STAFF at a top York restaurant have told their side of the story after receiving a one star food hygiene rating, and revealed an overhaul to their menu.

The Olive Tree, in Tower Street, received the rating following an inspection on February 9. The findings of the inspection concluded that "major improvement" was necessary.

City of York Council carried out the inspection, they found that improvement was necessary for both their hygienic food handling and cleanliness and condition of facilities and building.

The inspection added that major improvement was necessary for their management of food safety.

Gazette & Herald: The Olive Tree, 10 Tower StreetThe Olive Tree, 10 Tower Street (Image: Street View)

The Olive Tree issued a statement to The Press, in response to the inspection.

It said: "Regrettably, our annual Food & Hygiene inspection, expected to occur in December 2023, took place amidst significant refurbishment and renovation work across the entire premises.

"At the time of inspection, which occurred during ongoing plastering work in the kitchen and bathrooms, the environment was understandably chaotic.

"Compounding the situation, the inspector arrived at 2pm when none of the permanent staff were present to provide context or explanation for the ongoing works.

"Had they been available, we could have arranged a more suitable time for the inspection post-completion of the renovations.

"Despite these challenges, we appreciate the constructive feedback provided by the Inspector.

"The identified areas for improvement were already part of our refurbishment plans for the year, and we intend to extend an invitation for a follow-up inspection once the current works are finished.


"This visit has helped our management team ensure that our refurbishment efforts address all relevant concerns.

"At the Olive Tree York, we are dedicated to offering fresh food in a clean environment to both our loyal patrons and new visitors.

"We eagerly invite the people of York to experience our newly refurbished establishment later this year. In anticipation of our relaunch, we are planning an exciting event and preparing to introduce a new Mediterranean menu to the public shortly."

The Olive Tree has been at its site in Tower Gardens since late 2003, the Mediterranean cuisine draws upon inspiration from the South of France, Italy and the rest of the region.

The menus are seasonal, and come separately for both lunch and dinner, with a separate set menu for a more affordable option.

The restaurant is rated four stars on TripAdvisor, ranking it in the third quartile of restaurants in York.