GRAEME ROBERTSON visits York’s new cafe, De’Clare, at 1, Peter Lane, off Market Street.

ANOTHER new venue and we were hard pressed to remember who had previously occupied the premises.

With white walls broken up by a display of paintings by Amie Antoniak, white tables and chairs the initial impression was light and airy but clinical.

We settled for a table in the corner. The menu indicated the café opens at 8am closing at 6pm at the beginning of the week and 8pm later on. Sunday hours are shorter.

Brunch (£8.50) and bacon sandwiches (£4.75) are available until 11.30am.

There is a healthy option of fruit compote with Greek yoghurt and granola.

The scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on rye bread or porrage with golden syrup sounded equally appetising.

We were surprised that at 12.30pm the person who took our order had no idea what the soup was.

When it arrived, the lentil and coriander was hot and thick. At £4.50 with fresh bread it was a meal in itself.

I had a ciabatta with ham, Fountain Gold (cheese) and onion marmalade (£6.50). This came in soft fresh bread with a neat garnish of celeriac, Kohlrabi and red cabbage.

We understood that cakes in this café were a must.

The Victorian sponge, chocolate cake with Guinness, white chocolate with Sauterne, apple with maple icing, banana muffins looked mouth-watering.

I chose a piece of orange and almond cake with a small dish of cream to share with Ann.

We agreed that it was delicious and well worth the £4 charge.

If you are a meringue fan, the ones here are £5 but described as oversized! Cappuccino at £2 and tea at £2.10 per pot are examples of the drinks.

In terms of hygiene, we were surprised to note that nearly all the cakes on the counter and in the window were uncovered.