THE last time we visited this venue it appeared more user friendly for a snack. We subsequently discovered that it had been winner of the Best Restaurant Tourism Award 2003/4.

On this occasion we were the only customers. We found it difficult to order within our snack budget and concluded it was definitely a place for an evening meal.

The venue has a nice feel to it. We sat at the front overlooking Goodramgate. There are more tables towards the back, beyond the kitchen.

Wooden tables stand on a polished floor. One wall was exposed brick and there was an attractive fireplace. Each table had a small vase of daffodil buds.

With two or three exceptions, all the main courses exceeded our budget of approximately £6.75 a head. Even soup and a pudding would have broken the rule.

Ann selected the wild mushroom and Stilton omelette (£5.95). While this was being prepared we enjoyed fresh, hot bread and butter.

How many eggs went into the omelette? Ann dare not speculate! It was substantial with plenty of mushrooms, some of which Ann found a bit rubbery.

This is a problem with mixed wild mushrooms which don't necessarily all cook at the same rate.

I was tempted to have the soup, white onion and tarragon (£3), and end with a pudding but this would have been too expensive. Nor would it have been fair to Ann who had made a modest choice.

So it was tomato risotto (£6.50) which was quite enjoyable with just the right amount of rice.

We couldn't fault the welcoming staff and background music. But we did wonder what the staff would have done had we not appeared and we debated the economics of opening at lunchtime when there is so much competition offering lower-priced snacks.

Perhaps we should revisit for a special occasion dinner. Then we may experience some of the "odd happenings" our waiter was prevailed upon to describe.

Updated: 08:32 Saturday, March 26, 2005