Oldstead, York, YO61 4BL
Tommy Banks’ flair for local, seasonal and even foraged produce earned him a Michelin star at just 24 years old, and his restaurant, The Black Swan at Oldstead, was voted the best in the world by a customer poll in 2017. With idyllic English countryside and the North York Moors on the doorstep, it’s hardly a surprise. Take a weekend off and head up to North Yorkshire to the family-run restaurant where it all began.
Catch a two hour train from London direct to York, then hire a car for the last 30 minute leg of the journey. You’ll need one for exploring (when not eating) anyway.
Food and Drink
You’ll need to be quick off the mark to book in rooms at The Black Swan, but it’s worth it: a reservation also includes dinner (from the tasting menu) and breakfast for two. Tommy’s now-famous seasonal menu changes constantly throughout the year, and even the waiting staff help in the kitchen garden, meaning the farm to fork ethos is well and truly at the heart of the Black Swan. Tommy’s brother James curates the drink menu, with cocktails using ingredients that have also been grown or foraged in Oldstead. If you have time after breakfast, don’t miss the extensive kitchen garden, where gardener Benjamin Daniells is working on turning the restaurant self-sufficient for fruit and vegetables.
Expect incredible food, but don’t miss the outstanding scenery either. A short drive to the neighbouring village of Coxwold (previously home to Laurence Sterne), the Yorkshire Sculpture Park or nearby Byland Abbey will give you a serious dose of country air.