If you find yourself on the hunt for fine food up north you could do a lot worse than arranging to visit The Box Tree. This old West Yorkshire farmhouse in Ilkley was where Marco Pierre White started out and he has now returned to contribute to the finest dining experience for miles around and which holds a coveted Michelin star.
The building has been well restored to give a relaxed and cosy ambience, and you can sink into the comfy armchairs whilst enjoying an aperitif and looking through the tempting menu. Diners can choose from an ample a la carte menu, a menu du jour, or if you are really feeling up to it (and pretty flush), a menu gourmand. As you would expect, there is an extensive wine list and a helpful sommelier will point you in the right direction if you are indecisive (or inexperienced) without you feeling as if you have been pushed into something more expensive than you were considering.
If you are a foodie you will not be disappointed with the combination of flavours, the atypical ingredients, and the exquisite presentation. Seafood and meats are present in equal measure with luxuries such as scallops, lobster, chanteloup squab pigeon and mignon of veal the kind of non everyday treats that make an appearance. The young, yet perfectly trained staff will answer any questions you have about the menu and are attentive throughout, without being intrusive.
After your meal, you return to that armchair for coffee, and if approached with what looks like a cigar box, donít be too hasty to refuse, as it is actually full of a huge variety of delicious, handmade chocolates.
The Box Tree
35 - 37 Church Street,
Tel: 01943 608484