Earlier this week I was extremely lucky to be invited to the press/bloggers launch night of The Botanist, on Bridgford Road, West Bridgford. I took my lovely friend Chloe as my plus one.
Having visited venues in both Birmingham and York, I was super excited to find out it was opening in my hometown.
The Botanist is known for its plant based cocktails and hanging kebabs, however I didn’t know what a huge craft beer selection they had. West Bridgford is their 15th venue and in a prominent location, standing where Fire & Ice used to be. They really have transformed it into a wonderful horticultural haven.
The front of the building is surrounded by beautiful wrought iron gates bearing their logo, and there is a little seating area to the right with iron tables and chairs for small groups. There is also a wheelbarrow and crates for decoration to the left of the door.
Inside the decor is minimal. Exposed brickwork, natural wood and distressed cabinets make up the bulk of decoration. The main focal points are the huge chandelier created from various coloured glassware. Think vases, lanterns and bottles. It was gorgeous and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It would be a nightmare to dust though! The cabinets house various trinkets such as bottles and garden tools.
We were sat at a table, handed the cocktail menu, and asked if we would like water for the table. This is always a plus. They have 45 cocktails on their menu, all sounding absolutely delicious. They are stunning creations, mixing the best in spirit with fabulous herbs and fruits. I went straight for their ‘pear and kiwi cup’ . Kiwi, lime and apple juice shaken with Licor 43, pear cognac and green apple liqueur and a splash of green tea, I opted for it as I am on a diet and green tea is supposed to be good for you! I was delightful, very summery and fruity. It arrived in a teapot and it was so cool to see the dry ice escaping from the spout!
We ordered nibbles as we perused the menu. I went for the cumberland and pork chipolatas with a honey mustard dipping sauce. Chloe went for the unusually sounding salt & pepper onion petals. If these starters were anything to go by, the food was going to be brilliant. The chipolatas were lovely and meaty and the honey mustard sauce complimented it very well. The onion petals were encased in a light crisp batter and the creme fraiche lifted the flavour of the onion beautifully.
For starters (I know, the nibbles weren’t even the starters!) we had chicken liver pate and crispy calamari. The pate came with a green peppercorn butter and fig chutney. The pate was very smooth and the fig chutney was sublime. The slight bitterness of the figs complimented the sweetness of the pate. The calamari was coated in a piri piri salt that made it a little hot, with a cooling lemon and lime mayo. Again beautiful dishes.
By this point I think we were both getting pretty full, however we hadn’t had our mains! I went for the bbq puled pork burger and sweet potato fries, whilst Chloe went for the famous hanging kebab – salt and pepper pork. Both were incredibly huge portions. My pulled pork burger was succulent and full of smokey flavour. It came topped with a slice of gerkin (my fave). The fries could have been cooked a little longer in my opinion but it was a good all rounder. Chloe’s feedback was that her kebab was super tasty but could have used much more sauce to accompany it. It was super thick and only reached about halfway down the hanging kebab.
Next came pudding! We opted to share both the baked chocolate chip cookie dough with vanilla ice cream and the white chocolate and peanut butter mousse. The cookie dough came on an extremely hot skillet (don’t touch it like I did) and it was delicious, if a little sickly towards the end. The mousse arrived on a shovel (!) and was topped with flowers, chocolate and a ginger crumb. This was heavenly. After all the other food we have stuffed into our mouths, this was light, fluffy and incredibly presented.
We tried 5 different beers. The first was chosen as it paired with our desserts. It was a Wiper and True Milkshake. This was creamy and chocolaty and actually my favourite of the lot. the others we tried were Redwillow Weightless, Lindemans oude gueuze cuvée rené, Einstok Icelandic white ale and a Goose island honkers ale. We could only have a sip of each as we were driving unfortunately. There is also a descriptive craft ale book written by Kieron so that you can get a little more info on each before you order.
Live misuc was playing throughout the night which was lovely. I do hope the singers are there the next time I go as it was fantastic. Old classics and newer songs were played. The only thing was we were sat right underneath a speaker and as I am half deaf poor Chloe had to shout a little so I could hear her. The staff were fantastic and so attentive. Shout out to Emily our server – you were fab!
Thank you to Tank PR and The Botanist for inviting me and for providing a fantastic night. I am just gutted I was driving! xx