Celebrate Like Royal-Tea: 5 Royal Facts About Afternoon Tea

It’s not long now until the wedding of the year.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are tying the knot on May 19 – and we at The Black Swan think it’s cause for a great British and American celebration to remember!

We are marking the special occasion with a rather regal two for one offer on Champagne afternoon tea, usually £32.45 per person.

And to have a bit of fun we thought we’d run through some royal-tea facts. See what we did there?

Here are five royal facts about afternoon tea:

  1. The British ritual of afternoon tea gained popularity in the dressing room of Anna Maria Russell, née Stanhope, the seventh Duchess of Bedford – and one of Queen Victoria’s Ladies of the Bedchamber and a lifelong friend. Anna was too hungry to wait for dinner. Understandably too – as in the 19th century it could be served as late as 9.30pm. She requested bread with butter, biscuits and cakes to enjoy with a cup of tea. The Queen learnt of this activity and loved the idea!
  2. Queen Victoria also enjoyed having light cake with buttercream and fresh raspberries – later known as Victoria sponge cake – to accompany her tea.
  3. Today afternoon tea at the palace is usually served at 4pm with scones, cakes or canapés.
  4. The Prince of Wales and his brand Duchy Originals promotes organic food. His collection ties in nicely with afternoon tea – featuring fine teas, scones, biscuits and preserves.
  5. And if you were to ever have afternoon tea with the Queen just remember…only the teacup should be raised when drinking. NEVER the pinkie finger.

The two for one on Champagne afternoon tea offer runs from until Thursday, May 31 but excludes bank holidays. Book direct on 01439 770466 and quote: ROYAL WEDDING

Walk This Way: What Are The Step Counts of Favourite Walks Near Helmsley?

Tie up your walking boots and head to Helmsley this National Walking Month.

In our corner of the world there are plenty of hikes to choose from during the month-long May event.

And if you walk regularly there are so many health benefits too – from burning calories and increasing your metabolism through to improving heart health, blood pressure and even your mood.

A good rule of thumb – or foot! – is to aim for around 10,000 steps per day.

So we’ve taken some of the leg work out of your fitness aims and estimated the step counts of five popular nearby routes.

You can learn more about each of the circuits on the North York Moors website, linked in each title.

We have estimated that the average person would take 2,000 steps per mile – although this varies.

Off we go!

Sutton Bank and the White Horse

Three miles

Around 6,000 steps

It is billed as one of the finest views in England – do you agree? Try this trek and find out for yourself.

Farndale Daffodil Walk

Three and a half miles

Around 7,000 steps

Head to ‘Daffodil Dale’ for a classic Spring-time wander alongside the calming waters of River Dove.

Hutton-Le-Hole and Lastingham

Four miles

Around 8,000 steps

Quiet fields and country lanes connect the two moorland villages of Hutton le Hole and Lastingham.

Castle Howard Parkland

Five miles

Around 10,000 steps

This Castle Howard walk meanders past the village of Coneysthorpe taking in breath-taking scenery and landscape. There’s an alternative shorter walk too.

Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey

Around 14,000 steps

From views of our picture-perfect town of Helmsley and castle through to pretty bluebell woods, a stunning trek from start to finish.

:: The Black Swan has a host of overnight stays currently on offer, currently starting from just £54.40 per person sharing a classic double room on a bed and breakfast basis. For more information or to book visit this link.

Keep Your Eye on the Pies!

We love a good pie here at The Black Swan.

And with the help of our good friends over at Black Sheep Brewery we are launching a brand new pie and a pint offer (or a glass of Prosecco if you fancy it!).

There’s a battle of the counties theme going on – with a Steak and Black Sheep Ale Pie and a Lancashire Cheese & Onion Pie set to go head to head on our menu.

The pie and a pint offer is priced at £14.95 – with a £2 supplement for Prosecco – and it comes with a choice of mash or chips as well as Spring vegetables from 12 noon.

But you’ll need to be quick…as the offer only runs until the end of May.

To celebrate our partnership with the guys at Black Sheep Brewery we are offering one person the chance to win two Black Sheep Brewery T-Shirts, a case of Black Sheep and a voucher for two for lunch and tour of the Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre in Masham.

To enter simply like our Facebook page and comment under the pinned competition post with your best #PiePun by Tuesday, May 8.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • Absolutely pie-fect
  • Pie beg to differ
  • Pie’m all ears
  • Pie of the tiger
  • The best that money can pie
  • Keep your eyes on the pies
  • A pies catch
  • Get rich or pie tryin’


T&Cs: One winner will be selected after Tuesday, May 8 and notified. The lunch and tour at Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre must ring ahead to book. Desired dates and times dependent on availability.