Run by two brothers, James and Tommy Banks, The Black Swan was named the best restaurant in the world by an international TripAdvisor poll that was based on customer reviews. Excitingly, this is the first time a British restaurant has secured the accolade, and another English-based eatery (Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton) was named second on the list.
James and Tommy Banks have managed The Black Swan in Olstead for just over 10 years; James heading up the front of house while Tommy runs the kitchen. When they took over the pub, they knew that they had to work hard to make the restaurant a destination where people would willingly travel for miles to a remote village to dine out. When Tommy secured his Michelin star at the age of 24, becoming the youngest British chef to do so, the crowds grew and their dream was realised.
A tasting menu at The Black Swan costs £95, meaning that this really is an eatery for a special occasion or for dedicated foodies. Diners are obviously getting their money’s worth though; the list of the ‘Best Restaurants in the World’ used actual feedback and reviews from guests, rather than a judging panel to make the decision.
If you’re planning a visit to The Black Swan, you’ll be pleased to know that the restaurant prides itself on local ingredients, with the kitchen sourcing most of its produce from its own three acres of land and the brothers’ parent’s garden just down the lane.
As well as taking advantage of seasonal produce, Tommy also preserves ingredients to use all year round, focusing on traditional British flavours such as lamb, rhubarb, turnip and gooseberry.
This award is sure to attract even more visitors to The Black Swan, so we recommend booking well in advance to secure a table.