Nestled underground is a new bar and restaurant where I am probably going to be spending a lot of my time, new to the Leeds scene and already existing in Cheshire and Alderley Edge; The Botanist is more than welcome in my city. After eating at The Alchemist, I just knew that I had to try their sister restaurant and bar, The Botanist; equally as quirky yet just as budget-friendly, this restaurant come pub, takes you into a magical world that you didn’t even know existed outside films such as Harry Potter. I’d like to introduce you to my night at The Botanist, the most beautiful, rustic dining experience that I have ever had…
If you were to blink, you'd probably miss the Botanist. It's inside Trinity Leeds however, you can't access it from the inside so you have to walk past it outside to see it (Boar Lane). I kinda like that though, it makes it like a hidden gem. The Botanist is nestled away underground and if you didn't know it was a restaurant, you may mistake it for a pub on Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. That's what this reminds me of.
My obsession with all things rustic was taken to a new level when I ate here, this is a rustic-lovers paradise. Everything is so Alice in Wonderland-Harry Potteresque and generally enchanted. It wouldn't feel wrong to be handed a large butter beer on your way through the door. If you don't know what I'm talking about, shame on you - it's standard Harry Potter lingo.
We read the menus for quite some time simply because there is so much to choose from. Oh you fancy a Sunday roast? Go on then, what about a steak? Or a kebab? Maybe a whole chicken? This place really does serve everything and anything. Usually, that's not a good thing, it normally means that the food will be rubbish, but just like The Alchemist, The Botanist gets it right with the food (in fact, I've never tasted chips quite like the ones I had the pleasure of enjoying here).
Like it's sister, The Alchemist (read about that here) The Botanist is big on cocktails. When it comes to presentation, quirky drinks and exciting new flavours, this is your go to place. A lot of people treat The Botanist as a bar/fancy pub and I can see why, the beer list is incredible for men (I guarantee your man will be impressed with the finest list of ales that he's ever seen, they serve more than 40 bottled beers and ciders from around the world) - you could spend a day here just trying out all the cool drinks. I went for a strawberry and mint martini (of course she did) and Jack went for the chocolate cocktail, I was so excited when he ordered this. It tasted like chocolate milk, with a hint of alcohol - very dangerous for those of you on diets but oh-so-delicious, who cares about calories anyway.
Even the jug that our water was brought in was beautiful and vintage, I squealed with excitement when I saw how cute it was, such a girl.
To start Jack got the warm, home-made scotch eggs and boy were they difficult to photograph, as much as I loved The Botanist, my camera didn't, it's pretty bad lighting for photographers. The eggs were nestled in something and we're still not sure what it was, but it was edible and insanely delicious (probably quite calorific too). The scotch eggs were just simply beautiful, I urge you to try them if you eat here, fresh from the oven. This place is truly British, with a twist. These cost around £5.00 which isn't that bad I don't think, particularly when you're getting such good presentation and such home-made goodness, not to mention how incredible and unique the venue itself is.
Me being me went for the platter. You could choose any four items on here for £9.95 which isn't too bad actually. I went for lots of meats, some 2 year old cheese, olives and it all comes complete with a Turkish flatbread. I shared all of this with Jack because I mean come on, I know I love food but I didn't want to look too greedy.
The Turkish flatbread was actually to die for, it was baked to perfection and probably the best bread that I have ever eaten, it made a great sharing loaf particularly topped with cheese and salami - washed down with a famous Botanist ale of course.
Mains were even better. Food at The Botanist comes in the form of a deli-style menu with rotisserie and barbecued food which is all very exciting, so of course, I had to try a hanging chicken, chili and garlic butter kebab.
These chips; seriously, wow. I can't put into words what they tasted like, drizzled in garlic butter, coated in seasoning (we're not talking Nandos peri peri either) they were perfectly crispy on the outside and deliciously smooth on the inside. I don't care how many calories are in these chips, I could live on them for the rest of my life.
My kebab was just epic, not to mention the fact that the waiter comes and drops the garlic butter all over it, chicken drizzled with garlic butter is like a dream come true to me. The chicken was cooked to perfection as well, it had that nice BBQ'd feel to it, if only it wasn't nearly snowing outside (Northern problems). Price-wise, this was only £9.95 which I feel is very good.
He made a good choice though, it was so succulent and juicy.
I got a bit tipsy as the night went on.
My dress is from Topshop, L'Oreal Telescopic mascara and *cringe* One Direction lipstick but I love it so much, you can read about it on those links.
I loved the lighting in The Botanist, I haven't seen anything like it before, I really did think that this only existed in films.
We finished our drinks.
So brilliantly rustic.
It was time for dessert. It was a toss up between grilled bananas and raspberry creme brûlée but I went with the latter. I particularly loved the vintage tea cup that it was served in, oh and the gorgeous short bread to dunk inside it.
Jack went for sticky toffee pudding, the waitress said we wouldn't regret it and we really didn't.
I'm obsessed with Jack's BlakLabel t-shirt, need to steal it off him to sleep in, probably just because I have a slight obsession with elephants.
This was my favourite drink of the night. Also love this shot because my ring is in it, a beautiful gift from Jack which he bought me from pandora last week. I can't stop staring at it. Lucky girl.
The Botanist really is a concept like I've never seen before. It's exciting, different and unique but the food is good, honest, home-cooked British food with a quirky Botanist twist. The drinks are amazing, you could have endless fun trying a different ale or cocktail every night. The great thing about The Botanist is that there really is something for everyone who visits, it's an extensive menu and I'm really impressed with the price of it. If you want up-market eating in a magical setting at a reasonable price, visit The Botanist as soon as you can.