THE FIRST thing that struck us as we entered this café was the five-star hygiene rating certificate.

The café is on two levels. We did not investigate the basement area where the kitchen is also located. We were shown to a table near enough to the window to see activity in Blake Street.

There was a prominent request that mobile telephones should not be used. In addition to refreshments, china novelties, necklaces and earrings were displayed for sale.

For a light bite, scones, toasted teacakes and fruit cake were modestly priced. High tea, on the other hand, cost £12.50 per person.

Ploughman’s, fruit and cheese platter or a salad could be tempting had the weather not suggested that something hot would be more desirable.

Toasted sandwiches (£4.25) came with a variety of fillings including brie and plum chutney.

Ann chose a jacket potato with smoked haddock in a cheese sauce (£5.50). While we waited for this to be prepared, we were provided with a pot of tea (£3.60) which in due course was supplemented by a jug of hot water.

The chef eventually appeared from below with our lunch. A steaming bowl of vegetable and lentil soup for me which was delicious.

Ann’s potato was soft and fluffy although the sauce was on the thin side and more fish would have been appreciated.

I couldn’t resist a pudding – jam roly poly (£3.95) with ice cream. Once again, my sweet tooth had got the better of me and I wasn’t disappointed.

There was a steady turnover of customers and it was noticeable how quickly the vacated tables were cleared and wiped.

Although one or two people may have had to wait a short time, no one was faced with a table laden with dirty crockery when they sat down.

Once again, we had a pleasant snack in one of York’s long-established cafés.