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35-37 Church Street,
This small and sumptuous restaurant has retained a Michelin star, three AA rosettes and countless well-respected recommendations for the last ten years – and it comes as no surprise. The Box Tree has been putting Ilkley on Yorkshire’s culinary map since the ’60s, and now owners Simon and Rena Gueller are lovingly upholding its reputation for unforgettable dining.
The building itself dates back to 1720 and was once home to a generation of gentleman farmers. Nowadays it’s the farmers’ wares that can be found inside, featured in outstanding contemporary French dishes. The Box Tree perfectly combines a sense of history and good taste with top-class modern-day dining. Taking in the surroundings (the art and antiques, the style and luxury) while perusing a menu featuring such ingredients as Alsace bacon, foie gras and tranche of turbot, you’ll already know this will be a meal to remember.
The seasonal, four-course à la carte menu is excellent value at £60. You might begin with the glazed veal sweetbreads with caramelised onion and a Madeira and truffle jus, or ballotine of salmon alongside caviar, watercress purée and horseradish. Mains such as the line-caught sea bass with roast Jerusalem artichoke, leek purée, confit tomato and veal jus; and the fillet of grass-fed beef with braised cheek and bone marrow, shallot marmalade and red wine sauce confirm the chefs’ ability to turn quality ingredients into simply stunning dishes – finish with a ruby peach soufflé with almond ice cream, and you’ll be left in no doubt.
For something that extra bit special, opt for the menu gourmand, which offers six delectable courses for £70 (to be taken by the whole table), or choose the menu du jour (£38 for four courses, available between Tuesday and Thursday evening) – a stage for produce at its seasonal best. Sunday lunch at The Box Tree shouldn’t be missed, and is fantastic value at £35 for four courses. And, of course, there’s an extensive wine list with varieties to match any and every combination of flavours in your meal. The list features a selection of half bottles too, so you can easily sample more than one – which you’ll certainly want to do. For your next special occasion, or simply as a treat, think first of The Box Tree restaurant. Book a table in the snug, by the fire or perhaps in the private dining room, and allow the welcoming, professional front-of-house staff to spoil you while the chefs wow you with every mouthful.
Open: Tues-Thurs 7pm-9.30pm;
Fri & Sat noon-2pm,
7pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-2pm
t: 01943 608484