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Black Swan, York

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user reviews of the Black Swan, York

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Great pub, good beer and a friendly landlord. Very atmospheric, lots of beams, nooks and crannies, etc. Well worth a visit.
sylviajoan - 5 Nov 2014 13:19
What a fabulous pub. Old, atmospheric and a great place to stay if you're visiting York. The breakfast is bordering on ridiculous it's that big. As for the ale,I had the best pint of Old Peculier I've ever had. Magnificent.
mph - 10 Jun 2013 22:38
Superb atmosphere at this pub in a timbered building close to the Shambles and the old heart of the city. Excellent beer, too. One of our annual pub stops while in Yorkshire, we thoroughly recommend this.
mosey - 15 May 2012 21:38
Great place ... good beer and top food.
The mixed grill is literally massive and could probably feed two.
Gerremin - 19 Oct 2011 13:28
Never used to visit this pub much but judging by last weekend I've missed out. When it's raining outside and like the Arctic, the room at the back is very appealing - roaring fire, cosy, dark like a proper pub and all with a good pint of Copper Dragon. Wonderful.
derekwinchester - 22 Nov 2010 22:00
Popped in Sunday lunchtime for the first time in quite a while. I asked the guy behind the bar, "Are you doing Sunday lunches?"
"Oh yes", he replied, "we have quite an extensive menu in fact."
"Ah good. Could I have a roast chicken dinner then please?"
"Er...just a minute". He nips out of sight for a few moments. "Actually we only have roast beef."
I was offered a roast cajun dinner option by a lady who suddenly appeared on the scene, and to be truthful it was very nice. I sat outside and a third member of staff delivered my cutlery and then my meal. And then a fourth member of staff came and collected my empty plate. I felt that we could have gone on like this indefinitely. The pub itself is rather nice in a low key way, and haunted by the spectral figure of local historian and ghost tour guide Trevor Rooney, who has been known to chill his audience with macabre tunes on the out of tune piano if the Guinness flows his way.
ILooklikeme - 10 Sep 2010 15:47
Visiting from Calgary, Canada must say, great food and service. Thank you!
Michaelle - 30 May 2010 16:33
Genuinely historic mediaeveal timbered building just outiside the city centre. Last refurbished by Bass in the 1970s, it's a character pub and features in the Historic Pubs of York guidebook.
The flagged entrance lobby leads to an impressive 17th-C staircase, and three large rooms are accessed from here. The 'oak' room is on the front to the left, and has access to the bar. It's completely wood-panelled and traditionally furnished, and has a real fire. Several people were eating here on my visit. To the right as you enter the lobby a restaurant-y room was empty on my visit, but also had a real fire.
The large bar or 'ingle' room is located to the left at the bottom of the lobby, and is the crowning glory. A large inglenook houses a cradle on which a roaring real fire is situated, and the room also has decorative wood panelling. Traditionally furnished throughout with copper-top tables, small chairs and lots of antiques, its a charming room and was reasonably busy on my visit.
Beer-wise, the pub isn't as strong as some of York's well-known pubs, but is sound, with Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, Deuchars, Abbot Ale and Hobgoblin.
There are a couple of minor, easily resolved irritants, namely the gambling machine in the lobby and the pretty loud piped music in the bar, neither of which are in keeping with a pubas characterful and historic as this one. It wouldn't take much to banish these, but in the meantime the pub is well worth a visit for the lover of traditional pubs. 5 minutes from York city centre.
Carlurmston - 10 Feb 2010 15:27
Popped in for a saturday afternoon ale on a very cold day in January.
Nice old pub with lots of old interesting features. Proabably the most expensive pint of average ale that I have had in York but still worth a look to say you have been there, Seen it and done it.
CambridgeBlue - 18 Jan 2009 10:16
The Black Swan did indeed close towards the end of 2008, but managed to reopen in time for Christmas. I was there last night and have no complaints. Whatever one may say about the beer or the staff, it's the building itself which really stars. Despite its charm as an ancient city about half way between London and Edinburgh, York doesn't really have the kind of big, trad. "coaching inn" you'd expect in the centre (there used to be several, but they all went in the 19th / early 20th centuries) and this is the next best thing. It is rightly beloved of the folk / jazz set , and the various clubs and societies which use it as a venue for meetings. The York Shakespeare Project has regarde it as a kind of unofficial "home" for some years now. Come to think of it, there used to be live lunchtime theatre in the front bar from time to time back in the mid seventies.
Firedrake - 8 Jan 2009 15:03
This is the only place that the pint served to me was awful. As it was one I know and drink regularly it continued to worry me.

I have just heard (early December 2008) that it is now closed.

As it had wonderful musical night, blues, folk, jazz and comedy and a superb building, perhaps the 'phoenix like' reincarnation will get rid of the uninterested feel that the staff stamped upon the place.
stevesowerby - 9 Dec 2008 01:09
Don't expect a "Good Evening" or a "Thank You" from the miserable bar staff here. They really let down what should be a smashing pub.
the_amazing_wodo - 28 Apr 2008 13:20
Traditional pub - apparently haunted. Uninspiring range of real ales. Quiet for a Sunday afternoon. Bar staff quite indifferent. Lovely open fire. not much veggie food options.
doncaosdelanada - 11 Feb 2008 22:01
This traditional pub is growing on me. Have spent some pleasant afternoons supping in the back room near the open fire. Reasonable range of real ales though nothing stunning. Has a rather miserable barmaid on occasions!
zoo_boy - 24 Jan 2008 21:30
Stunning place, in the middle of a wasteland under redevelopment by York's old marshes. B+B is a bit expensive at 80quid a night, so we gave it a miss. The beer's usually fine, decent selection but hardly outstanding by Yorkshire standards. Food lunchtimes only is good, but you pay for it.
swcooper - 16 Oct 2007 04:44
Love the pub, as I've commented before, and I rate it highly...Great setting, and usually good beers. But recently I've had some really miserable service from the girls / ladies behind the bar. Itís a shame. I've bar tended a lot, and I know that you can be miserable and hassled at work, but at the same time, you treat customers with respect, and courtesy, so they don't know how unhappy you are... itís a shame...
alistair_cross - 24 Dec 2006 16:42
Wonderful traditional pub , with great character
LSANDS - 17 Jul 2006 14:56
This is a really wonderful, traditional pub, with good beers on, a fantastic setting and great live music nights. If you are going out with a small group of friends, want a great place to drink and chat, or a bit of entertainment you can't really go wrong here.
alistair_cross - 31 May 2005 12:18
A great, old, traditional pub compete with it's own ghosts.
The live music is really good and the atmosphere is cozy, but lively at the same time, and you can always find a quite corner to sit in.
The open fire in the main bar room is a real feature, taking up most of one side of the room, but all areas have their own featuresand have wood pannelled walls.
There is a good selection of beers and other drinks and the food isn't bad either.
anonymous - 19 Jan 2005 10:19
A good old, traditional pub.
Well kept beer and excllent jazz nights.
SMW - 17 Nov 2004 18:20
Very nice pub Good beer and 'interesting' customers
S.H - 9 Mar 2004 17:02
Fantastic ancient coaching inn. Hundreds of years old and reputedly the regular haunt of Guy Fawkes. Resident ghosts, superb guest ales, great live music and cheery host.
The real deal, all authentic. Log fires, creaky staircases, low slung beams. Residential too!
Jools - 7 Jan 2004 16:37

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