Sneak preview: Inside new £1m bar The Botanist on Deansgate
August 18th, 2014
You may have heard that Deansgate has got itself a much welcome new addition this week – The Botanist. With the people flocking to the array of new and exciting eateries in the Northern Quarter and Spinningfields, it’s of no surprise that the north side of Deansgate has been looking a little unloved for a good few years now. That looks like it is all about to change now with The Botanist opening its doors and enthusing a new lease of life on one of our busiest landmark areas.
Upon entering The Botanist, eyes are drawn in all different directions at the array of treasures that are enclosed within its walls. From the gorgeous intricate light fittings in the bar area (made up of multi-coloured glasses, pearls and other trinkets), the beautiful tiled flooring, distressed style furniture and to the walkway towards the rear of the restaurant area of which the roof comprised of intertwining tree branches – remnant of some form of enchanted garden.
The ‘botanical’ theme is strong within the interior and the menu, with the cocktails encompassing various horticultural ingredients, as well as sharing cocktails being served in watering cans, but we cant help but feel there is something very ‘fairytale-esque’ about the experience.
It is unrecognisable from its former incarnation as Label bar, with an airy orangerie-style room at the entrance with pot plants leading through to the distressed wooden bar area and on into “The Barn”, via that vine walkway, which resembles an antique potting shed.
The Food and Drink
We take some time to mull over the menu and it’s clear to see that this has been carefully and lovingly put together. Dishes such as sides of ‘Onion Petals’, sharer Deli Boards, full rotisserie chickens, barbeque and even a ‘Home Comforts’ section, the cuisine incorporates the ‘Botanist’ theme but also provides enough options to satisfy even the more hard to please diner. The popular ‘Hanging Kebabs’ from the Oast House also make an appearance. If the words “sopping with sweet chilli, ginger and garlic butter” don’t get your mouth watering, we don’t know what will!
Our calamari starter with lemon mayonnaise (the latter which comes in a mini watering can no doubt) was perfection. The vintage/Wedgewood style side plates are just another visual delight that we coo over. The burgers are even served in small wooden crates, you know the type that you would see down the local garden centre filled with bedding plants? It’s the small things that just keep adding to the surprise and experience, making us wonder what would delight us next (aside from the food of course) and prompts us to eagle eye what our neighbours around us order as we spy with envious gluttony. The desert menu is small but dreamy. We tuck into a rich hot chocolate fudge cake and a Peach Melba Ice-Cream Sundae, the latter of which is probably the most underrated dessert of the modern day – it was like tasting your childhood in a spoonful.
Full to the brim with delicious food we spy the small piano in the bar, where we are told live music is performed every evening, with the weekends being an even more lively affair. There’s nothing quite like live musicians and flowing drinks to create a party, and The Botanist seems an idealistic spot for such an occasion. Another excuse for us to sample more of the exquisite fare!