Clearly the main draw of this cafe is the ice cream, which certainly looked fantastic, but as we didn't sample any my review is restricted solely to the food and drink side of the enterprise. One of the great joys of days out is the opportunity to sample various tea rooms and cafes, and Helmsley is certainly not short of choice as there is a plethora of such establishments to choose from.
This being the case, I would have thought that it would be considered important for any business to stand out from the crowd, and in the case of a tearoom you could do that by giving exta-special service and top quality fare - unfortunately the Ryeburn does neither. Don't get me wrong - as cafes go it is perfectly acceptable; it's just nothing special. All we had was tea and a couple of toasted sandwiches and both could be described as pretty bog-standard. The teas were served in mugs that were rather too much on the small side to provide a satisfying cuppa, and I really can't understand why they don't serve it in pots, with some extra hot water on the side - surely a pre-requisite of any good tearoom?
The toasted sandwiches were similarly unsatisfying, being made with thin-sliced, bog-standard bread and no hint of garnish. Surely it wouldn't take too much effort to use decent bread and put a slice of cucumber and tomato on the plate? The owners clearly take pride in putting together their ice cream creations and it's a shame that they can't put the same thought and effort into the "bread and butter" part of the business.
There are far better tea rooms in Helmsley and I would only come back to this one if the others were full - or for the ice cream of course.
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