Cakes, coffee and two wheels

We mentioned in the last issue of appetite that our chief taste tester Gary Ramsay and an intrepid group of nine others were about to embark on a three-day, 200- mile cycling challenge from Tynemouth to Edinburgh to raise funds for Newcastle-based aid organisation No Strings.

Well, we’re delighted to report that the team completed the ride and managed to raise more than £3,500 in the process.

A large chunk of the trip was spent cycling through Northumberland and Gary made sure there were frequent refuelling stops en route, purely in the name of research of course.

As Gary explains: “Before we started our journey we had to meet up for a last-minute pep talk, so Mister Woods in Tynemouth was an obvious choice for coffee and biscuits to set us on our way.

“In the event, it was a struggle to leave and it was only the kind offer of sponsorship from owner Steve Woods that persuaded us to make a start. I think he needed the space.”

The team’s next stopping point was Warkworth for lunch, and while a couple of the guys went off for soup and a sarnie at a local pub, the rest discovered the pleasures of the Topsey Turvey café on the main street.

“They had a fantastic selection of homemade cakes in the window and after a hot chocolate and chocolate brownie we were ready for the next stretch,” says Gary.

After a short haul into Craster, where the Shoreline Café provided a welcome mid-afternoon tea and cake stop, the team’s next destination was Seahouses, arriving late afternoon with 60 miles covered and enough cake stops to keep them going.

They stayed at the Links Hotel, where they enjoyed an evening meal, a kip and a hearty breakfast to set them up for day two.

The Barn at Beal provided day two’s first stop, for a fantastic view of Holy Island and a quick cappuccino.

The boys then headed towards Berwick, and just before the town they encountered what must be the most picturesque ice cream van in Britain and another irresistible stop-off.

After Berwick, there was time for a quick stop at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm for Doddington’s honey ice cream and then on to Norham for the team’s last food stop in Northumberland.

There, R G Foreman & Son butchers homemade pies provided a fine afternoon snack on the village green before the team departed England with some of the finest tastes of Northumberland to fuel them on their way to Edinburgh.

Gary’s team cycled from Tynemouth to Edinburgh in three days to raise money for Newcastle-based No Strings, which educates children in the developing world about natural and man-made threats to life. To support the organisation, please see 


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