It all starts with a seed and The Botanist is already blooming where it’s been planted, and it’s not even opened it’s doors to the public yet.
On a recent trip to Manchester I wanted to go to two places, The Alchemist and The Botanist. Thankfully we made it to the former without a problem but never managed to make it to the latter after just a short two days there. So it’s understandable then that when I heard The Botanist was coming the Nottingham the excitement was literally beaming out of me.
Set in trendy West Bridgford, The Botanist now stands where Fire & Ice used to be. I’m not familiar with Fire & Ice myself but have heard about how much of an improvement it is to have The Botanist in its place.
When my friend Hayley over at Bunny Moonstone asked if I’d like to come along with her to explore what The Botanist had to offer, I literally jumped at the chance. I’d not been as excited about a restaurant for a while and the excitement continues now, even days after my experience there.
Adorned with an array of wood, iron, plants and little trinkets and treasures floating about the place, it’s beautiful inside and out. With an emphasis on it’s botanical theme, The Botanist oozes a mystical and magical aura that reminds me of something fresh out of The Hobbit. And it’s not just the decor of the place that displays an enchanting nature either, the cocktails and food showcase the same aesthetics too!
Back in June I attended a dinner party with Don Papa Rum and was cooked for by Michelin Star chefs, and since then no event had come close to giving me that same sense of adventure and thrill that they did. Until now. I guess it’s hard not to feel a sense of excitement when you order your first cocktail of the night – a Disaronno Sour, and it arrives in a plant pot with a test tube and edible flowers in tow. Then like some sort of mad scientist, your waiter adds something to the mix and the dry ice begins to smoke creating it’s own little show. It’s an effect that never seems to get old and one that I personally love. Many of the cocktails at The Botanist arrive like this, with a few being presented in other quirky ways including a tea pot that does it’s own dry ice display out of the spout or in a large laboratory style glass flask. Taste wise, my Disaronno Sour was delicious and didn’t last me long because it was so easy and enjoyable to drink.
My second cocktail of the night was a Rhubarb and Gin Old Fashioned and when ordering I was asked whether I wanted a standard version of the cocktail or a sweet version. Of course I picked the sweet version, and it was quite possibly the best gin drink I have ever had.
With an extensive cocktail list and over 45 variations on the menu, you’re spoilt for choice and it’s very hard to not want to work your way through as many as you can because they all sound incredibly appealing. If your not a cocktail person, there’s no need to worry as there’s a generous Anthology of Ales waiting to be explored, as well as a wine list and a number of hot and soft drinks available too.
When we finally got around to ordering some food it was easy to see they hadn’t scrimped here either. Everything sounded so comforting, wholesome and appealing. Unfortunately when you have additional dietary requirements like I do with my Coeliac Disease meaning I can’t eat anything with gluten in it, your choice dramatically decreases. This happens everywhere and The Botanist was no exception. That said, I did still have a few things to choose from and was happy with the options on offer to me.
For a starter I ordered the Pork Crackling with Chilli, Spring Onion and Sweet Apple Sauce. When this arrived in a wheel barrow, or at least the apple sauce did, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. It’s the little things like this that is what really makes The Botanist that little bit more unique and special than your typical restaurant. The crackling wasn’t greasy at all, had just the right amount of crunch meaning that you don’t have to worry about breaking your teeth and the apple sauce wasn’t too sweet but complimented the crackling well.
For my main course I chose the Pan Fried Seabass Fillets with Spinach, Tomato and Piri Piri Dressing and ordered some Mash Potato with Spring Onion on the side, as well as Cheesy Chips for the table. The sea bass was cooked to perfection, not dry in the slightest and tasted lovely with everything that accompanied it. It was light, fresh and healthy, and my mash added a comforting element to it all and was incredibly more-ish. I’d not tried mash potato with spring onion before but it’s definitely going to be something I do at home from now on as I loved it. As for the chips, the seasoning on them was very tasty but I would personally have liked to have seen more cheese on them.
Finishing with one of my favourites – a Baileys Coffee, whilst everyone ate their desserts I thought about how lovely the night had been and how much I was desperate to bring my fiancé – Jordan, along very soon to try it out for himself.
Almost like falling down a rabbit hole or walking through the wardrobe to Narnia, The Botanist adds an extraordinary element to your dining experience. It transports you to it’s own little fantasy world and takes you on an adventure, and one that certainly is worth the time to explore!
The Botanist opens it’s doors tomorrow – Monday 9th October.
You can find The Botanist at 40 Bridgford Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 6AP. Alternatively, you can browse their website here.
Post written in collaboration with The Botanist. All opinions are 100% my own.