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The Black Swan, Helmsley - At the Heart of a Historic North Yorkshire Town

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The Black Swan, Helmsley

The Black Swan, Helmsley

Courtesy of The Black Swan Hotel
The Black Swan Hotel occupies an original Elizabethan building, developed and extended over the years to accommodate the changing needs of travelers. A highlight is the recent addition of fine dining at the hotel's Rutland Restaurant.

Just 23 miles north of York, The Black Swan is an ideal base for exploring the beautiful North York Moors.

Black Swan Essentials

  • Address: The Black Swan, Helmsley, York YO62 5BJ, England
  • Tel: +44 (0)1439 770466
  • Visit their website
  • Email the Black Swan
  • Price Band: $$$ Special dinner, bed & breakfast deals and other seasonal packages are available.
  • Bedrooms: There are 45 rooms - 28 classic rooms, eight feature rooms, four superior rooms and a junior suite. Some ground floor rooms are disabled-friendly.
  • Dog-friendly

Hidden Delights in Helmsley

Helmsley Square, across from The Black Swan

Helmsley Square, across from The Black Swan

© Valerie France
Arriving in the main square of this pretty North Yorkshire town, it’s hard to miss the prominent statue of William, 2nd Baron Feversham, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott who designed the Albert Memorial in London. The Black Swan Hotel sits on the north side, occupying not just the Elizabethan building on which the sign hangs, but also the neighboring Georgian house and black-and-white timbered former rectory. The adjoining tea room is also part of the hotel. From first glance, there is more to The Black Swan than meets the eye.

Inside, an eclectic but thoughtful mix of antique and modern styles reflects both the character and history of the buildings and contemporary tastes and standards.

Guest accommodation at this historic inn stretches back to enclose a delightful garden. If the weather is kind, this is just the place to relax with a pot of tea, or to enjoy an early evening cocktail. All Saints' Church which can be seen from the garden has a porch and chancel dating from Norman times, together with some beautiful stained glass.

Beyond, there is also a gun room and drying room to meet the needs of the international shooting parties who use The Black Swan as their base when shooting on the North York Moors. Fishing and walking are also very popular in this area, so the hotel’s dog-friendly policy should come as no surprise.

Start the Day With a Full Yorkshire Breakfast

Why do the words full and breakfast go together so well? The menu for a full Yorkshire breakfast at The Black Swan features 21 options, from a big bacon sandwich to a platter of freshly cut fruits. Whatever your taste, you’ll be served with style.

Exploring Helmsley

Across the square from The Black Swan the narrow streets are full of fascinating shops. There’s a charming mix of antiques, crafts, interior design, antiquarian books and fine local delicacies such as rare breed meats and Yorkshire curd tarts.

The ruins of Helmsley Castle, which dates back to the 12th century, are very much more accessible than its original occupants intended them to be! The new visitor center, which also provides tourist information, offers audio tours and an imaginative hands-on exhibition. But, dramatic as the castle ruins are, don’t miss the restored beauty of the Helmsley Walled Garden, five acres of flowers, vegetables, herbs and wonderful tranquility. Originally a kitchen garden for the Duncombe estate, this fine garden includes fruit trees, Victorian vines and more than 250 varieties of clematis. A small admission fee is charged and dogs, on leashes, are welcome.

Admission to Helmsley Castle is included in the Great British Heritage Pass. Find out more about the Great British Heritage Pass and Buy Direct.

Traditional Values, Modern Food - Fine Dining at The Black Swan

Dessert at the Black Swan's Rutland Restaurant

Dessert at the Black Swan's Rutland Restaurant

Courtesy of The Black Swan Hotel
In the Rutland Restaurant, chef Andrew Burton is setting exciting new standards for The Black Swan Hotel. Within months of his arrival, the restaurant could boast two AA Rosettes. Andrew and his team take full advantage of the area’s fresh produce from local farms, plus fish and seafood from Whitby just 30 miles away. The influence of Modern British cooking on the menu is evident in such flourishes as horseradish foam, crab bubbles or tiny cubes of intensely flavoured jelly.

But good plain food is also respected in this part of the world, so the essential tastes and shapes of top quality local ingredients are paramount. Fillet of Yorkshire beef is teamed with local Sand Hutton asparagus, posh chips and fried duck egg. A goujon of East Coast hake rests of a bed of clams in a tiny bowl of Cullen Skink - a modern interpretation of the Scottish smoked haddock dish. Passion fruit jelly with coconut foam tastes exactly as you hoped it would. Diners will be excited and even surprised, but never confused.

There is an admirably short three-course daily dinner menu at £30 per person (June 08), with an exquisite seven-course Tasting Menu £48.00.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
This Charming Man, Member Goneril

The Edwardian motif was nostalgic for me. And who was that charming young man who worked the tea room? I shall have to apprehend him the next time I am divorced and in Yorkshire.

1 out of 7 people found this helpful.

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