REVIEW: The Black Swan Helmsley
by Karen Shaw
The historic Black Swan Hotel is a rather curious looking building firmly planted on the edge of the market square. There for centuries, it is quirky and inviting; a remarkable cluster of charming buildings. It consists of a Georgian house sandwiched between a Tudor style black and white house and an Elizabethan building.
A place to relax
As a busy working mum of three, this is my escape. It is 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. 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. The creaky floorboards and wonky floors only added to its beauty. This place certainly isn’t humdrum; it’s clear to see why it recently won the accolade of ‘Hotel of the Year’ at Visit York’s Annual Tourism Awards.
Find the best prices for rooms at TripAdvisor.
Dining at the Black Swan Helmsley
Renowned for its dining excellence, dinner was served in The Gallery restaurant. It is 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.
It seemed the obvious choice to opt for the six-course Tasting Menu accompanied by carefully chosen wines to complement each beautifully crafted course. 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. They use only 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. He 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 upon 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’.
You can find prices for staying at The Black Swan Helmsley on TripAdvisor.