Yorkshire Life Lunch - Black Swan, Oldstead
PUBLISHED: 14:09 24 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 20 February 2013
Guests join us for lunch at an out-of-the-way restaurant that has won a place on the culinary map. Jo Haywood reports
Its safe to say that the Banks family like to keep busy. While Tom and Anne meet, greet, serve and chat, James pulls pints and ensures customers get their favourite tipple and Tommy helps to cook plate after plate of delicious food.
The Black Swan at Oldstead has fast become their home away from home since they saved it from dereliction in 2006, turning it into one of the most talked about restaurants in North Yorkshire along the way.
You wouldnt think theyd have much time to catch their breath, but when theyve got a spare minute they also run the family farm and keep their separate B&B business running.
Its really tough, said Anne. But when you come in here and everyone is happy and enjoying themselves it makes it all worthwhile.
The Black Swan is a highly acclaimed pub and restaurant with rooms set in a stunning rural location near Byland Abbey in the North York Moors National Park.
The original building dates back to the 16th century and has been used in the years since for travellers visiting the nearby white horse at Kilburn, Byland Abbey, Shandy Hall and Ampleforth College.
Toms ancestors have lived in the village for about as long as theres been a pub on the corner, adding some much-needed historical credibility when he and his family took it over. As producers themselves, they instinctively understood how important it is for a village restaurant to champion locally-sourced meat, vegetables and fruit.
Adam Jackson, who heads a team of talented and enthusiastic chefs in the kitchen, couldnt agree more: Its absolutely vital. People are much more aware of what they are eating now. They want to know where it comes from, and they dont want to eat food that has travelled miles and miles to reach their plate.
He arrived in Oldstead via the Worsley Arms in Hovingham and the Rose & Crown in Sutton-on-the-Forest two quality kitchens that helped shape this quality chef who is already attracting whispers about Michelin stars.
The Black Swan is one of only three restaurants to be listed as a rising star in The Michelin Great Britain & Ireland 2010 Guide, a category aimed at pinpointing gourmet dining stars of tomorrow.
The famous red guide describes the restaurant as family-run with a smart, first floor dining and a rustic downstairs bar. Highly competent cooking makes use of the finest local produce.
And its not just Michelin that has recognised the quality at The Black Swan. The AA has awarded it two rosettes as well as five yellow stars for its bedroom accommodation, making it the only place in Yorkshire to have both.
Awards, rosettes and stars are great and it goes without saying that I want that first Michelin star, said Adam. But I dont want any of it for its own sake. I want us to push ourselves beyond what we think we can do every day and give each and every customer they very best plate of food we can.
On the day of our lunch, he created an eclectic menu that began with a glass of warm, ruby red beetroot soup with a cloud-like froth of horseradish foam, followed by a delicate salmon and lobster ravioli, a beautifully presented main with pitch perfect beef and a delightful taster plate of apple and rhubarb puds.
We feel very strongly about serving the best food possible in the most comfortable setting, said Anne. We dont want people to come here to worship the food. We want people to come here to have a good time.
Which we did.
The Black Swan at Oldstead, York, YO61 4BJ. 01347 868387.
www.blackswanoldstead.co.uk. The restaurant is open every day for dinner from 6-9pm; for lunch Thursday to Saturday from noon-2pm and on Sunday from noon-2.30pm.
House of Townsend (wine, beer, spirit and cider suppliers).
101 York Street, Hull. 01482 326891.
Beetroot soup with horseradish foam, Wensleydale fritters and parsnip crisps
Salmon and lobster ravioli
Mini fillet of Angus beef with pressed shin, creamed celeriac, cured ham, fondant potatoes, red wine salsify, spinach and leeks
A taste of apple and rhubarb
Chapel Down Vintage Reserve Brut, Kent, England: floral and with a good depth of fruit, this award-winning bubbly is pale lemon yellow with hawthorn, citrus and yeasty flavours and a summery hint of blackcurrant.
Domaine Hubert Lamy St Aubin, La Princee 2006, Burgundy, France: concentrated fruit and a sharp slice of mineral slatiness give this a great balance.
Irvine Estate Merlot 2007, Barossa Valley, Australia: a New World wine with generous helpings of plum and chocolate over ripe raspberry a big hit with our guests.
Pacherene Rive Haute Reserve 2006, south-west France: a surprisingly light, delicate and naturally sweet alternative to a fortified dessert wine.