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Box Tree

35-37 Church Street, ILKLEY, LS29 9DR

3 rosettes

One of the foundational addresses of the culinary revival in England that emerged from postwar austerity, the Box Tree was conjured out of a stone-built former farmhouse on the main A65 road through town. From twee tearoom to beacon of gastronomy, the Tree has always punched above its weight, its reputation nurtured through successive changes of ownership and chef. There really was a moment in the 1980s when the career of the then unknown Marco Pierre White, his tempestuous London era still ahead of him, emerged in chrysalis - a moment nostalgically marked by White's returning now in part-ownership. Behind its neat box topiary, it still feels like an unusually elegant country house, the interiors smartly equipped in well-to-do Victorian style, with richly piled fabrics and diverting oil paintings abounding. There's always been an unabashed elegance about the food too, for all that it has conscientiously moved with the times. The haute cuisine de Yorkshire of a previous generation has now given place to a vigorous and imaginative rendition of modern British modes, while still underpinned by a principled commitment to pedigree regional produce. Simon Gueller still enjoys referencing classical French technique in dishes such as hazelnut-crusted foie gras with apple and pear, served with a glass of botrytised Coteaux du Layon, but then a starter like seared scallops with caramelised Jerusalem artichoke, with sea purslane and lemon jelly, makes an unmistakably contemporary statement. Move on to main, and dishes become deeper and fuller still, accompanying John Dory with truffled gnocchi, turnip and puréed salsify, or constructing an oxtail and snail croquette to go with beef fillet. Voguish textural explorations inform desserts like spiced ginger cake with poached plum, nut granola and star anise ice cream. It's all served with effortless panache and a due sense of occasion, and there's a treasure-house of exciting wines.

Further information

Tel: 01943 608484
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Days closed: Mon
Dates closed: 27-31 Dec, 1-7 Jan
Sunday lunch available.
Days closed for lunch: Tue-Thu
Days closed for dinner: Sun

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British, French
Chef: Mr S Gueller, Mr L Yates
Number of seats: 50
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Vegetarian meals available.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.

 

Restaurant price guide

Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

 
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Directions

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On A65 from Leeds through Ilkley, main lights approx 200yds on left
Nearest station: Ilkley

Local information for LS29 9DR

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