The Box Tree
35-37 Church Street, Ilkley, LS29 9DR
This small and sumptuous restaurant has retained a Michelin star, three AA rosettes and countless well-respected recommendations for the last 14 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 dining. Take in the surroundings (the art and antiques, the style and luxury) while perusing the impressive menu and be prepared for a meal to remember. The seasonal, four-course à la carte menu is excellent value. You might begin with truffled Norfolk quail breast and confit leg with a poached egg, sweetcorn and mushroom consommé, or Provençal fish soup comprising mullet, monkfish and mussels with rouille and Gruyère. Mains such as line-caught wild sea bass with sprouting broccoli, Pink Fir apple potatoes, roasted almonds and sauce Noilly, and fillet of Yorkshire beef with Jacob’s Ladder, oxtail Dauphine, Jerusalem artichoke and girolles confi rm the chefs’ ability to turn quality ingredients into stunning dishes. Finish with an apricot soufflé with chocolate sauce. For something that extra bit special, opt for the menu gourmand, which offers six delectable courses from just £80 (to be taken by the whole table), or choose the menu du jour dinner (from £50 for a four-course dinner, available Wednesday and Thursday evening, and from £40 for a three-course lunch, available Friday and Saturday) – a stage for produce at its seasonal best. Sunday lunch at The Box Tree shouldn’t be missed and represents fantastic value, priced from £40 for four courses. There’s an extensive wine list with varieties to match any and every dish. The list features a selection of half bottles too. The Box Tree restaurant is perfect for your next special occasion, or simply as a treat. 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’ impressive creations wow you with every mouthful. For up-to-date menus and prices, please see their website.