The Old White Swan

887 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

November, 2018

Product name

The Old White Swan

Product country


Product city


Travelled with

Reasons for trip

We were spending a few days in York, and I wanted somewhere for a family lunch where gammon and chips were on the menu for my rather predictable brother. I also wanted a relatively casual, centrally located and reasonably priced place as I knew I’d be paying! “The Old White Swan”:, a Nicholson’s pub, featured on a number of sites and when I rang to book, I asked if they offered table service and was told ‘it depends how many staff we have on the day”.

The place is full of history and the website says it’s a collection of buildings with a rather colourful history that dates from the 16th Century and is reputedly haunted. Also, the world’s tallest man, Mr. O’Brian at 8 foot, was exhibited at the pub when punters were charged a shilling.

Our table was located in the Georgian dining room: a small area of around six tables specifically reserved for diners. We had two fish and chips with mushy peas, gammon and chips and a sausage sandwich. After ordering we were told there was no tartare sauce for the fish, but when our meals arrived, the chef had obviously found the recipe, rather than the bottle, and made some. The fish dish was good with skinless crisp cod fillets, but the whole dish, particularly the chips could have been hotter. The sandwich was choc full of sausage soldiers beautifully lined up. There was no comment on the gammon which arrived with two fried eggs, so I can only surmise it fitted the bill.

My sister-in-law is one of those people who will not have a pudding unless someone else is: we compromised on sharing a lemon tart with British blackcurrants, but I managed to get away with only indulging in a couple of mouthfuls.

The pub has a good selection of beers, but two chosen by my brother were unavailable.

Staffing levels on the day were obviously good as we had table service from a very charming NZ waitress.

Two tips (1) at the time of writing this review, you can sign up to email updates in return for 10% off the bill (2) don’t forget to use the discount code when paying the bill.
Our bill came to £66.30, without service, but with the discount would have been £60.

Overall, it fitted my criteria, there was gammon and chips, it was central, we did get served but I expected slightly better food.

Helen Jackson

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