MAXINE GORDON checks out the new Eat Out to Help Out scheme with a family lunch at Naburn

ON Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August, many restaurants, cafes and bars are taking part in the Government's new Eat Out to Help Out scheme which gives diners up to £10 off their meals.

Although we knew about this scheme, we didn't realise the Waterfront Cafe at York Marina in Naburn was taking part until our lunch bill arrived and was half the price of what we expected!

The Waterfront Cafe has a knock-out location, right on the banks of the Ouse and is just a short hop from the off-road cycle path which links York with Selby.

It replaces a smaller cafe on the site and has been welcoming visitors for more than a year.

You can choose to sit inside our out. Outdoors, some tables are under a large marquee, complete with portable heaters. There are also wooden picnic-style tables and benches closer to the river bank which are open to the elements.

Amazing views over the Ouse

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It was a dry day, so we chose the latter. We booked ahead (advisable) via the website. A £5 per person booking fee is required to secure your table - and protect the cafe against no-shows.

Covid-safety measures were in evidence, from the sanitising station at the entrance to the one-way system around the cafe. Menus were downloadable on to our smart phones via a QR code displayed on the table (my daughter helped me with this). Otherwise, paper menus could be requested.

Lunch is served from noon til 4pm and besides the menu, specials are available too, marked up on a board at the entrance.

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On our visit these included prawn Marie Rose sandwich (£6.95), beef and spring onion sesame seed salad (£7.95), cauliflower cheese gluten-free quiche (£8.50) and a halloumi kebab with flatbread (£14).

I chose the kebab while my companions chose from the main menu: eggs royale (£7.25) for my daughter and a minute steak sandwich with onions and fries (£10.95) for my husband.

Thirsty work!

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A round of drinks came first: an ice cold Orangina, ginger beer and elderflower presse (each at £2.95). I also asked for a glass of tap water. Cycling is thirsty work!

We took in the setting as we enjoyed our drinks. You can hire boats from here should you wish to take to the water rather than sit by the side and admire the view. We saw one family, carrying a large cool box, scuttle down the gangway eager to begin their adventure.

Special of the day

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Our food arrived and we tucked in. My halloumi kebab amounted to one metal skewer of generous hunks of golden-hued cheese, interspersed with chunks of pepper and onion. It had been nicely grilled so everything still had a bit of a bite and the cheese had turned soft on the inside. Underneath were two, soft, lightly toasted flat breads and a yoghurt dressing was drizzled over the top. I slid the contents of the kebab on to the flatbreads and ate it all as if it were a pizza. It was tasty, but at the full price of £14, I thought is was expensive for what it was. Luckily, under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, I didn't have to pay full price, so I can live with that.

In contrast, the other two dishes were of the 'Yorkshire portions' variety. My daughter's eggs royale amounted to two English muffins layered with heaps of salty smoked salmon, two poached eggs and a generous covering of custard yellow Hollandaise sauce. Absolutely scrumptious, she devoured the lot - albeit having a rest in between each muffin.

Yorkshire portions

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The minute steak sandwich was stuffed into a large piece of ciabatta, which was also crammed full of fried onions. A pile of chips and dish of coleslaw finished the substantial dish. If my fella had one complaint it was that the steak was a bit over done.

The cafe has a good selection of treats, including cakes, traybakes and scones. We felt it would be rude to leave without trying them out and so a Bakewell tart, orange and passionfruit cake and oat and date slice were duly ordered along with a round of hot drinks - flat white coffees (£3.30), including a decaf one for me, and one peppermint tea (£2.75).

Gosh, these were all excellent - and it would be worth a walk or cycle to Naburn just to pop into the Waterfront for a cuppa and a cake.

Time for cake!

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The Bakewell tart was light and full of lovely flavours of cherry and almond - a flavour combo made in heaven. Equally divine was the orange and passionfruit cake with a stand-out orange jelly in the middle (they should put this in a jar and sell it; I'd walk on my hands to Naburn to buy a pot!). The oat slice was soft and gooey and hit the spot too.

All the drinks were excellent, even my decaf coffee, which can often be a disappointment and taste like ditch water rather than the real McCoy.

Our bill came to £60.65, but with the Eat Out to Help Out discount it was reduced to just £30.65. (note: the discount applies to food and drink, but not alcoholic ones).

Service is friendly and informative. We'll be back!

The Waterfront Café,

York Marina, Naburn, YO19 4RW

T: 01904 621021 (opt 2)


Food: Filling 3.5/5

Service: Friendly 4/5

Ambience: Great setting 5/5

Value: Good 4/5

Reviews are independent and all meals paid for by The Press