The Box Tree

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Box Tree

Silver Award

Back in 1962, Malcolm Reid and Colin Long converted what was a local teashop into one of the country’s most idiosyncratic restaurants. Fast-forward more than 50 years, and current hosts Simon and Rena Gueller have cemented its reputation as an icon of the North Country scene. Some of the old eccentricities have been ironed out, but the retro interior still pays homage to striped wallpaper and paisley upholstery. By contrast, the kitchen (now headed by Mark Owens) is bang in tune with the times, delivering a clever, refined take on modern Franco-European cuisine in the shape of, say, treacle-cured sea trout with cucumber, radishes and oyster cream followed by fillet of Yorkshire beef with wild mushrooms, daube en cassolette and potato foam or (in more conventional vein) poached turbot with sprouting broccoli, brown shrimps and almonds. Desserts also hit the high notes – perhaps a golden raisin and rum soufflé with milk and honey ice cream. A pedigree wine list loaded with treasured vintages adds even more lustre to proceedings.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Fine dining, Luxury, Romantic, Traditional
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Often regarded as one of Yorkshire’s finest eateries, The Box Tree in Ilkley is an award-winning fine dining restaurant which has now been open for over 50 years. Currently owned by executive chef Simon Gueller and his wife Rena, The Box Tree continues to be an important part of the town of Ilkley.

Set in a beautiful sand stone cottage on Ilkley’s main street, the quaint outside of the restaurant shows few clues of the smart establishment which lies within. Stepping inside, the cosy interior has the feeling of being in someone’s house rather than a restaurant; the low-ceilinged dining room has only few tables, all of which our clad in white-table cloths, meaning that meals at The Box Tree will always be intimate affairs. The walls are dotted with the odd painting and a few antiques are also on show.

Food-wise there are a variety of different menus available depending on what sort of meal you’re wanting, but the cuisine is largely Franco-European with dishes changing daily depending on seasonal availability. The standard a la carte menu features starters such as salt baked beetroot, goat’s cheese, walnut and apple, and chalk stream trout served with avocado cream, cucumber, tomato and rhubarb. Main courses might include a salt aged beef fillet served with red wine braised beef cheek, mushroom duxelle and horseradish pomme purée. Whereas for dessert you can try a prune and Armagnac soufflé or perhaps a coconut panna cotta with caramelised pineapple, meringue and vanilla ice cream.

If you want to try more than 3 courses, a six course ‘gourmand’ tasting menu is available for £85 per person. There is also a slightly cheaper lunch menu as well as a Sunday lunch available for £45 for three courses.

A huge wine list covers all corners of the globe and includes wines by the bottle, half bottle and glass.

The Box Tree is featured in


35-37 Church Street, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9DR

01943 608484 01943 608484


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-14:00
Sat 12:00-14:00
Sun 12:00-15:00
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 19:00-21:30
Thu 19:00-21:30
Fri 19:00-21:30
Sat 19:00-21:30
Sun Closed


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1 Review 

Tim G

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

A perfect Sunday lunch

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