Located in Helmsley, The historic Black Swan Hotel is a rather curious looking building firmly planted on the edge of the famous market square. There for centuries, it’s quirky and inviting; a remarkable cluster of charming buildings consisting of a Georgian house sandwiched between a Tudor style black and white house and an Elizabethan building.
As a busy working mum of three, this is my escape, a place to relax, read, and just stare into space if I choose to without having to answer a barrage of nonsensical questions from my little darlings. This place is bliss and ever so slightly reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, especially at the beginning where she spots the white rabbit and follows him down a tunnel into a whole new world, and for the evening I’m Alice and for the sake of the review my husband Chris is the White Rabbit!
Our room, located in the oldest part of the hotel offered a stunning view of the square, and the creaky floorboards and wonky floors only added to its beauty. This place certainly isn’t humdrum and it’s clear to see why it recently won the accolade of ‘Hotel of the Year’ at Visit York’s Annual Tourism Awards.
Renowned for its dining excellence, dinner was served in The Gallery restaurant, a 3AA rosette, a place where you enjoy the wealth of fabulous food surrounded by one of the finest collections of original works of art in the area.
We opted for the six-course Tasting Menu accompanied by carefully chosen wines to complement each beautifully crafted course. We found this to be the obvious option, we didn’t want to make the decisions, as Alice did in Wonderland we diligently tried the food and drink as led… “EAT ME, DRINK ME” and so we did… All we had to do was simply ‘kick back’ and be fed an exciting array of modern British cuisine sympathetic to the area using the finest, locally sourced produce, expertly prepared by Head Chef Patrick Bardoulet. This chap knows his food.
After spending his early years in his native France, Patrick held prestigious roles in a range of five star, Michelin-starred and gastronomy restaurants in the UK and is now causing quite a stir in the area and it’s plain to see why.
The artistic presentation of the dishes was exquisite and on examining each plate it seemed such a shame to eat it and not wear it, but eat it we did, while grinning at each other like Cheshire cats, me, desperately trying to contain my squeals of pleasure.
After a perfect evening we retired slightly ‘merry’, after a sound sleep we enjoyed the wonderful breakfast before returning to the ‘real world’…