I was at a loose end and my mother offered to take us out for Sunday Lunch. So I decided we should try somewhere we’d never been. I was sick of going back to the same places like the Toby and Crowne Carvery. This time we’d take a risk and experience the unknown. Imogen was at a Birthday party in the afternoon so we book a 12.00 noon table.
The Botanist Newcastle
We’d arrived into town a little earlier than expected and had a quick look at the NE1 Motor Show spread around Grainger town. We soon got bored with looking at cars we couldn’t afford and decided to get a drink at the Botanist before we ate.
We located the secret entrance and adventured inside.
We climbed into the rustic styled lift, that creaked as it reached the top floor. Only to be met with Sorry we don’t open until 12.00! We’d arrived 25 minutes too early to get a drink at the bar. So we got back into the creaky lift, back onto the streets of Newcastle and straight into Jamie’s Italian. Mr Oliver allows you to get a coffee at the restaurant from 10am on a Sunday.
We re-located the secret entrance and ventured inside…
I have to say I totally love this hand-painted, illustrated style that The Botanist has pulled off. The detailing everywhere is brilliant and keeps someone like me interested. I love the concept of a dining experience over just a meal. The visual feast is as important as a belly full of food.
The decoration inside totally separates it from the Monument Mall food court that it used to be! The quirkiness of the centerpiece fills up the glass dome, which goes back into a greenhouse theme, which is the basis of the interiors here!
We were shown to our table and asked if we would like any drinks. Then within the same breath asked if we were ready to order the meals! We literally had just sat down and hadn’t had a chance to see what was on offer.
The Sunday lunch for the Adults was Chicken (on the bone) or roast beef. Not being a fan of chicken bones we opted for the Beef, while the kids both chose Chicken Fingers.
The Bar had an impressive wine list to choose from, in terms of a by the glass offering. It was pretty much pick colour and a grape variety!
The Botanist Sunday Lunch
I can’t fault the presentation of the food here, everything seemed to be laid out in a thoughtful manner. 2 large slices of beef, half a carrot, half a parsnip, three half potatoes and some cabbage. The side tin was cauliflower cheese, which I’m not sure if it was a side order that we got by mistake or part of the standard Sunday lunch.
The Beef was very tasty and very tender. The cabbage was a little on the tough side, the cauliflower cheese was pretty tough to chew through. But I liked the presentation!
The kids meals were whimsical.
The dinner was plated un in a wooden seed tray. The Tomato sauce was served in a mini wheel barrow, which the peas, were presented in a little clay pot. The Chicken fingers were wedged into a metal bucket. Even before the kids tried their food, they loved it. Being able to sell an meal to a kid, by making dining fun is a big plus in my books.
Abigail and Imogen soon wolfed their meals down and started to think pudding.
The Botanist Desserts
The kids meals included 2 scoops of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry). Abigail chose double chocolate.
The ice cream was served in a tiny bucket and spade set up which sat on a layer of crushed bisuits, honeycomb and popping candy. A selection of sweet suggested pebbles. As you can see on her face Abigail was in her element here.
I didn’t want to miss out on a dessert, so I chose the Rocky Road Kebab.
The kebab was hung in a table stand, which amused Abigail, who gasped and pointed for some time! The waitress said “would you like me to pour your biscuit sauce?” I said “yes”, not knowing what on earth she was on about.
The top of the kebab hanger was a bowl with holes in which allowed a creamy biscuit sauce to drip down over the hanging kebab. The 3 pieces of brownie were very tasty as were the toasted marshmallows.
It’s not a regular thing that I feel I need to photograph toilets, but these were absolutely spotless. I know the Botanist has been open a little while, but these felt like they had on;y been open a few days.
I also felt that the urinal area had some lovely mood lighting!!
Before I got arrested for photographing the toilets I returned to the dining room!
Overall I enjoyed my experience at The Botanist. Unfortunately I didn’t love it and I really wanted to. The only thing that I didn’t agree with was the crunch factor on my vegetables. I would call them raw, but others may prefer them that way. I was prepared for the cost of the meal and it isn’t a cheap option, but as a dining experience I feel it was worth the money.The kids enjoyed it and so did my mother, (excluding the veg)
Perhaps, we’ll have a different view-point if Catherine and I manage to secure a date night.