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

Sunday 31 October 2021

October Cafes visited for Cake Crusader Audit

Café Audit October 2021

I have been doing this blog for nearly 10 years and have done over 400 reviews with over 250 cafes currently reviewed on my locations map (well done me). However despite trying to keep things up to date lots of cafes come and go. Therefore I’m undertaking a full audit to remove closed cafes from the map and update the scores of as many venues as possible as I go on my regular café cycle trips. Each month I’ll give a quick update on the cafes I have revisited. So here is October’s list, which are some of my all time favourites.

1. Peppers in East Harling (see Love it or hate it for original review, route and current rating)

Excellent cafe located in what appears to be someone’s large back garden. 

As you can see it has some of the finest cakes around.

There is lots of outdoor space plus a few tables inside

Well worth a visit.

2. Old Hall Farm near Woodton (see Layering for original review, route and current rating)

Café at farm shop off the Norwich Bungay. Has a good selection of cakes and plenty of indoor and out door space.

There is a full menu or you can get things like sausages rolls from Farm shop.

There is also a mini animal farm by the car park including an Emu and who doesn’t love an Emu in a car park.
Always a reliable stop for a cafe bike ride and I go there a lot (especially on a Monday)

3. Stiffkey Stores, Stiffkey on North Norfolk coast road (see Wheres the Sea? for original review, route and current rating)

Café is at stores and over the years has got busier with a wider selection of excellent cakes.

Cakes and pastries are very good backed up by decent hot drinks all served in paper cups and paper (literally) papers.
All seating is in outside courtyard area but there are some sheds as well that you can sit in on colder or wetter days. 

Its more of a coffee and cake stop rather than a lunch venue but if that's what you are after then I recommend you check it out.

4. Ravenous café near Raveningham (see Annoying Squeak for original review, route and current rating)

Nice rustic café the East side of Loddon near Raveningham. 

Excellent sausage rolls and cakes although not a huge selection.  Drinks are good too.

Plenty of outdoor seating plus some inside. We had a very enjoyable stop there on this occasion.

5. Chestnuts Coffee Fundenhall (see Back to Business for original review, route and current rating)

Always a favourite destination and you are guaranteed a warm welcome. Lovely setting with plenty of room for bikes.

As well as great drinks, especially the hot chocolate that comes in 3 strengths, there is now one of the best traybake selections anywhere making choosing a difficult task.
At weekends the pizza oven is fired up if you want something savoury to accompany your cake.
A must visit café for all local cyclists.

6. Terrace Cafe, Loddon (see Damn Knees for original review, route and current rating)

Lovely views of the church from the round the back outdoor seating area where I encourage all cyclists to go although there is a smaller terrace area overlooking central Loddon at the front.

The cakes and scones are very good 
The hot chocolate is excellent although I'm told by my cycling guests that the coffee is fairly standard fair. 
Defiantly worth checking out.

7. Tea Post, North Elmham (see Lull before the Storm for original review, route and current rating)

Small cafe and post office in North Elmham. Very friendly. No outdoor seating space so hard to keep eye on your bikes.

Cakes are excellent, hot chocolate good and good range of teas that come in a fancy pot. 
Have always had enjoyable time on several visits here so a definitely worth a trip.

8. Earsham Street Cafe (see Second Opinion for original review, route and current rating)

Has been my Cake Crusader number 1 rated cafe since records begun. Situated on Earsham Street in Bungay you can wheel your bikes through the cafe to some bike racks out the back.

The cakes and scones are some of the best I have ever had and I've never been disappointed

There is plenty indoor seating or a lovely courtyard area at the back.

The coffee and hot chocolate are some of the best too.

Its a must visit for all cafe cyclists.

9. Pennoyer Center (see A Long Way Round for original review, route and current rating)
Its a community cafe with all the cakes baked by people in the village and they are always fantastic.

Today was no exception with the fruit cake to die for.

Records show that it is my most visited cafe as it never disappoints.

So that's Octobers audit complete only another 241cafes to go. Let’s see how I get on in November.

Thursday 28 October 2021

Rivers and Broads. (Dunes River Cafe, Acle)

Dunes River Cafe,


Most days (weather dependent) 09:00-5:00

It was a very bleak and windy looking day and coincidentally we were going to be heading into the bleakest and windiest part of Norfolk on yesterday’s cafe cycle ride. I had planned a tour of Norfolk rivers and Broads with a stop at the Dune River Cafe at Acle Bridge. 

The cafe at Acle Bridge has been on my cafes to visit list longer than any other as it is difficult to get to on a bike and has often been seasonal. It has also changed hands more than once and is now run by the same people who had the Dune cafe at Winterton beach before it sadly fell onto the beach.

I met with Andrew(who is notoriously hard to please) at Hard to Please House in Aylsham and as always spent sometime discussing the best clothing options for a bleak and windy, but still warm, trip into Broadland. Once cycling attire faffing was complete we set off and headed to our first river crossing at Potter Heigham. 

River action from Potter Heigham Bridge

Because of all the rivers in this part of the county there are less roads to choose from and the ones there are are often very busy. It also seemed to be international “drive on the smallest road you can” day as even the little lanes were full of cars.

Our next river crossing was at Acle Bridge where we found today’s cafe. Unfortunately there is a long stretch of busy road to get there so we were rather relived to make it in one piece although surprisingly we weren’t the only cyclists there today. Although we did at least remove our helmets whilst at the cafe.

Outside the Dune River Cafe. See if you can spot some other cyclists 

It was reasonably busy with most people opting to sit outside. There is a bit of room inside plus an overflow shed seating area which was also in use.

A prime outdoor table had just become free so Andrew settled in there whilst I checked out the cake selection and placed our order.

The cake selection was mainly tray bake and pastries in nature. I couldn’t resist the giant cherry Danish pastry whilst Andrew had a cheese sandwich (which is not cake). I wasn’t optimistic about the hot drinks as they came from a push button machine but for the sake of research I still opted for a Hot Chocolate but Andrew decided a cup of tea was the safest bet.

It was very relaxing sitting by the river watching the broads cruisers go by although it was still rather bleak.

Still looking bleak, even by the river.

Our refreshments arrived and sadly, as predicted, the hot chocolate was poor. However the giant cherry Danish pastry didn’t disappoint and scored well.

I toted up the scores and incredibly it got the same rating as the Dune Cafe at Winterton (before it fell down). Proving once again what a thorough and consistent Cafe rating system I had invented.

We were also surrounded by ducks and Andrew wanted to know if I thought he should give them so e grated cheese from his sandwich. I didn’t think that many animals made cheese in the wild so it probably wasn’t part of a ducks regular diet and probably best avoided. Anyway there wasn’t time for Animal petting as we had more rivers and broads to visit.

Our next stop was Ranworth broad. Presumably as it was half term, then the whole of the Ranworth broad marina complex was full with all moorings taken. It wasn’t the tranquil stop I had hoped for so we pushed to our final river crossing at Wroxham.

The only bit of Ranworth broad with no boats

This was the busiest of all with a traffic queue all the way through town and lots of river boat action.

With all river crossings now complete it was a final push back to Aylsham with our 50 mile bleak Broadland adventure complete and although it made a nice change it was a good reminder why I don’t often cycle out that way. 


Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating







Route to be published shortly 

Friday 1 October 2021

Waterproofs on or off? (The Old Dairy, Stanfield)

The Old Dairy,


Tue-Sat 09:00-4:00,

Highly Recommended
After an interesting 18 months, what with one thing and another, then I'm determined to up my cycle cafe reviewing game as there has been much change to the local cafe scene and I have got a bit behind. 

Therefore, today I met up with Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please) at Hard to Please House (HTPH) in Aylsham for a trip to the Old Dairy at Stanfield. It has previously been reviewed as the Barn and Hamptons at the Barn, both of which used to sell home furnishing tat as well as being a cafe so I was keen to see how it performed in its latest pure cafe guise.

The forecast was not good with strong winds and rain forecast as the weather had turned distinctly autumnal. Fortunately, we both had our shake dry Gore waterproof tops. It is the best waterproof I have ever had. Andrew had recommended it and as he is notoriously hard to please then I knew I was on to a winner. I have used it all through the damp spring and summer weather and remained dry.

The weather was dry when we set off but after a few miles it started to rain so I stopped by a field of sunflowers to put my waterproof on. I asked Andrew why he wasn't putting his on. He revealed that he had never used it as he didn't want to spoil it by getting it wet! As the rain got heavier, I eventually persuaded him to put it on and he reluctantly broke it in. 

About to put my waterproof on in a field of sunflowers
A little damp we arrived at the Old Dairy and parked our bikes undercover in the outdoor front patio seating area (There is a larger out the back outdoor seating area but not surprisingly it was not in use today).
Outside todays target cafe 
We obviously sat inside to keep dry. I checked out the cake selection which wasn't large but varied so fairly effective and attracted a reasonable effective cake selection (ECS) score.
Todays smallish but effective cake selection

I'm always nervous at the next part of my cycle cafe review process. The system demands I have a hot chocolate while my cycling guest/s review the coffees and teas under the guest hot drink category. However, over the years, I have realised that a cheap hot chocolate powdered drink is quite unpleasant so I now ask what type it is before ordering. If it is the rubbish sort, I just give it a standard 5 out of 10 and have a nice pot of tea instead.

However, there was no such problem here as there was an actual Hot Chocolate menu with a selection of strengths and varieties. Fantastic!

Hot chocolate menu

I opted for a Vanuatu chocolate from Malekula island as I was attracted by its cherry, lemon and white grape tones.

On the cake front it was brownie and, as Andrew wasn't caking with his pot of tea, I took some home so Mrs Crusader could help with the cake ratings.

When the hot chocolate arrived it certainly lived up to expectations and was one of the best, I have had in ages so top marks although I couldn't detect the cherry, lemon and white grape tones. It was more chocolate flavour.  As confirmed by Mrs Crusader then the brownie was pretty good too.

Top hot chocolate

Any cafe which has, and then delivers on its hot chocolate menu automatically deserves a visit and with the nice cakes and pleasant setting as well then, I highly recommend you go.

On the way back the weather couldn't make its mind up, so it was waterproofs on, just as it was stopping raining and waterproofs off just before it started again. Although Andrew didn't bother putting his on in case it got wet again.

It was water proofs off, or possibly on again

Next week I return to Terrace Cafe (see last review Damn Knees) as I forgot to have a hot chocolate when I reviewed it so need to complete the process. So pop back to see the hot chocolate update 


Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating








Click here to download 48 Mile Aylsham Stanfield loop gpx file to your gps