The Botanist - Bath
Last Monday 25th March, saw the launch of British restaurant and bar chain, The Botanist in Bath.
Located in the recently refurbished Grade II* listed Octagon building on Milsom Street, (formerly the residence of Burger & Lobster) The Botanist boasts a gargantuan interior space, flooded with an abundance of natural light, thanks to its central domed cathedral-like ceiling with glass pane windows. A simply stunning piece of architecture which could give you a sore neck if you fix your gaze on it for too long whilst sipping a delicious botanical tipple.
Speaking of which… At the heart of the restaurant, you will be blown away by the impressive, very swanky and swish circular bar.
Mixologists have the perfect playground here to theatrically mix together a selection of creative and unusual botanical concoctions, as well as fine spirits, in front of an audience of cocktail lovers. I can only imagine how popular The Botanist will become for post-work drinks, midweek dates for ladies who lunch, and, weekend rendezvous with family or friends!
As well as indulging in interesting drinks combinations, diners will discover a fantastic menu from the deli, rotisserie and grill, with flavours inspired from travels across the globe.
Featuring everything from burgers to hand-crafted pies and salads, there is also a great selection of vegetarian and vegan options too.
Scott and I were recently invited to sample their new food offerings. Choosing to dine for lunch on a beautiful sunny Spring Saturday, we began with the ‘Lavender Honey and Sunflower Loaf with Whipped Goat’s Cheese Butter’ (£4.75) to share. The bread was piping hot when it first arrived to our table!
The goat’s cheese was creatively served up, topped with edible petals and runny honey. We would comment that the quantity was incredibly generous, and a little more than we were expecting for two to share (hence why we sadly had no room left later for dessert!)
To accompany our lunch, we couldn’t wait to indulge in a midday cocktail!
Scott tried the ‘Raspberry Disaronno Sour’ (£8.50) - a deliciously sweet tipple consisting of Disaronno, raspberry liqueur, raspberry purée, lemon juice and pomegranate juice. Arriving in a terracotta plant pot, this is the cocktail you want to order if you enjoy a bit of theatre at your table!
I was looking forward to locking my lips around the ‘Lychee and Strawberry Bloom’ (£4.50) which sounded wonderfully refreshing and an ideal choice for such a hot Spring day. Apple juice, cranberry juice, basil syrup, lychees and an apple foam - a perfect non-alcoholic option :)
Followed by a joint starter of ‘Chicken Wings with Hot Sauce, Salt and Pepper’ (£6.95). Perfectly tender and finger lickin’ good, we mischievously used our fingers to pick up the wings, keeping a beady eye out to ensure nobody was watching on in horror at our questionable table manners!
For our mains, Scott chose one of the popular Hanging Kebabs - the ‘Salt and Pepper Pork Belly with Sweet Chilli, Apple, and Coriander Sauce’ (£12.95) which arrives, in the words of The Botanist, with ‘properly seasoned chips’.
Mmm, all hail the Hanging Kebab!
Succulent squares of pillowy soft pork belly glistening in a sweet chilli marinade, sandwiched between caramelised onions and sweet red peppers. We both agreed that the way this dish arrives with a bowlful of gorgeously golden, perfectly seasoned chips makes it ideal for sampling across the table. Well, that’s if your dining companion will let you get a look in! A cleverly executed main which delivers all the comfort and pleasure your tastebuds will require.
Across from Scott, arrived my ‘Crispy Coronation Chicken with Toasted Almonds, Mango Chutney and a Poppadom,’ (£10.75). Now, admittedly, I find that I have to be in the right mood when opting for Coronation Chicken, and, that’s in whichever guise it arrives (in a sandwich, salad, jacket potato…) Here, it’s served as a salad, which, given the beautiful balmy weather, I was keen to sample something light for my main.
It offered a sensory adventure for the tastebuds. Pleasing marinated notes of heady curry powder, cooling crème fraîche and sweet mango. The sauce covering the crunchy salad was perhaps applied a little too enthusiastically for my liking, however, the crispy chicken was definitely the star of the show.
Alas, we just didn’t have any additional space to squeeze in a dessert on this occasion, although they sounded very tempting! I already have my eye on the ‘Bitter Chocolate Dip with Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge, Honeycomb and Fresh Fruit’ (£6.50).
It may come as no surprise, (whether scrolling through my photos here, or, if you have already checked out The Botanist’s Instagram feed), that this remarkable venue is reminiscent of a secret garden. If you are into your house plants, then you will delight in the abundance of green foliage!
Potted to perfection in almost every available space throughout the restaurant and pretty, outdoor terrace (where diners can also enjoy drinks in the sunshine, overlooking Milsom Place), you will be wanting to make a trip to your local garden centre on your way home!
Along with curious and quaint antiques and trinkets hanging from walls, you will find painted murals of nature adorning exposed brick walls. There is much here to make you feel like you have stepped into a secret garden.
The Botanist is certainly ideal territory for keen photographers who love to fill their Instagram feed with images of delicious food and/or inspiring interior design. So, book a table, try the dishes, tell me your favourites!
The Botanist is located in 18 cities across the UK (including Bath). To find the one closest to you, and for their food and drinks menus, plus table reservations too, then please head here.