One aspect of the restaurant trade that has always bugged me, is the inability of so many eateries to serve hot food on hot plates. Hotels usually manage warm, but generally cafés (from my experience) drop hot food onto cold plates. This is galling, especially with a fried breakfast (yes, I know I shouldn’t).

We had occasion to make one of our infrequent visits to Scarborough, and circumstances made it appropriate to stay overnight. January is not high season in Scarborough, so we had a decent choice of hotels at decent prices. I found one with consistently excellent reviews, with the added bonus of an indoor swimming pool. So the Park Manor Hotel, opposite Peasholm Park it was.

We were greeted by a warm and friendly Yorkshireman who informed us that we were two of only four staying that night, and would we like to dine in. We looked at each other and jointly decided that to go out would be the better option. He insisted that he would get a chef in if we wanted to stay in to eat (very accommodating), but no, we would go out and could he recommend anywhere within walking distance. Italian would be good.

So, Gianni’s was the recommendation – a 20 minutes’ walk away. The weather was fine so this would be a welcome burst of fresh air after the rigours of this particular day.

Gianni’s is much like lots of other Italian restaurants around the country – welcoming, with lots of noise from happy diners. We chose main courses – spag and meatballs, and spag a la carbonara – and a bottle of house white.

The plates were hot, we were warned. Delightful, we said, having had too many dishes on cold plates over the years, whereby the meal is cold half way through or worse. This experience was different. I cannot remember one single meal where the last mouthful was as hot as the first. Full marks Gianni’s and a model for so many others to follow. It can’t be that hard!

The breakfast at the hotel the following morning was similar, egg that stayed hot to the very end. Blimey, twice hot in two meals – we must come to Scarborough more often…

This may seem trifling, but believe me, it really makes all the difference to the enjoyment of a meal.

So, a hot plates experience in Scarborough at the coldest time of year. Everyone was lovely and couldn’t do enough to help. The Stephen Joseph Theatre we visited for a spot of lunch was a revived Odeon cinema built in 1936, with all of the traditional touches. FYI, Stephen Joseph was the mentor of playwright Alan Ayckborne, also from the town.

Just great and it all appealed to our innate sense of Yorkshire.