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“Every bit as good as the hype… exceptionally clever cooking, lovely staff and a very jolly atmosphere”: still the most common verdict on the Banks family’s isolated pub, “tucked away in the North Yorkshire countryside” (near the family farm), which won global fame in 2017 as TripAdvisor’s #1 Restaurant in the World! But while its “adventurous” nine-course tasting menu still hits “amazing” heights for most reporters, its overall ratings suggest it risks becoming a victim of its own success (including the constraints of Tommy Banks’s TV commitments, and opening a second venue in York). “Sky high prices” are the main gripe, but slips in service are also a concern (one reporter “paid for a signed book and had to ask six times to receive it”).
“Deserving its reputation – a place to go if you really enjoy experiencing a chef at the top of his game”: Tommy Banks and his family’s “old pub with no fancy frills” is “set in the isolated depths of the North Yorks countryside” and, while “really not easy to get to, is really really worth it when you do”. This Great British Chef winner’s food is “a revelation” that “really pushes the boundaries” and with “real flair for finding interesting ways to bring flavour from their extensive garden and local country into their menu” (they own a nearby farm), including by “featuring locally foraged ingredients such as wild garlic and fir”. And while “each course is a delight”, it’s “the feeling of welcome and sheer enthusiasm you get from the parents and his brother James that make this a fabulous experience”. “You either love or hate the set-menu format, but The Black Swan certainly should be on every restaurant-goers bucket list”. Top Menu Tip: “the heritage beetroot confit in beef dripping should, if there’s any justice, become the new ‘snail porridge’ of Fat Duck fame”.
“Well worth the long drive!”. Twenty-eight-year-old wünderkind, Tommy Banks “produces exceptional, exciting – even mind-blowing – tastes and textures, with subtlety, intensity, and integrity” at his family’s “sophisticated, elegant and welcoming” converted drovers’ inn, set in “a lovely location” down a single-track lane, on the fringe of the North Yorks Moors. Much of the produce is from the family farm, and it’s “the real sense of place that helps mark the place out, as well as the warm and friendly service” overseen by brother, James Banks. “The wine list is superb too! Almost 100 wines served by the glass using the Coravin method”. In October 2017, TripAdvisor crowned the place ‘The Best Restaurant in the World’. That might be overdoing it a fraction, but it’s certainly one of the top-20 highest rated destinations in our UK survey.
“A long way off the beaten track, charmingly located in a very quiet hamlet”, Tommy Banks’s converted pub, near Byland Abbey, again wins one of the highest ratings in the survey. “Excellent tasting menus” make a big effort to feature home-grown produce, plus locally farmed and foraged foods, and the result is “quite exceptional, with a tendency to the dramatic and theatrical” and served in a simple dining room “with such humour and attention to detail”.
|Wine per bottle||£29.00|
Oldstead, YO61 4BL
|Monday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Tuesday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Wednesday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Thursday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Friday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Sunday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|