THE café at this venue is upstairs, which means inspecting (or ignoring) an array of delicatessen and grocery items on the way in and out. We were asked to queue for a few minutes before being shown to a table. This was something of a surprise as there were plenty of vacant tables.

Food is available all day. Hard- or soft boiled free-range eggs (£2.10); scrambled egg with Dales smoked salmon (£6.25); or a full Yorkshire breakfast with tea or coffee (£8.95) could start you off.

We noticed a special Sunday lunch menu. For £5.95 there is a Yorkshire pudding filled with either beef braised in Sam Smith’s ale, chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce or cauliflower and broccoli in a rich Wensleydale cheese sauce. The ‘afters’ included Northallerton batter pudding with golden syrup and cream.

It was a week day when we visited. The day’s specials included broccoli and blue Wensleydale cheese soup (£3.50), jacket potato with cheese and bacon (£4.95) or a cheese and tomato quiche (£6.45).

A lighter snack could embrace a dry cured bacon muffin (£4.95) or a Yorkshire farmer’s lunch.

For us it was afternoon tea time. A pot of Yorkshire Gold tea (£2.90) with fresh milk and hot water gave us plenty to drink. Coffee was priced from £1.35 to £3.60 depending on variety and blend.

Ann requested a slice of rich, moist and moreish L&C fruit cake, agreeing that it lived up to its description and apparently being made from the secret family recipe.

The cake of the day was either lemon or chocolate. It was the former for me which, at £2.25, was moist with a lovely sharpness. We both resisted the invitation to add a scoop of Brymor ice cream, a slice of Wensleydale or a dollop of Stamfrey farm organic clotted cream.

We had expected the cafe to be busy, but it turned out to be remarkably quiet which made it all the more surprising how slow the staff were to clear vacated tables. The one next to us was covered in used crockery for a full half hour despite staff passing it regularly empty handed.

Our bill came to £7.10 which was reasonable for the quality and ambience. It proved to be a cheap stop as Ann was not tempted to indulge in any of the delicacies in the shop.