Picture the scene if you will from the film ‘The Secret Garden’ the one where the little girl makes her way through the bramble, through the rusty old gate and finally steps into the secret garden for the first time…
You got it yes…
Last night as Liz and I made our way up the stairs to the third floor of The Botanist (situated in Leopold Square) and entered into the restaurant our faces where more or less the same.
One’s of pure awe and admiration (or as we say around these parts ‘gob-smacked’) as we beheld the sight in front of us.
“If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
It’s pretty special , its quirky , it’s really beautiful. (It was also a little dark so you will have to excuse the quality of some of the photos)
It’s fussy BUT in a good way.
No minimalism here.
Intricate lighting combined with Street lamps create a lovely ambience. Trellis and ironwork intermingle, as decorative butterflies hang from the high ceiling.
Lots of vines , what looks like a band stand, and a butterfly house…it’s just magical.
Throw in some live music, a very helpful and informative waitress and yes we are onto the making of one great evening.
And great it was …
So here’s a little background information before I delve into what we ate and drank. I’d hate for you to start dribbling this early in the conversation!
Always a little late to the table the Sheffield venue will be the UK’s tenth Botanist alongside existing establishments in Manchester, Chester, Alderley Edge, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle , Marlow, Farnham and Knutsford.
Operated by The New Trading Company The Botanist will be offering visitors botanical cocktails , a vast selection of world-famous beers and ales. A hand-picked selection of gins along with a choice of food inspired by the deli, rotisserie and BBQ.
Spread over 3 floors, the main bar is located on the ground floor. The second floor is for private dining or hire and the third is where the restaurant is situated.
The Botanist is also very proud to be offering guests at Sheffield the chance to try a ‘Yorkshire first’
Sounds exciting eh?
This comes in the form of Budweiser Tankove Pivo. Translated Tankove Pivo means ‘Tank Beer’
It is delivered direct and unpasteurised from the award winning cellars of the Czech Republic every few days. Apparently its the closest you will get to sipping the beer fresh.
One for the ‘to try’ list.
So what did we eat and drink?
While we pondered the menu our waitress suggested we order some nibbles to snack on.
We must have looked hungry.
The pork crackling with chilli, spring onion and apple sauce (£3.75) came highly recommended. Along with those we ordered some olives (£2.95) and salt and pepper onion petals with sore cream (£3.75).
We were also presented with a good sized portion of Cumberland and pork chipolatas (£3.75) which we don’t recall ordering but which went down a treat. Who doesn’t love a little sausage?
A surprise hit for me was the pork crackling. Very tastey.
Liz wasn’t too keen, taking preference to the salt and pepper onions and the chipolatas.
There is a massive choice of cocktails but we had already decided on ours.
Priorities , priorities…
I like my whisky so I was advised by a member of the bar staff to have the Cinnamon & Oregano Old Fashioned (£9.95) – oregano offers a very light smoke and pepper flavour which compliments the bourbon, the cinnamon syrup adds a delicate touch of sweetness to fuse the flavours.
Liz had a Passion Fruit and Basil Crush (£7.95) – Lime and orange juice, passion fruit syrup, Disaronno and Drambuie with passion fruit and basil churned through the drink.
This was another one as recommended by our waitress, who clearly knew her stuff. I had a sip and can confirm it was quite basically ‘to die for’
Liz thoroughly enjoyed it. I swear I blinked and she had supped it all… Just like that!
Already feeling the strain on our waistbands our starters arrived…
Garlic Mushrooms (£4.95) for me and Chicken Liver and Rum Pate (£5.95) for Liz.
Both excellent choices. (if I do say so myself)
Presentation is key and everything arrives either in a box, basket, trowel or wheel-barrow; basically anything you’d normally find in your garden shed.
It’s the little details that make the difference.
Scampi and chips in a basket (£9.95) with a watering can (how cute) full of tartare sauce…
My mums ‘bad’ habits are most certainly rubbing off on me – before I could stop myself I was counting the bloody scampi.
Yes I count scampi!
You’ll be pleased to hear I had 10 big succulent pieces. ‘Mum’s law’ dictates that anything less than 6 is insufficient and a poor show.
Mum would have been proud (and impressed) with a 10.
Another course, another cocktail , this time alcohol free.
Raspberry, grape and elderflower cooler (£4.50)- orange and cranberry juice shaken with black grapes, elderflower cordial, a splash of sugar syrup and raspberry
We were both driving and didn’t want to risk more than the one alcoholic beverage each.
This was seriously sharp and refreshing. I’d definitely have it again.
Pulled Pork Burger and sweet potato chips.
Liz finished her meal with the deliciousness above all washed down with a coffee.
I’m not sure how I managed it but I did.
Hey I’m no quitter and a piece of cake has yet to defeat me – Warm chocolate fudge cake and vanilla ice-cream. (£5.50)
I’m a big chocolate fan and this was absolutely delicious. Just the right consistency it practically melted in my mouth.
So what was our verdict …
We both felt the venue was stunning. Our meal, drinks and the service were fabulous.
There was a definant buzz in the air, courtesy of some live music and a room full of happy people. We found ourselves eating, supping, chatting and jigging along to the tunes.
We would be hard put to fault anything, even the toilets are tastefully decorated!
Time to say bye…
On our way out we had a quick ganzy in the bar on the ground floor and the external eating area…
Overhead heaters make it possible to sit outside even on the coldest of Sheffield nights…
We had a cracking night .
The Botanist is a much needed and welcome addition to Sheffields social scene.
In true Arnie style ” We’ll be back”
Until then, Tracey & Liz x
- The meal and drinks were kindly gifted to us by The Botanist Sheffield but as always all opinions are our own.
- Linking up with Not Dressed as Lamb #saturdaylinkup