sandwich which was neither cake or very Easterie. 
A very good cake selection

We did better on the drinks front and covered all the bases of Hot Chocolate, Coffee and Tea. 

Todays drink selection

Once outside our refreshments were soon delivered and we all thought the food was excellent with my cake scoring very well. The drinks were not so good and all on the weak side. My Hot Chocolate was Cadburys or similar which, as you know, gets a standard 5 out of 10 as its not my favourite.

However we all very much enjoyed our visit to the Station Cafe and I recommend a visit, especially if you are on the Marriotts way. Me and Big George decided we would do that trip in the near future and definitely stop off here again.

As we set off back to Norwich we saw a sign to Reepham's other disused station at Whitwell. It seemed surprising that a village of this size could have ever needed two stations but a quick bit of research on Google said they were part of infrastructure improvements made in the 1930's as part of Reepham's failed Olympic games bid.

The journey home was uneventful although the promised wind behind seemed to be straight into our faces making the going surprisingly hard. Big George was keen to get back quickly so he could continue his egg hunt but as I write there has been no news of any successful finds. Maybe next year.

Scores

Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating

5

5

7.7

8.0

7.8

6.70

Route

Click here to download 35 mile Norwich Reepham loop gpx to your GPS






Wednesday, 3 March 2021

New Friend. (The Front Room, Bungay)

Front Room,

Bungay,

Opening times Tue- Sat 9 - 4:00,

Highly Recommended

It has certainly been a long time since I have been able to post about a new (to me) cafe so I was very excited when Howard put a comment on my Facebook page to point me in the direction of the Front Room in Bungay as I was an aware of it. 

I selected Big George to be my cycling guest on this adventure as he can normally be relied upon and so on a chilly and misty spring day we set off to cover the 40 mile round trip.

A cold and misty day in Norfolk, which was very quite.

Big George informed me that he had done a lot of baking during lockdown and asked if I would like to meet his new friends Mr and Mrs Scone-Hands. He proceeded to whip off his gloves and make me have a conversation with his hand about his latest fruit scone action, whilst he put on a “funny” Mr Scone-Hands voice (apparently Mrs Scone-Hands doesn’t speak). Note to self, find different cycling guest until after lockdown.

As it was rather cold Big George put his gloves back on so with baking based chat with Mr Scone-Hands curtailed we continued in silence until we arrived in Bungay where we found the Front Room at the Earsham end of the high street

Outside the Front Room before joining the wrong queue

It is a takeaway only establishment which of course makes no difference in these times. They seemed to be doing good business with a queue for orders and a separate one waiting for their drinks. Unfortunately we picked the wrong queue delaying our refreshments and opportunity to warm up until gently pointed in the right direction.

I checked out the window cake display which had a reasonable selection all of which I liked the look off but eventually picked the orange polenta cake to have with my hot chocolate. Big George had a flat white and a slice of frittata. Big George wasn't fooling me and even though frittata is cake shaped it isn't cake so he would play no further part in any exciting cake rating activities today.

Good Cake selection displayed in the window
We collected our stuff from the correct queue and headed to the local park behind Bungay Castle. I know the rules and insisted we continued to exercise whilst we had our drinks and cake. We did put them down on a bench between star jumps and push ups which may have been illegal but I wasn't sure.

Cakes and drinks possibly illegally sitting on a bench

My hot chocolate and cake were both excellent and worth another trip to the Front Room to try more of their cake range. Big George said his coffee was very good too. I would highly recommend a visit, especially at the moment.

Big George had taken off his gloves to consume his frittata so I was able to have a nice chat with Mr Scone-Hands who had apparently had never been to Bungay Castle before.

Bungay Castle which Mr Scone-Hand had never been to.

The return trip had wind behind so was speedier and warmer. Mr and Mrs Scone-Hands were both allowed out and told me they might be doing some baking this afternoon. I had rather warmed to them and certainly found Mr Scone-Hands more interesting and easier to understand than Big George so hopefully he will be able to come cycling with us again.

Final part of ride by which time Big George had sadly put his gloves on again
Scores

Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating

8.2

7.5

7.0

8.6

6.0

7.46

>Click here to download 40 mile Norwich Bungay loop gpx file for your gps




Monday, 11 January 2021

The Dark Knit Rises. (Long term corona virus update 4)

Long Term Corona Virus update 4

I should have learnt by now that you never tell anyone you're over your long term corona virus (LTCV) as it only ever ends in disappointment. This was certainly the case for me. I had started to regularly cycle again during September and was confident enough to say that, after 6 months, I had finally put the LTCV behind me. My how the virus must have been laughing as within a couple of days I was feeling ill again and spent most of October and November on the sofa.

It wasn't all bad news as with cycling on hold I decided I needed something else to occupy me on my road back to health and happiness. So I headed to my secret underground bicycle workshop to plan a new activity. After much thinking I decided knitting was the way forward and went in search of wool, needles and Youtube videos.

So this is what I have been up to since I became the Dark Knit and transformed the bike cave into an arts and crafts area. Sadly the one downside is that you can't knit and eat cake at the same time as its hard to operate the needles with sticky fingers.

Knitting area at Crusader Towers

I found that a bit of knitting everyday was good distraction from feeling unwell and set myself the task of knitting all my running friends bobble hats (like it or not). After 4 practice hats of various quality I was happy to wear one in public and felt my winter knitwear collection was complete.

The Dark Knit Winter 2020 collection

I therefore offered to knit my first hats for the running group. Both Jet and Sharon opted for a hat in my most ambitious stitch, the Moss, and on delivery they claimed they were happy to wear them, at least in my presence. 

So with the bobble hat production line in full swing I have also turned my attention to a new cape (or possibly blanket) and have set off on a 63 square, 3 colour, 4 stitch adventure which I hope to have complete by the start of the next pandemic in a few years time.

The start of the Cape Crusaders new 63 square knitted cape

One other bonus of knitting is being able to join in a knit and natter session, which you can do on zoom at the moment. Although cycling maintenance and football chat are rather light on the agenda you do pick up some top knitting tips. 

Knit and natter top knitting tip no 1. Don't knit with dark wool as it is more difficult to see what you are doing, especially if it goes wrong.

Having missed lockdowns one and two, which were more of lie downs for me, I am pleased to report I'm feeling a lot better and enjoying my daily exercise in lockdown 3. Obviously there is no opportunity for cycle cafe adventures but hopefully that will be back on the agenda soon. But in the meantime you will just have to make do with knitting tips and ideas.

BTW I'm still not saying I'm over LTCV yet as that is just asking for trouble.