I had a very dear partner in crime accompanying me for Sunday lunch on the second stage of my Yorkshire Michelin Star journey, we both love our food and are generally on the same wavelength when it comes to maximising the experience.
The Black Swan at Oldstead, twenty miles north of York, is neat and pretty, and in such a stunning Yorkshire setting nestled between The White Horse at Kilburn and Byland Abbey, in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
The Banks family have lived and farmed at Oldstead for generations and have quietly worked away running their 16th-century inn for about seven years.
Michelin says of chef/owner, Tommy Banks, who is believed to be Britain’s youngest Michelin Star Chef, ‘cooking is modern and highly skilled but satisfyingly unpretentious”.
So, what did we discover on this journey??
There was a reminder on the front door to leave our muddy boots outside, (I hasten to add that we did not hike up here this time) and inside our welcome was immediately warm and inviting.
The downstairs stone-flagged bar had cosy window seats, antique furnishings and the work of the Mousey Thompson craftsmen of Kilburn on the oak fittings.
Our pre-lunch drinks were promptly brought along with menus and then there followed an appetiser or two.
We were invited to our table in the dining room upstairs, which was tastefully furnished with wooden floors and wooden tables, nicely ‘unstuffy’ and informal, and most relaxing.
Being Sunday lunchtime, we opted for the set menu and were not disappointed, but we did have to ask for details of each course as the provenance of the food was not mentioned on the menu.
Starter – Mackerel, Beetroot and Apple
Lamb, Roast Potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding
Parsnip, Plum and Vanilla
To finish with tea and coffee
Service here was strong, precise but never with airs and graces, there was time for a chat and smiles were not rationed.
They have a great thing going on and wholeheartedly deserve all the applause they receive – their ‘One’ Michelin Star.
We both agreed that we had a lovely lunchtime here, and so nice to spend quality time with a special friend who I don’t get to see as often as I should. It had really topped the bill on my ‘star studded’ journey so far.