After reviewing a 'Yorkshire tea trail' brochure where the Black Swan was mentioned, my husband and I went to the Black Swan to enjoy a luxury cream tea on the last day of our holiday. We were prepared to pay a little more for the experience but after finding that two pots of tea and two scones came to just under £15, we expected the service to be exceptional. It wasn't.
We sat at an outside table for ten minutes, but no-one came. I went into the tea room and asked if it was ok to sit outside. The staff member said yes, take a menu. We chose our cream tea, then waited. And waited. After a further 15 minutes, I went in and ordered our food/drink at the counter and paid the hefty sum. There was no 'sorry for your wait'. I then returned to our table. Later investigation found that all the other tables had 'please order at counter' written on stickers on them, but ours didn't...
After 5 minutes the waitress came out with our pots of tea, stating 'I don't know why I bother, I might just go home now' - not exactly a friendly welcome! With our teas and empty plates ready, we then had to wait 5 - 10 minutes for our scones to arrive, by which time our teas (no cosies) had cooled considerably. My scone was squashed and wonky - not a great complaint, but after slicing it left little surface for the important jam and cream! However, the tea and scones were tasty.
The one saving grace of this experience was that as we left the male member of staff waved and said goodbye. But all in all for the price we expected excellent service and were very disappointed and felt it was a huge waste of money.
- 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