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“Rubbish cream tea experience” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Black Swan Hotel

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The Black Swan Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Certificate of Excellence
Willaston, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Rubbish cream tea experience”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2013

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.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Judanism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (304)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2013

We were booked in for 2 nights d,b&b (Friday and Saturday), 1st night dinner and 1st morning breakfast fantastic food and service the staff were really attentive and helpful. Evening of the 2nd night the service was terrible due to the hotel holding a wedding party and the poor staff were unable to cope with the additional clients. We were asked to take a seat in the bar and told a waiter would come over for our order 20 mins later we eventually attracted the eye of a waiter and he took our order. 10 mins later we were still waiting for our drinks and menus after we chased yet again we received them without any apology by a very flustered waitress and we were then asked to move into the restaurant. We did not have a chance to relax with our pre-dinner drinks there were 3 other resident parties received the same poor service. As we had complained about the service it was obvious the staff were not happy and the service we received in the restaurant was very poor and really spoilt what should have been a lovely relaxing break. The poor service continued at breakfast on the Sunday and others were also affected we all had to chase our coffee/toast as well as having to ask for someone to take our order for breakfast. My husband had a full English and he did not receive all the components and the couple next to us was exactly the same and had to inform the staff.
It would appear the staff could not cope with a full hotel and wedding party and service suffered.

Room Tip: Rooms at the rear of the property are quieter as front of hotel faces main road.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lotty09001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hexham
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

Our stay was very relaxed and comfortable (after having duvets - a personal hate! - changed to sheets & blankets). Well-appointed room overlooking attractive garden; but beware(!) people in garden can look straight into room. Lovely unobtrusive church chimes. Communal rooms are comfy and full of character. Dining rooms very recently refurbished and uncrowded. ALL staff were welcoming, courteous and helpful. Breakfast was very good and multi-choice; however, dinner was very, very good - particularly the Taster Menu, a real delight! The wine list is comprehensive BUT HUGELY expensive; we had to forego our bottle-a-dinner habit. We noticed that most other diners were "bottle-less" or buying by the glass -- surely a sign of over-pricing? Overall though, Helmsley is very interesting and The Black Swan ranks amongst the very best Country hotel that we have visited - well done!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChrisLiz A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2013

We had a lovely visit to Helmsley this week and stayed at the Black Swan. The room was really comfy and overlooked the pretty garden. We had a lovely meal in the restaurant and the breakfasts were top class. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient and made us feel welcome and at home. Would love to go back one day

Room Tip: Classic double room overlooking the garden is roomy and peaceful
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bid1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
doncaster
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2013

Had a great nite at the black swan the food was excellent , the staff were good our waiter at the meal Stewart ! Was fantastic . We had a great wine on his recommendation . There was a live singer on in the bar called Brian dales who was excellent , with music we could all dance to and the nite was one of those that you remember with fondness ! We will return

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank plantmanoo7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2013

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!!!

Room Tip: Feature rooms at the front of the hotel overlooking the Square, beautiful!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank newbietravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Braintree, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2013

We booked a one night bed, breakfast and dinner package and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a classic double room which was furnished and decorated to a high standard. There was plenty of space with everything you could poossibly need. The staff in the hotel were very helpful and friendly. The dinner in the restaurant was delicious and beautifully presented. Although the restaurant was quiet, we were not rushed and so able to fully enjoy the experience. There is not a great deal of choice on the menu so I would have struggled to find something that I liked if I had been staying longer. It is quite expensive, but certainly worth it for a special treat.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Black Swan Hotel

Property: The Black Swan Hotel
Address: Market Place, Helmsley YO62 5BJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Helmsley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Black Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 45
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

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