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The Black Swan at Oldstead

The Black Swan at Oldstead named the world’s best rated restaurant

By Luxury Lifestyle Magazine on 9th October 2017

The Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire, led and owned by young brothers Tommy and James Banks and their family, has been named the world’s best rated restaurant, followed by Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in New Milton, Oxfordshire in second place, according to annual TripAdvisor awards announced today.

It marks the first time a UK restaurant has topped the world category since the awards began in 2012, and ends the two year reign of Martín Berasategui in Spain which had held the title since 2015.

This year’s success is the culmination of an incredible rise for the team at The Black Swan at Oldstead, led by brothers Tommy and James Banks, who took over the establishment at the ages of just 17 and 19. Since then, they and their parents have transformed a quaint Yorkshire pub into the world’s best rated fine dining restaurant, with Tommy Banks, who was the youngest British head chef ever to win a Michelin star four years ago at the age of 24.

The Black Swan at Oldstead
The Black Swan at Oldstead took the number one spot

The Black Swan and Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons are two of three UK restaurants to feature among the world top 25 in the 2017 Travellers’ Choice Restaurants awards. The third UK restaurant honoured among the world’s best is Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, which comes in 12th.

The awards from TripAdvisor, the travel site that helps travellers find the latest reviews and lowest prices, honour travellers’ favourite fine dining establishments worldwide, based on the millions of reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor gathered over a twelve-month period.

This year is the first time that The Black Swan at Oldstead has appeared in the Travellers’ Choice Awards for Restaurants, swooping right in at number one in the world. The restaurant, owned and run by the Banks family, with brothers Tommy and James Banks heading up the kitchen and front of house respectively, is set on edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. Dishes such as squid dressed in horseradish juice, Texel lamb with turnip and mint and cake made from chicory root and blackcurrant can be found on the menu, which promises a combination of amazing fresh produce straight from the garden, alongside special things that have been preserved from previous seasons.

The Black Swan at Oldstead
The Black Swan at Oldstead holds a coveted Michelin star

Reacting to the award, Tommy Banks, Head Chef at The Black Swan at Oldstead said: “Its a huge honour to win this award, but what makes it really special is that it’s been awarded because of feedback from our customers.”

Beyond the world list, The Black Swan at Oldstead, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons and The Fat Duck also appear in Europe’s top 25, coming in first, second and eighth respectively. Other UK winners in the Europe rankings include Waterside Inn, which like The Fat Duck, is located in Bray-on-Thames, placing 19th and The Three Chimneys in Colbost on the Isle of Skye following at 20th.

In the UK top ten, The Black Swan at Oldstead, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, The Fat Duck, Waterside Inn and The Three Chimneys take the top five spots respectively. In sixth place is Cumbria’s L’Enclume in Cartmel, while Adam’s in Birmingham and Quay Fifteen in Southampton follow in seventh and eighth place respectively. London’s The Five Fields is named UK’s ninth best and Aizle in Edinburgh takes tenth position.

Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in New Milton took second place. Photography by Paul Wilkinson Photography Ltd

Travellers’ Choice Restaurants awards winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.

“What makes these awards different is they are not based on a small judging panel, but on millions of reviews posted over twelve months. To win, a restaurant has to deliver both excellence and – crucially – consistency. With the UK claiming the top two spots in this year’s awards, it firmly cements the UK as the new fine dining capital of the world, with restaurants up and down the country wowing diners all year round,” said TripAdvisor spokesperson, Hayley Coleman.

Travellers’ Choice Favourite Fine Dining Restaurants Worldwide:
1. The Black Swan at Oldstead, Oldstead, United Kingdom
2. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, New Milton, United Kingdom
3. Maison Lameloise, Chagny, France
4. L’Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern, France
5. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte, Spain
6. Daniel, New York City, United States
7. La Colombe, Constantia, South Africa
8. David’s Kitchen, Chiang Mai, Thailand
9. Maido, Lima, Peru
10. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

Travellers’ Choice Favourite Fine Dining Restaurants Europe:
1. The Black Swan at Oldstead, Oldstead, United Kingdom
2. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, New Milton, United Kingdom
3. Maison Lameloise, Chagny, France
4. L’Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern, France
5. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte, Spain
6. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
7. Restaurant Alcron, Prague, Czech Republic
8. The Fat Duck, Bray on Thames, United Kingdom
9. Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, Italy
10. DOC, Armamar, Portugal

Travellers’ Choice Favourite Fine Dining Restaurants UK:
1. The Black Swan at Oldstead, Oldstead, North Yorkshire
2. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, New Milton, Oxfordshire
3. The Fat Duck, Bray on Thames, Berkshire
4. Waterside Inn, Bray on Thames, Berkshire
5. The Three Chimneys, Colbost, Isle of Skye
6. L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
7. Adam’s, Birmingham, Midlands
8. Quay Fifteen, Southampton, Hampshire
9. The Five Fields, London
10. Aizle, Edinburgh

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