MIDDLEMOOR is a lone flag flying on an empty country road. Middlemoor is in the middle of nowhere. It is nearly near the hamlet of Brokes, which is quite close to Holly Hill which is just about a suburb of Richmond.

It’s postal address claims it is at Hudswell, but if you end up there, you are on the wrong road.

But it is a hell of a find.

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It is a farm café on the tank road over the tops to Leyburn. It’s only been open since May, but good reports are already abroad because it tries to be a little bit more than just a bog standard farm café – you get nasturtium flowers in your salad, for example.

Although the car park is a little agricultural – we pulled up beside a barn amid a pile of horse poles and bits of old ploughing equipment – the café is set in an attractive, flower-filled garden with plenty of outside tables. This being August in England, the thermometer on the pagoda was stuck on 17 degrees and there were bits of rain blowing on the breeze, so everyone was inside, sheltering from the English summer.

We got the last available table on Saturday lunchtime. The standard menu offers sandwiches, panninis, soup, quiche and a couple of salads. It is augmented by a specials menu on a huge roll of brown paper hanging from the ceiling. There were salmon fish cakes (£9.50) and a spiced lamb burger (£10), but Petra went for the Peppers Piedmontese (£8.50) while I opted for the Middlemoor Farmers’ Platter (£8.50). The kids, lucky things, had sandwiches and a bowl of rustic chips (£2.50).

Rarely has Petra enthused about a dish as she did over her Peppers Piedmontese. The menu said it was slow roasted red and yellow peppers stuffed with tomatoes, garlic, basil, balsamic onions and capers and rosemary sour dour croutons. Cooked to perfection, she gave it ten out of ten. On our culinary expeditions, she is notoriously hard to please, so this was a remarkable result.

However, for my taste I can think of little worse than a huge mound of slithery, tomatoey vegetables, which is why I had ordered the proper food: pie, ham, cheese.

The pork pie was from Taylors of Richmond and was beautifully fresh and heated just enough to get its aromatic juices flowing. The homecooked ham was fine, and a trio of local cheeses (Swaledale smoked and a very good blue plus a chunk of Wensleydale) made for a very full platter.

It came with a Branstonesque homemade pickle and a cup of coleslaw. I’ve mentioned before how artisan-made coleslaw should become a farmers’ market speciality alongside the homemade marmalades, chocolates and chillis, and this was a good, crunchy coleslaw, not especially creamy, but I would mark it down a point in my coleslaw classification for looking a little raggedy.

But the salad was stunning. There was greenery, there were slithers of cucumber and carrot, there was purple cress, and there was a trio of beetroot – candied, yellow and red – and a quartet of tomatoes – red, green, yellow and cherry. And it was topped by a homegrown flower: the kids got pansies, Petra got a blue cornflower petal and I got a nasturtium, which at first had no taste at all but then suddenly burst into a surprise mouthful of peppery cress.

I haven’t studied a salad so much, and I have never consumed beetroot so much. In fact, there’s only so much beetroot I can take. A duo would have done.

Desserts, on a blackboard, were £4.20 each. Between us, we chose a blackberry and apple crumble with custard, a white chocolate crème brulee with violet shortbread biscuits, and a chocolate brownie with Brymor cherry ice cream.

Young son delighted in mixing up his huge bowl of fruity crumble with his jug of custard; wife and daughter entered a debate about whether violet shortbread, decorated with real violets, overpowered the delicate white chocolate brulee, while I enjoyed my manly brownie which became a black forest gateau with the cherry ice cream.

The bill for the four of us for a lightish Saturday lunch, with dessert and drinks, came to £56.70, which, we thought, was pretty good value as we tried to find our way home again.

Food Facts

Middlemoor Farm Cafe

Hudswell, Richmond

DL11 6DB

Tel: 01748-822101

Website: http://middlemoorfarmcafe.com

Hours: 10am-4.30pm every day; closed Wednesdays

Food quality: 4/5

Service: 3/5

Ambience: 3/5

Value for money: 4/5