THE impressive atrium has been brought into use as a café, although we chose to sit in one of the two connecting rooms with the servery.

We selected a table where the specials board and servery could be seen. It proved to be difficult to get our knees under the table without jolting it. Prices have certainly jumped since our last visit to this café. All main courses were priced £8.50, salads £8.25 and puddings £3.50.

We turned our attention to the cheaper items. A full English breakfast cost £5.75 with eggs on toast £3.50. Jacket potatoes ranged from £3.60 to £4.75 depending on the filling, all of which were standard. Soup was advertised as gluten free.

Ann opted for a sandwich of chicken with avocado (£5.50). The sandwich was fine although the accompanying single thin slice of cucumber, quarter of a small tomato and the outer ring of a red onion raised an eyebrow.

Spotting something different I requested the ’chunky mushrooms in a simple garlic and chive butter sauce, mixed leaf salad and warm baguette’. It was delicious, but... the button mushrooms (white) served in a white bowl and a white baguette (not warm) gave the plate an insipid appearance. Clearly this should have been coloured by the green leaf salad, but where was it?

Ann went to the servery and had difficulty in deciding which of the cakes to select. She returned with a generous portion of Florentine (£2.25) which we shared. This can only be described as a cake to die for, packed with currants, glace cherries and coconut. When paying, I commented on the absence of salad with the mushrooms, to be told that the chef’s assistant had remarked it was the first time she had prepared this item. But full marks for customer care.

We were pressured to take away a cake of our choice. We chose a brownie, which was also delicious.

The food was good, with gluten-free bread available, but we felt the layout of the café made it rather soulless. However, the sign on the table prohibiting mobile telephone was welcome.