A WALLED garden setting which has weathered wars, floods and now the coronavirus crisis is enticing guests back - with the offer of cake.

Merchants' Coffee House is usually found within the medieval guildhall, still home to the Merchant Adventurers whose 660-year history of entrepreneurship, wealth and experience has built York.

The cafe has reopened after the lockdown, to offer refreshments at tables and chairs in the garden next to Britain's oldest surviving guildhall.

Despite the inclement weather, passers-by showed their support by stopping for some of the cafe's locally-sourced food and drinks on the first day.

Rob Haigh, beadle, usually responsible for ceremonial duties and hall hire, said: "We are looking forward to getting people back in. We have always had quite a few locals who have enjoyed the museum and cafe. Hopefully they will come back.

"We have done extensive cleaning and have moved tables so they are socially distanced, with signage to make it as risk free as possible. It deserves people to come and enjoy it."

Drinks available include hot and cold drinks, along with alcoholic beverages, including wine, Prosecco, York Gin with Yorkshire Tonic, York Gin Roman Fruits with Yorkshire Tonic, York Brewery Guzzler, and The Great Yorkshire Brewery Lager. Food includes a Yorkshire Ploughman’s Lunch, and Mediterranean Salad, alongside a variety of sandwiches and cakes.

The entrance passageway from Fossgate will remain closed for now, but level access is available upon request, with details at the Piccadilly and Fossgate entrances or in advance.

The dining area and counter will be sanitised at the start and end of service, while tables, chairs and reusable menus will be cleaned after use.

Rob said they were working on preparing the Hall to open.

The Press Love Local Business campaign is promoting local shops, cafes and other services as they reopen to help their recovery. Email your business story to nadia.jeffersonbrown@thepress.co.uk