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“Birthday celebration”
Review of The Black Swan

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The Black Swan
Ranked #1 of 1 Oldstead B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Birthday celebration”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The Black Swan at Oldstead is an award-winning restaurant with rooms awarded a Michelin Star & Three AA Rosettes for top quality food and 5 Red Stars for bedrooms. The Black Swan is situated close to Byland Abbey, Coxwold and Kilburn and easily reached from Ampleforth College, Thirsk, Helmsley and York.

Oldstead is an ideal place to stop for a break while visiting the nearby Kilburn White Horse, Byland Abbey, Shandy Hall and Ampleforth College. The area around Oldstead provides a spectacular landscape that is steeped in history.

The original building dates back to the 16th century and is set on the edge of the small village of Oldstead amidst beautiful rolling National Park countryside. A quiet haven away from traffic and main roads.

My husband took me for my birthday and we stayed over night. The accommodation and the food was outstanding and nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank April734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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  • English first
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English first
Leeds
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Just spent an exceptional overnight stay at The Black Swan, having been recommended to the place by a couple of friends. Neither my husband nor I had ever heard of the place (or the village, for that matter), but our friends are very reliable, so we were confident it would be good. Originally a rather run down pub, the local farming family at Oldstead Grange bought the place a few years ago and have done a fabulous refurb. The bar is warmly decorated with Yorkshire stone flagged floors and good beer (according to my husband) and the restaurant was stylish, as was our room. We had the seven course taster menu with wine recommendations - excellent.
Every one of the staff was friendly and helpful without being "in your face". Our four poster was really comfortable and the breakfast was delicious. We plan to return with friends in the near future, and incorporate some walking - or maybe we'll just stay in the bar.....!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BVMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Back to the Black Swan, after a three year absence. The Banks family is still there, still providing exceptional food (a Michelin star restaurant) and service. The location, in the heart of North Yorkshire with both the Dales and Moors readily accessible and James Herriott attractions in Thirsk only a few minutes away. York Minster, Ripon Cathedral and Fountains Abbey, and Rievaulx Abbey are all less than an hour's drive. All this in a bucolic setting where the loudest sounds are the birds and the sheep, in a village of one street and less than a dozen houses where the locals say "hello" to strangers.

I'm not a food critic, but the food at the Black Swan is exceptional. The menus are not extensive, but each dish is carefully prepared using local ingredients and meticulously presented, the breads are baked in-house, the service is impeccable ... In fact, the Black Swan is our standard for comparison. "Is this meal as good as something we would get at the Black Swan?"

The rooms are relatively large by English standards, and the bathrooms large by any standard. Heated tile floors and towel bars are nice, but best of all is the private "patio" outside each of the four rooms, with table and chairs ideal for morning coffee, an afternoon read, or an evening enjoying the twilight after dinner.

Every hotel must have a shortcoming, and here it is not much ventilation. The windows don't open wide and there is no air conditioning. As an American I have a hard time understanding the English aversion to fresh air, but I won't let a small thing like that stand between me and another visit to the Black Swan.

Yes, the Black Swan is expensive. On the other hand, you get a breakfast that allows you to skip lunch and an exceptional dinner included in the price, and you get local knowledge when you are planning your day.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ExpectGoodService
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altrincham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013

The black swan is sort of in the middle of nowhere and it isn’t budget accommodation. But that’s not why anyone goes there. My wife and I stayed on a Saturday night in June and were blessed with lovely weather as well.
Accommodation on site comprises of 4 bedrooms in a converted stable block or similar. The room we had was very good indeed, spotlessly clean with very nice touches. The bathroom itself is a reason to stay here, with a large roll top bath and wet room shower.
We booked a table in the restaurant for the same night, and given that this is a Michelin stared establishment, we opted for the 7 course taster menu, this was excellent and good fun and took around 3 hours! The combinations weren’t quite a complex as some other Michelin stared restaurants we’ve been to but they all worked very well and were fabulous. The wine menu also, isn’t to over the top, but you can certainly splash out if you want to. The service from all the staff was again, fantastic and we were made to feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble. Breakfast, was excellent although its only served from 8.30 to 9.30 which may seem a little early.
For a special occasion the Black swan is highly recommended, and we will be back soon hopefully.
The only very slight negatives were that there is absolutely no mobile phone signal on either O2 or Vodafone(which may be a problem for some) but adds to the serenity of the place. And during our time there, we did have an unpleasant smell in the courtyard when were sitting out. I did inform the staff when we were leaving about this, and was assured it would be looked into. Overall though this didn’t affect our enjoyment of the Black Swan.

Room Tip: There are only four rooms available on site, free Wi-fi is provided as well as residents only car pa...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank magoodliffe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CHERTSEY SURREY KT16 8LA
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We took an hour and a half to drive from The Dales to The Black Swan for Sunday Lunch.
The journey was well worthwhile.
Essentially a pub on the ground floor,but with a restaurant comprising two rooms on the first floor.
The barman was welcoming and helpful,my aperitif was an excellent pint of Black Sheep and not having the brand of sherry my wife had requested,he made a cocktail/blend of two sherries to approximate to my wife's request.
After an amuse bouche we were invited upstairs.
And so to lunch-there is not a set menu,but a choice of starters and main courses all separately priced.We both chose the beef,,requesting that it be cooked rare and it was quite exceptional.
The waiting staff were both professional and helpful.
The visit was an enjoyable experience from start to finish.
The Black Swan is deserving of it's Michelin Star and on a par with the starred restaurants in The Dales.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank HUNTERCHERTSEYSURREY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adlington
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We have just spent a very enjoyable two day stay at the Black Swan to celebrate my birthday.

In a very rural setting, you are guaranteed no passing traffic noise in the middle of the night - it is so off the beaten track it is one of those locations where a good hotel should not be, but all the better for this.

The rooms are spacious and are done in traditional, antique style, with lots of good brown furniture, wrought iron beds complete with bed knobs, with natural wood floors and a comfy sofa. As per the title really, but you can still enjoy modern tea making facilities, fast wifi, flat screen TV, DVD player, hairdryer and all other facilities offered by modern hotels.

The bathroom was tastefully done, with underfloor heating (toasty toes the whole visit), large bath and fantastic walk in rainfall shower with lots of good quality soaps, conditioners etc., none of those frustrating small bars of soap or frustratingly difficult to open sachets at the Black Swan.

Each room has it own outside sitting area which catches the sun all day in the Spring and Summer months. The perfect place for an early morning cuppa or an afternoon Gin and Tonic.

A wonderful retreat, miles from a major town, where the noisiest thing you will hear is the dawn chorus. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: No mobile phone reception - so leave yours at home - it all adds to the experience. The Black Swa...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

The location is idyllic, the staff are friendly and the food is incredible! Can't wait to go back with friends! Very clean and nothing was too much for the girl who serves us. Met with the owner James Banks and he was a gentleman! Thanks for a lovely day and evening

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chapterknight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Black Swan

Property: The Black Swan
Address: Main Street, Oldstead YO61 4BL, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Oldstead
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Oldstead
Hotel Class:5 star — The Black Swan 5*
Number of rooms: 4

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