SHOPPERS were taking the opportunity to visit the city centre during a lull in the bad weather. As a result, this venue was busy.

With tables placed closely together, intimate conversation could be limited.

Menus are on the tables, but orders have to be placed at the servery. There was the predictable range of hot and cold sandwiches, salads and jacket potatoes. Breakfast is available until noon. Soup of the day at £3.85 was chicken and sweetcorn.

We could see that a seasonal hot sandwich (£5.25) of brie, cranberries and port could be a winner, but not for us.

Ann’s choice was egg mayonnaise in brown bread. The bread was extremely fresh and soft. Ann’s approval can always be judged by the crusts that are left. On this occasion there were none!

I chose a panini with pepperoni, something we don’t have at home. It was delicious. Both sandwiches came with garnish and crisps.

Our table was adjacent to the cabinet displaying a variety of gateaux. Carrot cake, each slice marked out with a marzipan or icing carrot looked most attractive. The apple pie, scones and pastries were equally tempting but we resisted.

Two pots of tea each, coming with a small biscuit, rounded off our snack which cost £13.55. While we always appreciate fresh milk, we often wonder why the jugs have to be filled to the brim which makes pouring difficult.

The food and ambience were as good as we remembered from our last visit about four years ago.

The staff were friendly and the service slick, with gloves worn by those involved in food preparation.

We were, however, disappointed to discover that the inside of our milk jug certainly would have benefited from a visit to the dishwasher.