Mannion & Co, York
Once upon a time if you wanted a shopping break in York, Betty’s was the only alternative to chain café’s. Now the city has lots of lovely tearooms for tea and cake or a full-blown lunch. We’ve covered a lot of them here: the Hairy Fig, Perky Peacock, Pig and Pastry and we’ve come rather late to the lovely Mannion & Co. Not because we didn’t love them from the start but, well, just because other stuff got in the way.
So now we’re making up for it with a celebration of all the lovely things Mannion’s has to offer. Begin with a window chock full of breads, cheeses, scones, pastries, brownies, macaroons, blousy meringues and enough tempting things to get you through the door when we guarantee you will be smitten.
Morning brings the smell of bacon wafting from the open kitchen at the far end, and the choice of bacon sandwiches, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, eggs benedict – all sorts. Later on, try scones and jam and cream, all served with exemplary coffee and tea in delightful Chinese teapots. Throughout the day there are sandwiches and soups, deli platters with a bit of everything and a specials board that might range from mushrooms on toast to merguez hotdog.
The cakes are knock-out, made in-house, by a small team alongside co-owner Andrew Burton who opened Mannion & Co in what was a York landmark greengrocer’s for 25 years belonging to Andrew’s in-laws John and Jean Mannion. Now the in-laws get to blow on their hands in a windy corner of York market supplying fruit and veg to the faithful customers who have not yet been seduced by the supermarkets, while Andrew and his co-chefs Dale and Peter work in the cosy fug of this charming little café. I’m sure they’re all very content with the arrangement. We certainly are.
There is a lovely rather more spacious Mannions in Helmsley.