We responded to a black swan email offering us the chance to sample the new 8 course autumn tasting menu and stop over, never cheap, but good value as the hotel and restaurant are excellent.
First, we upgraded to a front of hotel old fashioned superior room - if they have them available ask the receptionist and do a deal on the spot - we did! Breakfast was fabulous, whatever you wnated, this time I paired kipper fillets with local sausages - not that traditional but oh so tasty - excellent coffee too.
The new menu was great - I think it replaces the previous 10 course taster which was too long - it may change of course but my observations included
Cucumber starters were was ultra refreshing.
Salmon Miso – I loved this, I liked the Japanese type taste, it was a good size, nicely flakey and beautifully cooked. It did remind me of black cod that I had at Nobu – similar type of dish. A tip, from the bar grab a couple of seaweed crackers for this course - they would be a perfect crispy accompaniment to this dish
Apple dish – A tiny little apple dish with the celeriac cream and apple jus in the middle was GORGEOUS – especially that little apple – I can’t remember if it was a meat dish, that apple was so nice – never had anything like this before, worked really well indeed and I still remember the massive punch of apple flavour.
Duck and Scallop – Quite a simple dish in many ways and none the worse for that. You could taste all the flavours – the scallop was really good, so was the duck, a super little dish especially for the autumn.
Veal and Beans ate quite well, but it wasn't to my taste as much as other dishes - each to his own!
Sea Bass – really good indeed. I love sea bass – this was as nice as sea bass fillet as I’ve had. Can’t add much more – very good.
Black Forest – the concept I got immediately – the cherry ice was beautiful, loved the cream and lots of chocolatey stuff which was nice but too much of it for me - it wa sa big finish and quite delicious!
Service – Vaughan was simply stunning, funny, slightly irreverent but in a very nice way, leading us gently to the dishes but allowing us to explore and discover too, A real credit.
History – last year we stayed over and had the 10 course tasting menu – it was too long! We sat down at 7 and we were still there at 11 and tired. 8 course is better. I’ve also stayed and had the 6 course about 4 years ago – the quality and inventiveness has improved no end since then.
- 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