Introducing Dottie!

Porters and doormen are often the ones welcoming guests into a luxury hotel…

Now The Black Swan in Helmsley has a rather unique way of making visitors feel right at home – with its very own hotel dog Dottie!

Staff at the four star North Yorkshire venue are absolutely thrilled with their latest addition, a six-month-old black Labrador.

Sue Barker, an executive assistant who has worked at the hotel for more than 27 years, explained more about Dottie’s arrival.

She said: “We are a very dog friendly hotel with many of our guests bringing along four-legged friends to enjoy our hospitality.

“I think it was because of this guests suggested that we should get a hotel dog. We thought it was a fantastic idea.

“We knew that we wanted her to be a rescue dog and that we wanted her to be a girl.

“Dottie is very sweet-natured, very smart and has already picked up a lot of training.

“She has been meeting people and going out on lots of walks.”

Sue added: “And lots of people have been coming to say hello!”

Dottie is named after a much-loved member of staff, Dorothy Jean Barton, who passed away in 2015.

Known as Jean to her colleagues and guests, Dorothy had 57 years of service for The Black Swan and was awarded an MBE for services to the catering industry.

Dottie’s proving such a hit with guests she’s already been referenced in a TripAdvisor comment.

There are a host of luxury hotels across the UK with their very own hotel dogs, including Pearl the Labrador at Rosewood London and Alfie, a Springer Spaniel, who lives at the Maytime Inn in the Cotswolds.

The Black Swan has a bespoke offer for guests who’d like to bring along their dogs to the hotel called Take The Lead which involves a photoshoot with a ‘phodographer’.

For more information visit the link or contact the hotel on 01439 770466.

5 Essentials to a Very Yorkshire Wedding



You’ve said yes, the church is booked and it’ll be time to say ‘I do’ before you know it. So what are the essential components to a proper Yorkshire wedding? Here we give five suggestions…




1. Breathtaking Backdrops

From Helmsley Castle through to Rievaulx Abbey, we have some of the UK’s most beautiful landmarks which could make for the most stunning wedding photographs.

2. Time for Tea

Hen dos are traditionally a bit raucous and in Yorkshire it’s no exception. But the older generation may just appreciate a traditional afternoon tea to chat all things wedding – and you may just convince them to add a glass of fizz too!

3. A Very Yorkshire Bouquet

If a rustic country wedding is the style you’re after, then what better than including purple heather in your bouquet as a tribute to our Moors?

4. Touch of Tweed

If you’re in Helmsley during shoot season then you’ll spot many wandering about dressed head to toe in tweed. The traditional fabric can make the most gorgeous wedding theme too.

5. All About the Beer

There’s nothing more Yorkshire than a cold pint in front of a roaring fire after a good long walk. Ditch the Champers and welcome your guests with a pint of Black Sheep.

· Did you know that this Sunday, March 4 between 12noon and 4pm we’re hosting a wedding fair? Read more about it here.



Mum’s The Word: When and Why do we Celebrate Mothering Sunday?

Be a step ahead – and start thinking about how you’re going to really spoil your mum this year.

Mothering Sunday lands on the fourth Sunday during Lent – and in 2018 it will be on Sunday, March 11. It falls exactly three weeks before Easter Day.
It’s a day that’s celebrated around the world too, although on different days. Mother’s Day in the US this year is celebrated on Sunday, May 13.

Mother’s Day celebrations date back to the Romans who celebrated a mother Goddess every March from 250BC!
Mothering Sunday – known in the US as Mother’s Day – started off in Europe as a holiday celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians.
Although now we use it as an occasion to honour mother and mother figures, it was once a day when people would visit their ‘mother’ church – the main church or cathedral in a family’s area. This would be give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary.
The celebration brought together families and gave domestic staff – who could have worked away from home from the age of just ten – reason to see their mum.

5 Ways We Can Help Spoil Her

1. Gift Voucher
Let’s face it…mums can be a bit fussy at times. Let her take the reins and spoil her with one of our gift vouchers.

2. Afternoon Tea
Not only will our beautiful afternoon tea feel like a real treat – you can share it with her. Isn’t that what all mums really want?

3. Sunday Lunch
A proper Sunday Lunch on Mother’s Day is a tradition for many families. Book in at our three AA Rosette restaurant The Gallery for real Yorkshire hospitality, complete with a carving trolley from The Savoy.

4. Spa Day
Who doesn’t love a spa day?! We are currently running a very special offer where our guests can make use of the stunning facilities at our sister hotel’s Verbena Spa.

5. Break Away
A quick getaway can make all the difference when you’re a busy mum. Book her in for an overnight stay. Check out our current offers here.