We return to Bedale – the location of the recent excursion for a £60 a head Sunday lunch at Hansom – the new restaurant at the North End of town near St Gregory’s Church

You may recall we thought it brilliant but pricey for a Sunday roast in these parts.

But while we were there we spotted just a few doors down the street an unpretentious-looking café – The North End.

Spotted is not quite the right word because we were aware of it, having dropped in for a coffee a while back. We liked the simple and straightforward vibe to the place – unpretentious as I’ve said – and thought it worthy of a more consequential visit. And it was.

Open since 2017 under the hands-on ownership of Emma and Stephen Jones, The North End Café is nowt flash – and I use that phrase in the best sense. It is simple fare, well-prepared and served with a warm welcome and a friendly smile.

It is big on using local suppliers and lists them prominently on the wall – Lonton Coffee of Barnard Castle, Taylors of Harrogate tea, Dales Dairies milk, Yorkshire Dales Meat, Shepherd’s Purse Cheese, Arthur Haigh’s black pudding, The Bedale Greengrocer and so on.

Without doubt they could source stuff from cheaper suppliers so well done them for keeping it local. There’s no evidence that using premium produce is particularly reflected in the prices so well done them again.

I presume the building was once a shop, the café space is light and airy thanks to large window at the front which affords customers who manage to get a table there panoramic views of the northern end of Bedale’s broad main thoroughfare. Chantry Hall is almost opposite. A perch here guarantees excellent opportunities to check out what’s going on and who’s going where. You’ll miss nothing.

It was very busy when we fetched up one weekday lunchtime and all those tables at the front were taken. Accommodated at the back, we had a view of the serving counter and part of what looked like an absolutely tiny kitchen.

The placed is furnished with an eclectic collection of tables and chairs, old British Railways posters of Yorkshire tourist destinations adorn the walls and the colour scheme is bright with a lime/sage green accent. Which sounds a bit alarming but is actually quite understated.

With opening hours of 9am until 2pm, the menu straddles breakfast/brunch/lunch with a bunch of sweet treat tearoom favourites for those just wanting coffee/tea and a cake.

Breakfasts range from the classic full English to American-style pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.

The brunch/lunch options include sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, Yorkshire rarebit and daily changing quiches and soups.

There’s also a pulled pork sandwich (£10.25) – my choice – served in a brioche bun with sides of apple sauce, coleslaw, tortilla chips and some dressed salad.

The pork was very good, clearly cooked long and slow, so that it fell apart without being stringy. There was little bit of heat to it and the combination of the sharpish slaw – homemade along with the apple sauce – worked well.

We asked about the recipe for the pork but it turned out it was a secret. Well, it would be wouldn’t it?

The salad was more than a token gesture with mixed leaves, cucumber, pepper and cherry tomato and the balsamic-based dressing had just a hint of sweetness.

Sylvia’s cheese, ham and onion toastie (£9.50) was more than serviceable. Served in two slices of white bloomer (granary and a gluten-free bread options are also available), it was a generous filling. It came with the same salad, the excellent coleslaw and some salted crisps.

That humble toastie rather encapsulates what makes The North End work. It does the simple things well.

I finished by indulging my sweet tooth with a slice of gluten-free Sicilian lemon and almond cake, a sort of lemon drizzle with added piquancy, moreish heft from the almonds and a sugared top which added some welcome texture. Top notch.

It turns out Emma’s an ace baker, specialising in gluten-free varieties. All the cakes served in the café are her creations.

Service was good with Stephen running the show behind the counter assisted by a young waitress who kept on top of the tables – all of which were full of people eating lunch or just having a coffee and cake.

With a latte and a sparkling water, the bill came to just a shade under £30. No complaints with that – or with anything else.

The North End Café

19 North End, Bedale DL8 1AF

Tel: 01677 424922 Web: thenorthend.co.uk

Open 9am-2pm Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Closed Thursday and Sunday

Ratings (out of ten): Food quality 8 Service 9 Surroundings 7 Value 9