there's one thing i appreciate, and that's good food. the millennium hotel recently created a guide to newcastle allowing myself and other bloggers review great places to eat in the region. within newcastle there are many food places that are great however one that has really stood out since it's opening a couple of months ago is the botanist. well established amongst other major cities; manchester, leeds, birmingham, it now has firmly cemented itself as one of newcastle's "must-visit" places to grab a bite to eat/drink. with a waiting list of approximately six weeks?! to book a table for a saturday evening i was one of the lucky ones that was able to grab a bite to eat mid-day with no issues once booking. despite going in for lunch at one o'clock the place was already heaving, making me well aware why there are queues forming regularly to get in. the establishment is not defined to one niche, whilst visiting i saw it appealed to a wide range of people; girlfriends catching up, businessmen having a stiff drink before travelling home, couples sharing new moments or the stag-do has started early! once seated me and hannah had a stunning view of the city, reminding me of how beautiful newcastle really can be. on a good day.
the interior of the building was absolutely stunning, i'm sure everyone by now has saw the photo of the giant tree above the bar area. decorated with delicate details such as the domed skylight above and botanical features throughout. bringing the outdoors in. from just the cocktail menu itself i know i'll definitely be making a second visit for a more alcohol based evening. i opted for the english mojito whilst hannah went for the sloe cherry fizz. it was so light and refreshing packed with a zing from the mint, it definitely went down the hatch a little too quickly for a mid-day tipple. oops.
to accompany our drinks for starters we decided to share the homemade humous board, scotch egg with piccalilli and smoked haddock fishcake with tartare sauce. what can i say, we were famished. the star of the show for me was the fishcake absolutely jam packed with flavour. each bite gave you a great crunch from the batter but lovely and smooth when you got to the fish inside, the way haddock should be. the scotch egg was lovely and runny in the middle and tasted great just a little small for my taste even with it being a starter. maybe the addition of side salad would have been the necessary accompaniment for it to be a great starter, like the fishcake.
i have no idea how but we somehow still had space for our mains, hannah opted for the botanist speciality dish; the hanging kebab. sopped with sweet chili, ginger and garlic butter you pour it yourself through the kebab finding the remains of the sauce perfectly placed on top of your fries. it smelled amazing! it must taste good as i would say when looking around 70% of customers were going for this as their main dish. wanted to go for a more traditionally british dish, one of my favourites i ordered the pie, mash and peas. with gravy obviously. it was a shame there wasn't the option for mince but the chicken and mushroom filling was well cooked and in a lovely creamy sauce. with the well seasoned mashed potato it was a match made in heaven. the botanist has made one northerner very happy.
with next to no space left to consume any more food, as desert we both had the turkish chunky apple tea. it was so fragrant and strong in flavour it was absolutely beautiful. i can't believe i haven't tried apple tea sooner. am i late to the party? it was just an extra touch having it served in dainty, floral tea seats with a matching tea pot. i'm a sucker for quirky crockery so to have it all served on vintage plates just re-affirmed my opinion that this place is definitely a keeper for newcastle. we don't have enough restaurants bursting at the seams with character and uniqueness like the botanist. it certainly doesn't feel like a chain restaurant when you walk in the door.
if i was to mark the botanist out of five i would give it a 4/5. the only reason i would mark it down is it is a little more on the pricier side probably setting you back about £65 based on two people if you include a couple of drinks. great for evening plans, maybe not so much for lunch for that price. either way if you're local or have one in your area and you haven't already definitely head down!