Leeds Trinity is bringing a lot of wonderful things to this city, but although I’ll admit that my heart goes all a-flutter when I see that massive Topshop on Briggate, it’s really all the restaurants and bars that I’m excited about. The diversity that already exists in the city is one of my favourite things about living here, but more is always better, right? So when this little invite to the launch party of The Botanist popped through my letterbox, needless to say I was pretty excited!
Enlisting the company of my glamorous and sophisticated friend Eloise, we found the bar tucked right next to the Trinity church and looking incredibly swanky. Unsurprisingly, given the name, there’s a bit of a potting-shed aesthetic running throughout the venue – lots of exposed brickwork, terracotta pots, wooden tables and this beautiful chandelier:
It’s all rather vintage-y and cute. If you like a themed bar (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love it. Someone has obviously taken some care over the decoration and accessorising, and it shows – but it’s not over-powering if themes are not to your taste. I, for one, enjoy the novelty – and I love that the theme translates throughout in the choice of food and drink on offer. They serve food throughout the day, and roasts on a Sunday, as well as an extensive and quite exciting cocktail menu – I’m envisioning this bar as the perfect after-work bolt-hole in the summer months, but if you could not all flock there at once so I can get a table, that would be fab.
All of the little canapés on offer were absolutely delicious – classic British offerings as well as a few little twists, packing a lot of flavour in just a little bite (and stopping us from getting too drunk after we rushed there after work!). I can’t vouch for the offerings on the menu, not having had a chance to try – but as this place is owned by the same people who bring us the beauty that is Blackhouse, I think you’ll be safe. I love the idea of the Deli Board as well – perfect for snacking on in between cocktails!
And the cocktails, oh the cocktails! We got a chance to try ‘The Botanist’ signature cocktail almost as soon as we walked in the door – a floral and fruity number, which was refreshing and over all too soon. Eloise also opted for the watermelon martini – a tasty drink but nothing overly out of the ordinary. But, and I’m about to be smug here, the cocktail that I opted for – the Basil Grande – was ‘oh my god’ incredible! The person who created this menu knows their stuff – it’s full of surprising ingredients like fennel and red pepper, making it a unique offering compared to your standard cocktail menu, and little twists of flavour like the black pepper in the Basil Grande. Absolute perfection.
The whole evening was packed to the rafters, so I didn’t get a chance to fully explore, and I look forward to a return trip where I can survey my surroundings in a slightly less hectic manner – but I get the feeling that this one’s a good’un. A welcome addition to the Leeds bar scene that I think will be worth a few trips!