Dinner at the Box Tree, Ilkley

I’ve been wanting to visit the Box Tree in Ilkley ever since Lawrence Yates, who used to be sous chef at Alimentum, took over as head chef there last year, especially as he managed to pick up a Michelin star within the first half year. I finally took the opportunity a few weeks ago when I visited my friend Jennie in Brighouse which isn’t too far away.
The restaurant is set in a cosy, lovingly restored old building with exposed beams and open fireplaces and quite subdued lighting. It felt quite formal with the well spaced tables and starched tablecloths but atmosphere and service were relaxed and we felt very welcome and comfortable.
After a drink in the bar we were shown to our table and shortly after the bread arrived with butter in the shape of a rose. I’ve read the restaurant manager himself makes dozens of these each day!
We had opted for the tasting menu and the dishes arrived in a well paced order, the flavours building up nicely through each course. Everything was very well cooked indeed, with perfect seasoning and excellent balance of flavours and textures as well as being beautifully presented, perfectly justifying the Michelin star. Service was also top notch, efficient while being inobtrusive, with the French sommelier providing excellent wine matches to supplement the menu.
The following photos should give you a rough idea of the food. The colours are somewhat off as the light sources were mixed.

Butter rose

Quai's egg, mushroom
Quail’s eggs, mushroom, onion

Chicken, foie gras
Chicken and foie gras ballotine

Sea Bass, Jerusalem Artichoke, Leek
Sea Bass, jerusalem artichoke, leek

Fillet of Beef
Fillet of beef, mushroom, buttery mash

Champagne and Blood Orange
Palate cleanser: champagne and blood orange

Cherry Souffle
Cherry Soufflé

Rhubarb Millefeuille
Rhubarb millefeuille with basil jelly

There were some lovely chocolate petit fours as well but by that time I think I’ve had a little too much wine and the photo was out of focus…

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