We visited The Black Swan for a one night stay for our Anniversary on a DBB basis. We chose a feature room which was really lovely, great uneven floors and unusual layout which added to its character. Really comfortable large Bed and even with the single glazed windows and being Town Square located the room was beautifully quiet. I would definitely recommend staying in these beautiful feature rooms. Only minor niggles such as the bedside lamps have wiring issues and constantly flicker so we turned them off. Even with the password the WiFi internet connection would not work for us.
For our Dinner we chose from the "Daily Dinner Menu" (note the one online IS the menu not just a "Sample" of the menu, "Sample" would suggest there are more choices but there are not).
The Meal was preceeded by a lovely Gazpacho and variety of Fresh Bread very delicious although the waiter was very intrusive and needed to dial down a little, we were glad he was only in charge of the bread aperitif. My Husband chose the Ham Hock starter which he rated highly, I chose the Scallop and Seabass which was lovely but overwhelmed by the Apple flavour on such a delicate beautiful piece of fish and the Scallop was not seasoned. For main I chose the Lamb which was lovely but I could not taste any Cumin and the Lentils added nothing to the dish but overwhelmed the subtle mix and textures in my opinion it was crying out for crushed new potato with such beautifully cooked lamb. My husband thought the Miso Cod was beautiful. The Desserts (which are diferent from online) were a disconstructed STP (sticky toffee pudding) which would of been massively improved by a lack of pretentiousness, it was style over substance with dry overcooked Parkin and items which, when brought together, created nothing to shout home about and would of been much improved by being "Constucted" into an actual STP. The Passion Fruit Tarte with chocolate truffles with space dust.. I cannot fathom why space dust appears to be the flavour of the month it added nothing to this very rich desert other than a very unpleasant texture and rather than concentrating on adding clichés perhaps more time should be spent creating a mix on the plate which is kind to the palate.. Passion fruit and Mango are strong and acidic, it needed a mellow calming balance on the plate and only delivered an overly rich overpowering acidic flavour. All in all I would not dine from this menu again, clearly the food is cooked beautifully but very pretentious trying to be something it really doesnt need to be and doesnt deliver to the standard it is trying to reach. This Hotel Restaurant needs to be reflective of its hotel rooms and building style and change to a Bistro Menu with good quality well balanced warming homely food, leave the pea shoots to Feversham!
The Breakfast - firstly I have to say the waiter we had in the evening that also served Breakfast whilst really lovely that evening clearly should not be welcoming guests in the morning, he was clearly tired and grumpy and abrupt. This is something you should not have to tolerate at breakfast service. We felt very uncomfortable with his demeanour, the rest of the staff however were very pleasant.
Breakfast was not the greatest we have ever experienced but was generally very good. The continental option was basic and uninspiring with just croissants and dried or tinned fruits and packet cereals. I was delighted to find they gave the option of poached eggs with the full english but on arrival they were not just cold but actually freezing! I think they had been plunged into ice to avoid further cooking but were not warmed prior to arrival at the table.. terrible! If having the full english again I would have the fried or scrambled but can recommend the bacon, sausage and mushrooms as they are really excellent and very high quality.
All in all a mixed bag, the room was lovely and I would really recommend a nights stay. Special mention must go to their Afternoon Tea which is absolutely AMAZING!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in one of Yorkshire's prettiest market towns, The Black Swan in Helmsley is a superb historic inn, turned boutique hotel. Dating back to the C15th the hotel, rich in history and charm, blends antiques with classic contemporary design creating the perfect place for a relaxing break. With its own 3 AA rosette restaurant and award winning tearoom, The Black Swan Hotel provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway and a chance to escape the everyday stresses and strains. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Black Swan Helmsley
- Black Swan Hotel
- The Black Swan Hotel Helmsley, Yorkshire