IT was a blistering Friday lunchtime and a spot of alfresco dining beckoned.

We were seduced by the prime spectating position offered by the outdoor tables at Butler’s Cafe at Blackburn Market and an end table had our names on it.

My friend ordered a Cheese, Ham and Mushroom Panini and Chips and I went for the Salmon Salad being ever weight-conscious.

We paid – my salad was £5.95, which I thought was incredibly good value for money for salmon. My friend’s came to just over £7 with a Coke. Our meals arrived.

The Panini and chips promised la dolce vita and didn’t disappoint, according to my dining partner, who described a perfectly toasted crunchy panini roll, and sexy, oozy melted Cheddar cheese filling.

Chips were pretty good too.

My salad was colourful, crisp and light. All the basics covered: coleslaw, egg, crispy lettuce, tomatoes etc. The only disappointment was that I had expected a salmon fillet, not tinned. Now I’m aware that makes me sound like a complete snob, but a salmon fillet is not exactly nouvelle cuisine.

Besides I’d have been prepared to pay a bit extra for the ‘real’ thing. If Blackburn is intending to up its game in attracting diners to the town centre, maybe this busy cafe needs to raise the bar slightly.