The Black Swan, Oldstead, North Yorkshire

Have we mentioned Yorkshire before? Ah well, we make no apologies for celebrating all that’s good to enjoy in Yorkshire. And, with a population just a bit larger than Scotland [Yorkshire 5.3m, Scotland 5.295m – every little helps], the case for independence probably needs to be made but, in the meantime, these great places all belong to the People of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the event of a change in power, Passport Control will be rigorously enforced.  Passport photographs must include a flat cap.

Not quite on the beaten track, the Black Swan, Oldstead, quite close to the famous White Horse on the western edge of the North Yorks Moors, was a middle-of-the-road village pub, probably a candidate to join the ranks of the 4 pubs closing each day. Fortunately, salvation was at hand.

Anne and Tom Banks, together with their two sons Tommy and James, bought the pub to replace their B&B – a place that was a bit easier to find. With chef Adam Jackson cooking, this unassuming little pub rapidly achieved a Michelin Star. It’s become a birthday standard and, if you want to stay in one of the four bedrooms, there are plenty of exhilarating walks across the moors. And yes the food’s good…great… The Secret Diner in the Newcastle Journal gave it 6 stars out of 5. Whatever, it’s just lovely.

Restaurant with rooms The Black Swan

The Secret Diner mostly covers the frozen north beyond Teesside up to Newcastle, but definitely worth a look.

Adam Jackson has moved on to run a little restaurant of his own, but such was the enthusiasm and commitment of the Black Swan team that they retained their Michelin Star, with young Tommy at the helm. Amazing and well deserved achievement.

Adam’s new place, hasn’t been tried yet. It seems to do only a tasting menu, which we’re not keen on as a concept [l’enclume used to do a great a la carte once upon a time] but also has a vegetarian tasting menu – now there’s a challenge. Bring on the beetroot.

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