My first ever visit to a Michelin Starred restaurant took me to The Box Tree in Ilkley. I had no idea what to expect. Was there a dress code? Any particular etiquette expected? Basically ‘no’ to both those questions! Now that I think about it, I’ve actually had three visits in all to the Box Tree and each occasion I chose the ‘Menu Du Jour’ which was a three course menu for about £35 (when I went); a very reasonable deal in my book considering the quality of food on offer and the dining experience. In addition, all my visits have been on a mid-week night where there were jackets and ties and jeans and t-shirts; basically anything goes.
This review is about my most memorable visit which was with a group of fellow foodies that I had met as part of the world of secret supper clubs and tea rooms. There were 8 of us in the party and by all accounts everyone enjoyed the experience.
The Box Tree is cosy with a low-ceiling making for a very warm, atmospheric environment. You are made to feel very welcome from the start. Pre-dinner drinks are taken in the lounge whilst nibbling on some amazing canapés and having to make some difficult choices from the menu!
The dining room is relatively small and ‘intimate’ with a somewhat formal but very pleasant atmosphere.
The attention to little details was everywhere to be seen. Take this butter carved as a rose … it was shame to break into it!
The amuse bouche was a wonderful pea soup; the colour and presentation was a delight.
My starter was black pudding with a duck egg. I didn’t enjoy this very much and was one of those occasions where I had definitely ordered the wrong thing.
The alternative starter on the menu was the asparagus salad and looking at the plates of my fellow diners that had ordered it, that was the winner!
My main was chicken and thoroughly enjoyed this. The chicken was melt in the mouth tender and the flavours all worked really well together.
Dessert was iced apricot parfait with caramelised almond ice cream – fortunately for me, a real winner. The flavours were sublime.
And so the evening drew to a close; unfortunately all good things must come to an end!