RestaurantsWest YorkshireIlkleyLS29
HARDENS CLUB PARTNER

Breaking news

July 2020: Post-Covid reopening set for 22nd July.

survey result

Summary

£97
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Why it lost its Michelin star I do not know, it was as good as ever”, so it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this Yorkshire institution has been unfairly cursed by the tyre company. Established in 1962, this “intimate and opulent” venue is Yorkshire’s answer to Le Gavroche: “a proper classical restaurant, with all the standards of service, napery, glassware, etc that we're always being told aren't important for the dining public these days”. But since the October 2018 demotion by Michelin, change has been been nearly non-stop. The star loss led to the immediate departure of head chef Kieran Smith and appointment of Samira Effa in his stead. Then in April 2019 Michael Carr joined because Samira didn’t last. All the while “despite the upheavals, the Box Tree has sailed serenely on: the chintz still looks out over the hushed rooms, Didier da Costa still presides over a great wine list, and there is still soufflé for dessert”. And practically all reports still attest to its “impeccable”, somewhat classical cuisine and “gentle, low-key hospitality that treats you beautifully”. In September 2019 – more change – as Simon and Rena Gueller announced they are selling up, despite significant investment in the property these last two years. Hopefully the next owners will just forget Michelin, and continue to do what the place has been doing so well (and it’s rated on that basis).

Summary

£97
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Why it lost its Michelin star I do not know, it was as good as ever”, so it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this Yorkshire institution has been unfairly cursed by the tyre company. Established in 1962, this “intimate and opulent” venue is Yorkshire’s answer to Le Gavroche: “a proper classical restaurant, with all the standards of service, napery, glassware, etc that we’re always being told aren’t important for the dining public these days”. But since the October 2018 demotion by Michelin, change has been been nearly non-stop. The star loss led to the immediate departure of head chef Kieran Smith and appointment of Samira Effa in his stead. Then in April 2019 Michael Carr joined because Samira didn’t last. All the while “despite the upheavals, the Box Tree has sailed serenely on: the chintz still looks out over the hushed rooms, Didier da Costa still presides over a great wine list, and there is still soufflé for dessert”. And practically all reports still attest to its “impeccable”, somewhat classical cuisine and “gentle, low-key hospitality that treats you beautifully”. Hopefully in future, they will just forget Michelin, and continue to do what the place has been doing so well (and it’s rated on that basis).

Summary

£105
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“You have to like old-style comfort, cuisine and experience” but hitherto there’s been “nowhere better” than Simon and Rena Gueller’s “traditional and cosy” bastion (opened in 1962): “a proper restaurant, doing proper classical food, with proper service and a proper wine list”, which on all accounts has been “on top of its game” of late… so we were all the more flummoxed by Michelin’s decision to remove its star in October 2018! Soon thereafter, chef Kieran Smith parted ways, Simon Gueller said he was returning to the kitchen, and then immediately thereafter that came further news that Gueller had snapped up Samira Effa from Alimentum, when it was announced that the Cambridge restaurant was unexpectedly closing down. Alimentum was known for its cutting edge culinary style, whereas here it’s always been “the absence of dry ice and other fripperies” that folks have loved so much, so whether the contemporary shift such a move presumably entails goes down well remains to be seen. Constants, though, are the “amazingly broad wine list” (“enviable breadth and depth, and if you look hard there are some fair prices in there”), and “one of the most knowledgeable sommeliers around”, Didier da Costa.

Summary

£90
 ££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

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!”

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at The Box Tree?

Restaurant details

Highchair,Portions
16, 22
No jeans
50
10+

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £35.00 £45.00
Dinner   £70.00
SundayLunch   £45.00
  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 85.00 Always available 6
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £27.00
Filter Coffee £5.50
Extras  
Service 10.00%
35-37 Church St, Ilkley, LS29 9DR
Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday6 pm‑8:30 pm
Thursday6 pm‑8:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑8:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑8:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑3 pm

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