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“food lovers delight” 5 of 5 stars
Review of black swan

black swan
Helmsley, England
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Ranked #5 of 25 restaurants in Helmsley
Price range: $0 - $49
Cuisines: European, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Surrounded by the picturesque Yorkshire Dales and a perfect stop whilst exploring the area, The Black Swan is comfortably nestled in Fearby, near Masham. Dating back to the 17th century, this public house offers the kind of traditional warm welcome you would expect in the Yorkshire Dales. Run and maintained by three continuous generations of the McCourt family, this pub now provides guest accommodation alongside great ales and food. The public bar overlooks the Burn Valley, with 40-mile views of the Vale of York and local moors. The bar itself is well-stocked with Black Sheep and guest ales, not to mention a host of supporting lagers, bottle beers and soft drinks. Home-cooked bar meals are served during lunchtime and the bistro is open every evening.
liverpool uk
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“food lovers delight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2010

We eat at the black swan as part of our stay at the hotel over three nights so had feel we can judge quality of food . Well what quality local produce well cooked and served by staff always will to answer those same old questions whats that like !! Both my wife and i enjoyed some of the best scallops and pork (stuffed with Doreen's black pudding) we have had .The puddings were to die for although i stuck largely with cheese and biscuits but with a trolley full of different cheeses to choose from i had no difficulty having a different selection each night .

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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150 reviews from our community

77% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Too much hype - not enough substance”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

The Black Swan in Helmsley used to be a destination venue - i.e. you'd actually go to Helmsley to go there. In days gone, the service was quietly efficient and unobtrusive, and the prices, although a little pricey, generally value for money.

This weekend I went through to see whether a return next year for a 'special' birthday would be a good idea - maybe stay over, have dinner there etc; So we popped into the tea-room they have now opened for a Saturday morning coffee.

How complicated can ordering 2 coffees and a scone be? "Do you have a cheese scone?" (Waitress: "Sorry, what is that?" - English not her first language) "A cheese scone". (Waiterss: "We have afternoon tea" (at 11.00am). "No - well, just one scone then, with butter" (Waitress: "OK - one scone")

10 minutes later, 2 coffees arrived. Followed 5 minutes later by afternoon tea! It took 2 further attempts to send it back: they returned first of all with afternoon tea minus cream. Eventually, one scone appeared - no side plates to share it on. We ate, drank and left. Took 5 minutes to get anyone to bring the bill too!

As we left, the people at the next table who had arrived before us still had not received anything they had ordered! And they must have been there 40 minutes,

Needless to say - the birthday venue is NOT going to be the Black Swan at Helmsley. Prices are outrageous - £3.75 for a coffee! For that price, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect, say, a biscuit with it - but no, nothing. And for that price, I expect outstanding service. The service was truly dreadful. Noone seemed to be in charge - too many young people - too many foreign nationals (nothing against foreign nationals, but if their English is limited and they don't even know what basic items such as 'cheese scones' are, then people are going to get irritated).

(Oh yes, on the way out through the hotel, I asked someone if they could let me see a sample dinner menu. The woman I asked did search through a pile of menu holders at the entrance to the restaurant, but couldn't find one and told me to ask at reception. If the restaurant can't supply a sample dinner menu - what hope is there!!!)

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Average and overpriced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2009

Our room was ok however the overall trip was very dissapointing. Room service ran out of still water, the restaurant ran out of cold champagne and we weren't offered munchies with our pre dinner drinks.

Now awful but not great. Little atmosphere and no reason to justify the high prices. breakfast service was fantastic however the food was cold (and wrong), dinner service was variable however the food was great (shame about the wine!!)

I wouldn't stay here again, now would I recommend it to anyone

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Lovely Hotel, Fantastic Food - But Could Do with More Polished Service and Decor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2009

The reviews which comment upon the service and the fact that very few restaurant staff seem to be UK nationals are fair. The hotel is dated and in places a little tatty, however, I cannot rave enough about the food.

We stayed on the Saturday night, and even though there was a wedding (which can sometimes mean that the service etc would be adversely affected) the evening meal was wonderful. We had a tasting menu for £70 pp, including wine. My only criticism of the restaurant would be that if you are buying a tasting menu, it would be prudent to introduce each of the wines at each course. The wines were simply placed on the table; we had no idea what they were, and had to repeatedly ask the waitress. Coffees/cheese were not included and we did feel that this was a little cheeky. The food itself was superb, and well balanced in terms of amounts and variety of food types.

Breakfast: the service was not ideal. We had to ask several times for certain items.

The Verbena spa was OK, however we have visited better (in terms of value for money and service).

All in all, we had a great time and would indeed recommend this hotel, but it could do with a polish in terms of the decor and the service.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Tea room”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2008

Eventually ordered 2 coffees. Waited....waited...and waited. Eventually we were asked by the waitress if we would like anythingelse. I politely informed her that we hadn't had anything yet! Waited a bit longer and the coffee eventually arrived, which was nice, which is should be for the price. We were then entertained by the management trying to justify to a customer the price of a cream scone. Don't think i will be going back.

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