Oh, summer, you’ve graced us finally and the only sensible thing to do now, every weekend, is to sit in the sun with a refreshing beverage and hydrate… right?! Gin is good for us after all, isn’t it?
A few Saturdays ago, I was kindly invited down The Botanist Newcastle for an afternoon of gin and nibbles all in aid of the arrival of the brand new limited-edition Midsummer Solstice gin by Hendricks!
The celebrations of the new gin arrival began on the 21st June with Hendricks’ very own gin extraordinaire, Dr Adam Silas Brian ‘FiFi’ Wolfryck Templeton who left the Hendricks’ Gin Palace in Girvan, South Ayrshire as he set out to share his ‘case of curiosities’ with curious gin tasters at The Botanist bars nationwide. And he began his tour in TOON! Unfortunately I missed his flying visit, but still went along to sample the gin, it would have been rude not too!
I’ve said this before, but The Botanist in Newcastle is such a hot spot! It’s a must-go-to bar in the city with its magnificent decor and booming atmosphere. I took along my other half for a little date day in the sun! We were shown to our seats, which were the best in the house if I do say so. The Botanist boosts the best views of the city, including grey street. If you’re a people watcher like myself, you’ll be in your element if you ever visit!
On arrival, we were greeted with a Midsummer Solstice G&T (£9)! I mean it certainly looks snazzy, doesn’t it?! Very Instagram-able. The taste really didn’t let its looks down because it’s what inside that counts. It was a really fragrant gin with a hint of pepper, paired nicely with a London Essence Co citrus tonic, juniper berries, dried orange and thyme. A taste of summer is how I’d explain it, so refreshing. It’s since become my new favourite gin.
We were then kindly treated to some food! The Botanist has never let me down food wise and just gets better each time I visit. If you’ve never been to a Botanist, let me give you the 411. Their food, I’d say, is an upper-class version of pub favourites. You can expect the likes of fish & chips, burgers and steaks on the menu.
We had starters, to begin with. I went for the houmus with blackened red pepper sauce, cruditès and flatbread (£5.25) and my boyfriend decided on the chicken wings with salt and pepper (£6.95). You can’t go wrong with houmus, can you? It tasted like homemade houmus too! My boyfriend has an absolute obsession with chicken wings and everywhere we go, he ALWAYS gets them so you could say The Botanist had some competition. He approved the wings and said they were oozing with flavour with the salt and pepper.
For mains, we both choose The Botanist’s legendary hanging kebabs! I went for the chicken with sweet chilli, garlic butter, served with garlic and sage chips (£11.95) and he went for the salt and pepper pork belly with sweet chilli, apple and coriander sauce served with garlic and sage chips (£12.95). I bet you can see a trend here, he loves salt and pepper everything.
The chicken, which had clearly been marinated with the sweet chilli and garlic butter was absolutely divine! My mouths watering thinking about it right now, just look at the photo. The pork belly was equally amazing and bursting with flavours. Both were paired with fries which is always a nice side.
We washed down our food with a few cocktails which are just unavoidable at The Botanist. The cocktail menu is almost as long as the food menu, there’s too many to choose from. We managed though, trying the Strawberry and elderflower mojito which is a mixture of Bacardi, strawberry purée, elderflower liqueur and cordial, lime juice, strawberry liqueur and fresh mint (£8.25) and The Botanist which is a combination of Bacardi, Ketel One vodka, elderflower liqueur, red amaranth, mint and jasmine syrup (£7.95). Both utterly revitalising and zesty!
We had a lovely afternoon at The Botanist, Newcastle and can’t wait to return! It’s such an ideal spot for a date or date day, especially in the sun. I think the food is really reasonably priced and as are the cocktails. So if you’re in the toon, you know the drill! Head to The Botanist.