MAXINE GORDON and family go for brunch at Micklegate Social in York

IS brunch the new afternoon tea? A few years back, heading out with friends for a platter of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries was the trendy thing to do.

And while afternoon tea still seems popular, going out for breakfast and brunch is becoming a fashionable thing to do too – or so says a food industry report – particularly among the Millennials.

Certainly my teen daughter and her mates love to go out for brunch and can offer a useful critique of some of the best places in town. Top of the list includes Cosy Club and Bill's, while her friends like Busk in Fishergate and are keen to visit Partisan on Micklegate (which we reviewed enthusiastically last year with its Shakshuka – a skillet of baked eggs with spicy tomatoes, peppers and feta – winning top praise).

We are spoilt for choice with places to enjoy a hearty start to the day in York. Bishy Road is an obvious place to begin with the well-established Pig & Pastry and the more recent addition of Robinsons.

Micklegate is another good stomping ground. We've already reviewed Partisan, so decided to visit the new kid on the block, Micklegate Social, right at the top of the street, just metres from the Bar Walls.

This used to be Your Bike Shed until it was taken over last year by the team behind the popular and successful Fossgate Social (yes, on Fossgate).

It's a great space, spacious and full of light, on account of huge floor to ceiling windows throughout its corner plot. It serves drinks, including alcohol, and food daily. If you are coming here to eat, however, there are not many dining tables, with the majority of the seating being sofas around low coffee tables. Ideal if you fancy a cappuccino, but not so great if you are having a cooked breakfast.

When we arrived on Sunday around midday, all the dining tables were taken, so we headed downstairs to the "den" where one of three large, circular tables was free. This area was OK, and no doubt comes into its own in the evening, but being a basement, it is dark and dimly-lit. Compared with the lovely light room above, you feel a bit shortchanged.

Orders are placed and pre-paid at the bar. We were all hungry, so ordered a cooked breakfast each: full English for hubby (£8.60) and a veggie one for me and my daughter (£8.40 each). I don't eat eggs so asked if I could have something else instead. This wasn't a problem and I asked for some veggie sausages as, bizarrely, they are not included in the veggie breakfast. Instead, what is on offer is avocado, spinach, two free range eggs (fried or scrambled), balsamic mushrooms, baked beans, roast tomato and spinach with a slice of white bloomer toast. I ordered three coffees too, and asked for some water. Like its sister cafe in Fossgate, it has large jugs of water on the bar for people to help themselves. These were empty, so needed refilling. The glasses on the side were supposedly "clean" but looked murky and were far from sparkling.

Our coffees were brought to us first, and were good: hot and strong. After 25 minutes our breakfasts arrived – or at least two of them did. In the confusion over changing my order to include sausages the waitress had only ordered one veggie breakfast rather than two. I asked if it would be another 25 minutes for the third breakfast, but she assured us it would be the next one cooked by the chef. It was probably about ten minutes later – but by that time my husband and I were polishing off ours.

The staff did apologise, but reminded us to pay for it on the way out. Fair enough, but I think if I'd been the manager I might have offered the breakfast on the house, or offered a free drink to compensate for the mix-up. That loses a mark in my book for customer service. You can get things wrong - we all do - but the real test is how you make amends.

So how was the food? Good. It was a hot, filling, well cooked breakfast. My husband had no complaints, and my daughter was impressed (but still prefers Cosy Club on account of its halloumi and sweetcorn fritters). The best bit of mine was the avocado, which had just the right amount of firmness and creaminess and was nicely seasoned with a kick of chilli too. If I had one observation it was that it was slightly odd to have hot and cold food together, but that might just be me!

Breakfast brioches and pancakes are also on the menu as well as soup and a Mexican bean stew for those wanting something slightly different.

Our bill for three was £32.90.

Micklegate Social

148 Micklegate, York

T: 01904 348798

Food: filling 3.5/5

Service: OK 3.5/5

Ambience: Mixed 3/5

Value: Decent 3.5/5

Reviews are independent and meals paid for by The Press