Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
This “bastion of textbook gastronomy” (opened in 1962 and nowadays run by Simon and Rena Gueller) “continues its stately progress, with classic food (though in a lighter idiom), old-fashioned, besuited service, padded tablecloths, bespoke details, and so on”. “There is a consistency, attention to detail and perfection that few restaurants achieve” and although there is a ‘Menu Gourmand’ “there is no assumption that diners will want the tasting menu: portion sizes are very good and the food quality is sublime” with “flavours that are subtle and balanced but identifiable”. Didier the sommelier is “excellent and knowledgeable too” and the wine list is “very well chosen, not just featuring the most expensive or the most obvious options”. Naturally all this doesn’t come cheap, but “in Yorkshire, we always believe you get what you pay for, and here this totally applies!”
“The Box Tree is class, and exudes it from its every pore!”; Simon and Rena Gueller’s “special and quirky” institution is “that very rare thing these days: a posh restaurant (jackets for men, tablecloths for tables, sculpted butter, eau de toilette in the gents, etc.) serving classic food in the French tradition... might one call it the Gavroche of the North?” Results are generally “faultless” – from Lawrence Yates’s “meticulously prepared”, “classic-style cuisine”, to the “amazing and extensive wine list (you could spend some serious money getting into very rare wine here)”, and the “wonderfully relaxed yet civilised ambience”.
“A must-visit institution that’s well worth its place amongst the country’s finest establishments”. Under Simon and Rena Gueller’s 10-year tenure this traditional icon (established in 1962) has “gone from strength to strength”, not least as regards head chef Laurence Yates’s “very accomplished” cuisine.
This landmark fine dining destination (since 1962) can seem “a little stuffy” by contemporary standards, but the “faultless” food offered by new head chef Laurence Yates is decidedly “21st century”; “not cheap… but then for a restaurant with this heritage, producing food of this quality, it shouldn’t be!”
An iconic restaurant set in a charming sandstone cottage, with a plush, antique-furnished lounge and two luxurious dining rooms; it celebrated 50 years in 2012. Cooking is refined and skilful, with a classical French base, and dishes are light and delicate. Only the best ingredients are used.
AS HEAD CHEF OF THREE MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANTS, THE MOST RECENT BEING THE BOX TREE IN ILKLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE, SIMON HAS ACHIEVED A HIGHLY RESPECTED REPUTATION FOR DELIVERING INNOVATE AND EXCEPTIONAL STANDARDS OF CUISINE.
Simon’s passion and highly driven temperament to deliver high quality food originates from the early stages of his career. At just 24 years old, Simon first became a Head Chef / proprietor of Millers in Harrogate.
In 1995 he then moved on to open Rascasse in Leeds city centre which went on to gain its 1st Michelin star within a year, hosting over 100 covers Rascasse became the largest starred restaurant outside London and its success helped to change the dining scene in Leeds. In addition the pair went on to open the eponymous restaurant in the business quarter of Leeds, a smaller, more intimate fine dining establishment where Simon earned a star for the second time.
In 2004, Simon and his front-of-house wife Rena took over at The Box Tree in Ilkley. The couple managed to revive the once highly established reputation and in 2005 recapture the restaurant’s Michelin star, an award it’s held onto ever since. The couple take great pride in providing a high standard fine dining experience whilst retaining the unique essence and originality of The Box Tree.
When Simon is out of the kitchen you will probably find him out on his bike. With a real love for cycling, Simon has recently completed all 21 stages of the Tour de France cycling alongside the likes of Lance Armstrong and Geoff Thomas raising money for Cure Leukaemia.