And The White Swan in Pickering

Pickering is located between the four major Yorkshire towns of Scarborough, Whitby, Helmsley and Malton; it’s the perfect base for a short break and this charming town is well known as the southern terminus of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and as a ‘Gateway to the Moors’.

Cawthorne House is a family run guest house in Pickering; with more than a couple of standout differences, mainly its location and unbelievable service in the hands of current owner, Pascal. This unique guest house will have you returning many times to enjoy its fabulous hospitality and all that Pickering has to offer.

It had been a few years since we visited Pickering, a place we love for its quaint individuality and relaxed lifestyle, we were looking forward to going back for a short visit. More than that, our good friend, Pascal and his family recently took over Cawthorne House, so we knew exactly where we wanted to stay and didn’t consider anywhere else. Pascal and his family owned the Angel at Hetton for many years, once met never forgotten, Pascal is a fabulous host with a wealth of experience in hospitality and he has brought style and homely luxury to his guest house in Pickering.

cawthorne house

We arrived for a cheeky Sunday night stay, it’s great to extend the weekend where possible. Pascal greeted us warmly at the door and immediately offered to take our bags and show us to our room. This was our first visit and first-time seeing Pascal since he left the Angel, he was in his element, totally at one with his new surroundings and a man transformed.

If you ever met Pascal, you will be pleased to learn he had lost none of his character, cheeky sense of humour and his expertly honed hosting skills, he is so obviously loving life and his new venture, pouring his own unique brand of hospitality into making sure your stay is an experience way beyond any expectations you might have.

cawthorne house

This is a beautiful house and also home to the family, so you may be lucky enough to meet Pascal’s delightful boys; Sebastien and Noah and of course his wife Sarah. Our room overlooked the back of the house where there is private parking for guests and a lovely walled garden to enjoy on warmer days.

cawthorne house

In our room we discovered the first of many treats; fresh milk and homemade biscuits. Did we mention Pascal’s cooking skills? More of that later. A knock on the door revealed a beaming Pascal with two glasses of champagne and some homemade canapes to keep us going until dinner. At this point I would like to confirm that this was not special treatment for us but something every guest receives; it is easy to see why Cawthorne House stands head and shoulders above its competitors – check their Trip Advisor reviews!

the white swan inn

Dinner is not provided at Cawthorne House so we booked into The White Swan Inn, just a short walk away, in fact another plus point about staying here is that everywhere is within walking distance. If you are going to visit Pickering, you may well decide to walk in our footsteps, we struck lucky everywhere we went!

the white swan inn

The White Swan Inn was recommended to us by Pascal, he’s expert in good food and service, so we didn’t hesitate to go there for dinner. What a place; open for business since the 16th-century, we were welcomed into its warming walls and comfortable nooks and crannies for a meal of pure North Yorkshire excellence. They provide family-run accommodation, deliciously fresh food and a homely atmosphere for a five-star experience, whether it’s purely dining or the full stay.

The smell of cooking was a welcome greeting as we entered, we were starving and ready for some good food.

A great meal is always made that little bit better with a couple of gin and tonics beforehand and there was an enviable selection to choose from. We left the choice to the barman and he didn’t disappoint.

the white swan inn

We were shown to our table in the restaurant and handed a couple of menus, the restaurant was busy early in the evening, always a good sign and the food being served looked top notch. We perused the main menu with its fantastic choices of starters and main courses, but being a couple of Sunday traditionalists, we were delighted to see that Sunday lunch was served all day – Roast Rump of Beef served pink, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and seasonal vegetables. Perfection on a plate! In fact, so good that we commented on how it slotted easily into our top 3 Sunday lunches out of everywhere we have been!

A bottle of Malbec went down well with the meal and we finished off sharing a Mixed Berry Mille-Feuille with pistachio crème patisserie. Nice one Pascal; you certainly recommended a winner in The Black Swan. Make sure you eat there anytime you visit Pickering.

We enjoyed a lazy walk back to Cawthorne House, detouring to look in shop windows and bypassing Pickering Castle, set in the heart of this splendid market town; there is so much to see and do in the area we wished we could stay longer.

After a wonderful night’s sleep in really comfy beds, we enjoyed a masterclass in breakfast at the hands of Pascal! He bakes his own sourdough bread daily and as we left our room, we were greeted by the fabulous aroma of freshly baked bread wafting up from his kitchen. There is a mouthwatering breakfast menu to choose from which you order the night before; we chose fresh fruit and yogurt, followed by Pascal’s Sourdough toast topped with crushed avocado, then bacon and a poached egg; more sourdough toast and Pascal’s homemade preserves followed. 

It doesn’t get any better than this! Next time we will stay for two nights and book on to Pascal’s Sourdough Cookery School. You can take your own sourdough home to enjoy and devour Pascal’s while staying with him at Cawthorne House. The cookery school is running from 14th October till 31st March and places are limited so if you fancy it, get it booked!

On the way home we paid a call to Helmsley, a short drive away from Pickering and called into our favourite deli and butchers. What a fantastic end to the weekend. See you again very soon Pascal!

You can find out more at

42 Eastgate, Pickering YO18 7DU

Tel: 01751 269339

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