Black Swan at Oldstead, Restaurant, North Yorkshire

The Black Swan, Oldstead, Coxwold, Near Helmsley, Yorkshire

Set in a stunning rural location, The Black Swan at Oldstead is a highly acclaimed family run restaurant and pub, which dates back to the 16th century and is full of atmosphere and charm. Its recent acquisition of three AA Rosettes and a Michelin Rising Star for 2011 confirms this restaurant as the best dining pub in the area. Located in the pretty hamlet of Oldstead, near Helmsley in The North York Moors National Park and within close proximity to Byland Abbey, The Black Swan provides the perfect retreat to enjoy fine dining in comfortable surroundings.


On booking our reservation with the Black Swan they advised us against using sat nav directions to find them as there are easier routes highlighted on their website depending on which direction you are coming from. With this in mind we turned off the A19 and headed for the pretty village of Coxwold and followed the signs for Byland Abbey. There, on the road to Oldstead, a distance of less than a mile, we spotted the Black Swan sitting cosily by the roadside, with smoke issuing from its chimneys.


Anne Banks, the owner who, with help from her family, runs this successful 3AA Rosette restaurant, warmly welcomed us. Anne ushered us down the stairs to the cosy bar with a roaring log fire. Here we were given a choice of tables in the bar or the restaurant upstairs.  We opted for the comfortable surroundings of the bar. The furnishings were an eclectic mix of antique wooden furniture with a splash of colour from the scattering of brightly coloured rugs and featured an open beamed ceiling.

Our drinks were brought promptly along with the menus and a comprehensive wine list. The set menu on offer gave a choice from two starters, main courses and puddings for a very reasonable £20 for two courses or £25 for all three. We opted however for the a la carte menu. I chose the Japanese-style Steak Tartare, whilst my wife went for the hand dived King Scallops.

Before these arrived we were given a complimentary appetiser of broad bean soup with a portion of goats cheese, which was extremely tasty. Warm bread buns were closely followed by our starters. My wife had a glass of 2006 Clos du Gat Chardonnay from Israel as recommended by the staff to compliment the scallops and it was indeed a very pleasant wine.

For our main course my wife decided to try the 4-way Hebridean lamb (portions of lamb each cooked a different way) with Dauphinoise potato sauce and Girolle mushrooms, with a recommended glass of 2003 Sarget de Gruaud Larose, St Julien.  I plumped for the wood pigeon breast on Jerusalem Artichoke risotto with Cep mushroom and spinach.

We now reached the dessert stage with myself going for the lemon crème Brule with textures of raspberry followed by a decaf. My other half although tempted by dark chocolate fondant with cherry sorbet declined in recognition of its likely calorie intake and settled for a decaf as well. Here I have to admit to being sorely tempted by the English cheese board with its mix of five cheeses made from sheep, cows and goats milk.

Our entire experience of fine dining at the Black Swan was something our taste buds would not forget for a long time. Both our meals were a gastronomic delight, attractively presented and we thoroughly appreciated the friendly charm that the pub exudes matched by the unobtrusive but attentive service from our hosts.

Thanks to Mr and Mrs Jones who reviewed The Black Swan on behalf of Away without the Kids.

Menu Options

A la carte menu is available every evening and Thursday to Saturday lunch, the 7 course tasting menu is also available Sunday to Friday evening and Thursday to Saturday lunch. On Sunday lunch we serve a traditional lunch of roast meats, fish and vegetarian options. We also offer a set menu of 2 courses for £20 and 3 courses for £25 between 6pm and 6.30pm (orders before 6.45pm) Sunday to Friday evenings as well as Thursday to Saturday lunch.

Visit Owner's Website

Launch property website in a new window

Opening Times

Restaurant Opening Times

Open every evening. Closed Mon, Tues & Weds lunch
Lunch: Thursday - Saturday 12-2pm
Sunday 12-2.30pm
Dinner: every evening 6-9pm


01347 868387


Set Lunch Menu Available Thursday, Friday & Saturdays between 12pm & 2pm
2 courses £20, 3 courses £25