My boyfriend and I were taking a short break on the East coast revently. We went for a drive through the North Yorkshire Dales and decided to stop off in Pickering for a meal. We had intended to go for a standard pub meal but once we saw the menu at the White Swan we couldn't help ourselves.
It's a fantastic hotel/bar/restaurant. The bar is how I like a pub to be, cosy, wooden floors, open fire, genuinely traditional. As so many pubs have been 'themed' now it was a pleasure.
The restaurant was more formal but stylish without being too stuffy. We were both in trainers and jeans and they didn't bat an eyelid.
The menu was short but beautiful. Starters were traditional (tomato soup) to interesting (seared pigeon breast with sage risotto)
The main courses included: Fillet of beef with creamed parsley and rosemary roasted potatoes, sea bass with spinach and rosti.
I chose Ryedale lamb with aubergines and rosemary potatoes, and a side of spinach cooked in parmesan and cream.
It was the best lamb I have ever tasted and the whole dish was perfectly executed.
The wine list was extensive and ranged from an extremely well chosen and well priced house wine list to wines that were listed as 'negotiable'. The owners are clearly passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about their wines but our waiter was more than helpful and not in the least patronising when we asked for his recommendation.
The service was impeccable - we were well looked after but not pestered with continual checks on how we were enjoying our meal.
We passed on starters, just having main dishes, with half bottle of wine and coffees, which were served in a very comfortable and cosy smoking lounge. The bill came to £60 and was worth every penny. Next time we're in the north we're definitely making a detour!