November 10th, 2016
Review: Gorgeous Views & a Cosy Farmhouse Feel at the Botanist, Newcastle
By Luxuria Lifestyle
The Botanist in Newcastle is both a busy bar and restaurant destination. Packed out on weeknights and offering mouthwatering cocktails, the interior is stunning and includes an indoor tree beneath an exquisite glass dome ceiling. Meanwhile the restaurant, a cosy, farmhouse style affair, boasts spectacular views of the iconic Grey’s Monument and of the beautiful architecture of the buildings on Grey Street leading down to the Newcastle quayside.
It’s bizarre to start a restaurant review off with dessert, but because it’s literally the best dessert I think I’ve ever eaten, it would be only be fair! So good in fact, that we just had to order another… An absolute must-eat, the baked chocolate chip cookie dough arrives in a hot pan – soft, sweet dough littered with melting lumps of chocolate chips and topped with a dollop of toffee ice cream and swirls of salted caramel sauce. Whatever you choose before, make sure you leave room at the end of lunch for this!
We visited on a Wednesday afternoon and although the restaurant was busy, the tables are well spaced – we had enough room around our window table to allow for my friend’s pushchair too. Kitted out with kitsch and quirky farmhouse style features, the menu includes a range of nibbles, starters, a full deli selection, home comforts, barbecue favourites and rotisserie style chickens. Pretty much everything you could possibly ever want!
We started with a range of mocktails – perfect for new mums, wines (perfect for me) and coffees. Crispy calamari had plenty of bite with a good amount of good quality squid, served with a cute miniature watering can full of creamy lemon mayonnaise. In keeping with the farmhouse style theme, our camembert arrived on a chopping board with huge chunks of brown bread and a side offering of celery and beautifully green sliced apple.
With such a massive range of dishes, choosing a main was difficult. I desperately wanted to go for the chicken and chorizo, or award winning sweet potato and spiced lentil pie, but as it was lunchtime, I thought perhaps something just a little lighter might be better! Intrigued by the lamb and chickpea tagine, this came served in a gorgeous tagine pot on a bed of Persian couscous and toasted almonds. It was obvious the lamb had been slow cooked for that beautiful fall-apart-on your-fork type tenderness to it, while the couscous was fluffy and light. A perfect balance of Moroccan flavours.
Having already mentioned dessert, after ordering our second round (because the cookie dough was just so irresistable, we whiled away another hour looking at the gorgeous views across Newcastle on a beautifully sunny day, while the restaurant continued to fill up and empty… and fill up again.
It’s plain to see why The Botanist’s restaurant is so popular. Not only is it in a fantastic location, wheelchair and buggy friendly and run by an efficient, brilliantly knowledgeable team, but the food really is delicious.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield