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Famous Yorkshire inn is back – and it’s better than ever

One of Yorkshire’s best-loved inns has reopened following the completion of the first phase of a major refurbishment.

Sitting in the square of Helmsley – North York Moors’ only market town –The Black Swan has opened its doors once again following a multi-million pound renovation lasting six months by owners Northumberland-based The Inn Collection Group, who bought the site in 2020.

The refurbishment has seen the bar and dining areas of the 15th century former coaching inn emerge from a painstaking restoration, which has retained the eclectic character of the building while enhancing the building’s appeal and offering for customers.

Across the inn’s three buildings, lounges have been updated with a mix of vintage pieces; rich, floral wall coverings and wood panelling, while the exposed stonework, marble topped bar and stained glass of the new West Bar has created an intimate environment for private dining or smaller groups.

Guests staying at the inn will also enjoy the results of full bedroom makeovers. Rooms overlook Helmsley’s Market Square and the inn’s private grounds.

Behind the scenes, a new cooling system has been installed in the cellar to ensure optimised temperatures for beverages, along with a purpose-built commercial kitchen with state of the art equipment.

General manager Dave Walker said: “The Black Swan Hotel is back and it is better than ever before. We are just blown away by the finished results of the refurbishment and we can’t wait to share it with the community and visitors. The reactions we’ve had from people have been amazing.

“I love the fact that the original charm and character of the building has been so cleverly preserved and enhanced, while giving The Black Swan the much-needed love and well overdue TLC it deserved.”

Designer Barry Nicholson, director of BXB Interiors, was responsible for the interiors of The Black Swan where the brief was to breathe new life back into the property while respecting its heritage and character.

Said Nicholson: “We were very careful to blend new works in with the old, so it didn’t jar in any way. We used Victorian finishes to ensure the designs would meld, while we kept a lot of the older sections just the way they were, with only cosmetic touches to enhance these.

“Many paintings and decorative articles were re-used. The result is a wonderfully relaxed, charming environment that is welcoming for everyone, whether you’ve been out walking on the moors with the dog or are meeting for cocktails. You can step right in here and relax.”

The Black Swan Hotel will operate under The Inn Collection Group’s award-winning food-driven pub with rooms model, with homecooked, seasonal pub fare served all day, every day alongside accommodation in 15 rooms, which will be increased to 60 following the completion of the second phase of the redevelopment.

It employs a team of 36 staff and the regeneration has opened up further job opportunities.

Mr Walker added: “We’re looking forward to being part of the community here at Helmsley with a fabulous inn that people can proudly enjoy – both as customers or as their workplace.”

“The facilities we have are a first-class working environment for our growing staff team. I’m really excited by our ‘Rolls-Royce’ of kitchens while the new cellar cooling system will ensure our beers are exceptional.

“The refurbishment has allowed us to expand our staffing team, so it’s a great opportunity for people to be part of a dynamic team with outstanding, new facilities and opportunities for career development.”

The Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley is open daily from 7.30am with food served until 9.00pm.

The Inn Collection Group has five sites across Yorkshire, including The King’s Head Inn at Newton-under-Roseberry, The Stables at Whitby, The Dean Court Hotel in York and The Ripon Spa Hotel at Ripon, which is currently closed for renovations.

Elsewhere, the Alchemy-backed group has pubs with rooms in Northumberland, the Lake District, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Lancashire, with further acquisitions in the pipeline.