The Abbey Inn Byland

Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of The Abbey Inn Byland

Gold Award

It’s hard to imagine Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks washing pots here as a child, who 25 odd years later now occupies the role of chef director at The Abbey Inn. It’s something of a full-circle moment. Together with his team, he’s helped transform the 19th-century inn into a destination restaurant and pub with rooms, and the results are dazzling.

For one, it's overlooked by the statuesque ruins of Byland Abbey, which makes for spectacular viewing if you’re just popping by for a pint in its lush garden. Inside follows a similar historic theme. As we’re guided through a network of intimate rooms and cosy corners, we take stock of its original low beamed ceilings, rustic furniture and stone floors. Having said that, our table is situated in one of its more spacious rooms, the sun streaming through a huge skylight directly above us.

The menu champions a hyper-seasonal, sustainable approach to food and drink, with most of its produce grown and reared on Oldstead Farm up the road. Make no mistake, this is a proper country pub, and you won’t go far wrong with its signature beef burger. Even the precursory bread is a thing to behold, a beyond-fresh seeded loaf served with two types of butter, one flecked with pounded cheese and the other a verdant herby creation. From the specials list, a starter of asparagus with a poached egg - so often barely more than the sum of its parts - is elevated to new heights with salty ox tongue and an avalanche of Parmesan.

You’ll find more gastropubby options on the menu too, like charcoal-cooked halibut in a heavenly yoghurt whey and chamomile sauce, with fresh peas and samphire. The finale arrives in the form of three pastel-hued soft serve ice cream flavours, from lemon verbena to strawberry Eton mess. It’s the cherry on top of a faultless meal.

Finally, herbaceous cocktails, a considered wine list and local ales and spirits make for exciting reading when it comes to the drinks menu. All in all, dining at The Abbey Inn is a joyful experience from start to finish.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cosy, Traditional
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Child friendly


The Abbey Inn is steeped in history - it was originally built by monks in 1845 as a farmhouse, using ‘borrowed’ stones from nearby Byland Abbey, but by 1853 it had been converted into a public house. Over 150 years later, the inn has been restored to it’s former glory by The Tommy Banks Group, joining the nearby Black Swan at Oldstead and Roots York in the Banks’ stable.

The Abbey Inn is a relaxed country pub and restaurant, with a handful of rooms attached for overnight stays. As well as a newly-renovated dining room, The Abbey Inn also features a cosy bar area, with roaring open fires to warm you on colder days.

The kitchen team is led by head chef Charlie Smith, who has been part of the Tommy Banks Group for years and brings that signature style to a classic modern British menu in the dining room. As is the case at other Banks restaurants, produce all comes from the nearby Banks farm and garden, including their own meat which is reared just a mile away from the pub.

The menu is full of reimagined classics with interesting touches - a signature of Banks’ other restaurants. Dishes on the menu at the time of writing include smoked baby beetroot, ewe’s curd and ‘rhuboshi’, salt aged bavette tartare with fermented peppers and smoked bone marrow, and glazed Herdwick lamb rib with yoghurt flatbread and fermented carrots to name but a few. Hearty mains include The Byland burger - a Dexter chuck brisket and short rib patty, topped with bacon and chicory jam and served alongside pork fat fries.

The dessert menu features carrot and chicory tiramisu as well as an array of soft serve sundaes. Meanwhile the bar is stocked with an array of local beers and Banks Brothers canned wines.


Who owns the pub?

The pub is owned by Tommy Banks, the Michelin-starred chef of Roots York and The Black Swan at Oldstead

Helpful? 0

Does it cater for vegetarians and vegans?

There is a vegetarian menu but the kitchen only has a limited capacity for vegan dishes.

Helpful? 0

What is the cancellation policy?

The team kindly require guests to provide a minimum of 24 hours notice if not able to attend

Helpful? 0


Byland, York, North Yorkshire, YO61 4BD

01347 868204 01347 868204


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-23:00
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 12:00-23:00
Sat 12:00-23:00
Sun 12:00-23:00


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01347 868204 01347 868204

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