The narrow pavement outside The Botanist in Sloane Square heaves with be-cocktailed patrons in summertime, and their new branch in Broadgate Circle seeks to recreate this see-and-be-seen energy in the City. Designed with a Victorian steampunk vibe, the expansive bar and restaurant gleams with exposed copper pipes, dusky mahogany wood and windows in the walls displaying wine. Tucked away behind Liverpool Street Station in London’s latest dining hub, with other favourites such as Aubaine, Franco Manca and Yauatcha, the large terrace is likely to draw in a buzzing after-work crowd when the weather improves.
The ‘After Dark’ deal on Saturdays offers dinner alongside a bottomless supply of Prosecco, ETM wine, beer or Bellinis, available for two hours from your booking time and accompanied by easy listening from a live band. The modern European menu offers a tempting mix of jazzed-up comfort food, such as macaroni cheese croquettes with truffle mayo, as well as classics like the kilo pot of mussels in white wine, garlic and cream sauce with French fries. The pan-fried fillet of seabass with king prawn and crayfish risotto was crisp and delicate, with firm al dente rice and an artichoke tortellini dish made for a fresh and simple vegetarian option. The Prosecco, as promised, was plentiful and the Bellinis just the right side of sweet.
We finished with a treacle tart with clotted cream and the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch cornflake ice cream, which were serviceable. Popular with an older banker crowd, at £45 per person for two courses or £50 for three, based purely on the value of the food the ‘After Dark’ menu does not come cheap. However, if you are with a large group of swift drinkers that will appreciate the acoustic-guitar strummings, low lighting and chic interiors, ‘After Dark’ at The Botanist makes a good start to your Saturday night.
Originally published for Eclectic Magazine online.