DURING the course of the past year, we have visited 44 cafés and snack spots. For once we included a pub, the Four Alls, and the Royal York Hotel because each offered value we felt could not be overlooked.

Six of our surveys covered premises that had changed hands since an earlier visit and 11 were of venues we had previously visited but maybe as long as ten years ago.

We never cease to be amazed at the number and variety of new snack spots that spring up.

We question the commercial viability of some and applaud the imaginative approach of others.

Some venues lend themselves to good weather. Take, for example, Grays Court in York, where you can relax in the walled garden on a fine day.

But equally, you can take cover within the elegance of the historic house.

Fish and chips has long been an established British meal. York and district is well catered for these speciality outlets and we were rather taken by Tritons. Within yards of the busy A64 (west carriageway) but shielded by a high fence, we enjoyed our snack at Bilbrough Top and have returned there for social reasons since.

Yorkshire villages produce some surprises, not least Helperby, where we were delighted to discover Raines. The venue combines the village shop and post office with the small café.

Pattacakes in Welburn, just off the A64 at the top of Whitwell Hill is a speciality bakery and café that offers the opportunity to sample homemade bread, cakes and other delicacies. Since our visit, we have been told by a number of people how delighted they were with this find.

On a clear day, what could be better than the view over the plain of York from Yorkshire Lavender at Terrington. Window seats in the café provide just as good a view as you linger over morning coffee or afternoon tea, which must include the lavender-flavoured products.

And, finally, a revisit to Jenny’s in Harrogate did not disappoint. It is off the beaten track in Montpellier Mews, but well worth the effort to find it. The café is small, but on a good day there are plenty of seats in the courtyard.

As always, we are grateful to our readers for keeping us informed about new venues and changes in ownership and Graeme has enjoyed meeting many of you at the talks he gives to the numerous social groups that meet around the area.