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HT Mashup: Reviews

Café Review - Francis Tearooms


Put your head round the wooden partitions and you're bound to spot Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard having a brief encounter. Or maybe that tinkling in the chandeliers is caused by a Bulgarian secret agent having a fight with James Bond in the next compartment.

It's that mixture of genteel and conspiratorial that makes the Francis Tearooms such an experience. This throwback to the forties and beyond has so many nice touches: glimpses in the many mirrors, stained glass casting a soft light, embroidered teacloths.

The menu matches, of course. Try a selection of 'reception sandwiches' or choose from three kinds of rarebit. No wartime spirit in the cream teas: these excellent scones come with a hefty pot of homemade strawberry jam and swirls of cream.

Don't bother with the fancy choice of teas - just take the regular kind, poured rich and orange through a strainer of course, this is leaf tea - and savour.
Janis Bright

Francis Tearooms, South Street, Scarborough, open 9.30am-4pm Tues to Sat


Restaurant Review - The Bramblewick


Take a trip a few miles up the coast to Robin Hoods Bay, make your way down the cobblestone road to the slipway and you're at one of the Yorkshire Coast's most enticing restaurants: The Bramblewick.

This cosy little restaurant, cleanly decked out, specialises in candlelit dinners for two. Try fragrant lemongrass chicken with rice, wilted spinach, little dollops of exquisitely smooth sweet potato puree and a crazy headdress of crispy rice noodles.

Or how about the chowder: I'm not usually one to approve of spending £12 on a bowl of soup, but after the huge dish of tenderly cooked chunks of salmon, whole mussels, prawns and king scallops, and unlimited ciabatta refills, you will think this is real value. Great olives, great wine, and cooked-to-perfection fish.
Ruth Sleightholme

Bramblewick Restaurant, Robin Hood's Bay, Tel 01947 880960

Café Review - Café View


The first thing they did was to get rid of the deep fat fryers. A breath of fresh air from Eastborough, Café View is fresh, cool and clean. The decor is silvery grey, with marble tables, chrome chairs, and an extravagant panoramic view of the whole of the South Bay, headland to headland. The staff are excellent, willing to chat to customers and tempt them to something on the sweet menu.

The food is a mixture of Mediterranean and Yorkshire: a ciabbata of Wensleydale cheese and Old Yorkshire Chutney (a delicious, spicy affair) or a bruschetta of tomato, red onion and basil. Café View's salads are a speciality: colourful, moist and fresh, full of the flavours of walnuts, grapes, and dark, Italian leaves. They serve unusually good coffee, and bright combinations of strawberries, raspberries, cream and meringue.

The children's menu was a relief. Usually the worst, here they serve toasted cheese triangles with bread, carrot and celery sticks, Dairylea, organic fruit juice and raisins: not a chicken dinosaur in sight.

The freshness of the food speaks for itself: fruit and veg from the market just across the road, meat from the local butchers, and specialists such as the Bothams of Whitby plum bread. This business understands its audience, serving a traditional lunch deal of sandwich, hot drink and teacake or scone alongside their more inventive dishes. And, essentially, the price is reasonable too.
Ruth Sleightholme