The Botanist Is the hottest new venue this Christmas, in Coventry. It is the last in the Cathedral Lanes development on Broadgate. It is part of a chain of venues across the country which embrace fresh ingredients, interesting mixology and wonderful spaces.
Using the centre of the old shopping centre, they have made wonderful use of the glass roof, and turned a grotty space into a light, bright, glamours hot house! It is unbelievable what they have achieved with this space!
You enter through toast iron gates on the ground floor, and walk up stairs which are around a glass lift. On the way up you pass a wonderful balcony which overlooks Broadgate and the Lady Godiva Statue. This is going to be awesome I’m the summer, and I can just imagine people watching, Cocktail in hand on a summers evening.
Through glass-doors, is a warm waiting area with booths and benches. there is some lovely “reclaimed” light fittings and foliage to make this are feel cosy and welcoming. Then you enter the wonderland! Over the stream via a humpbacked bridge with gazebos at either side, you are faced with the vast space!
Because both times I went were opening weekend events, the Gazebos were set up. One was for live music acts, and the other was for drinks tasting. But I’m pretty sure that these will contain tables and will be available to book in the future.
The chain is famous for its mixologists who use premium alcohols and fresh botanicals. They also have a vast array of craft beers, spirits, wines, and soft drinks.
Generally the bar staff were knowledgeable and well trained, but I asked two bar men to make me the best gin&tonic, one just made one with a standard, readily available gin, with “tonic” from the soda stream, which I was sure was actually just soda when I tasted it. And the other opened a new bottle of Silent Pool Gin, and a bottle of double Dutch “watermelons and cucumber” tonic which knocked my socks off! It was garnished with mint and a slice of grapefruit. It was insanely good.
My favourite cocktail of the experience was the Matcha melon iced tea smoking cocktail. This was served in a glass teapot, and teacup. It was light and fresh, and had a certain sense of theatre that I loved.
The canapés that were handed around was lovely, and the staff were happy to e plain them to us. This was the best food I experienced at the venue.
We were also invited to Sunday lunch at The Botanist, and this meant we could see the venue in day light, experience more if the drinks, and try the roast dinner. Unfortunately the wait for our table was long, the choice was very limited on roast meats due to the late seating, and when the roast did arrive it was cold. Everyone else sent theirs back, but I was so hungry that I decided to eat it as it was.
The beef wasn’t as pink as. Would have liked it, and very thin. They had asked if I wanted it Well dome or rare. The braised cabbage and veg on the plate were tasty. the Yorkshire pudding was crispy. But I was disappointed with the potatoes which had no colour, and had no colour, and weren’t crispy.
The sides were tasty and the best part of the meal. I was a bit disappointed by the service upstairs in the restaurant in general. The food was slow, the drinks took ages, and every time any of us tried to catch the attention of a of staff, they seemed to ignore or avoid us. Also, I wish they hand split our party of 8 onto two tables. They knew we were coming, and it was annoying to be separated by the main aisle that the staff took the food through to the rest of the tables.
I was also very annoyed that by the time the food had been redelivered to the rest of the group, there was no dessert left. Not only this, the staff were asked twice before they told us that they had run out of dessert. I left the venue still hungry, and went across Broadgate to Greggs to buy cake to make up for it! So all in all I was very disappointed in the restaurant, even if the bar and venue where good.
* As a group were were invited Back to have another meal, I was unable to attend as it was mid week when I have my daughter. Unfortunately other bloggers said the food was nice, but small portions for the price, and the service was very poor. I was meant to visit on my own last week, but decided to skip it as the management had not citified the problem, and left most of the group upset.
Over all I loved the place, somewhere to go to listen to live music, have a drink and enjoy an evening. But I wouldn’t go back for food. One bad experience is not grea, but hearing about the second incident with the other bloggers, I would not go back for food again. It is expensive, small portions, and staff need more customer service training. This makes me wonder how long it will last, the cocktails may keep it afloat for a bit, but there are two venues within Cathedral Lanes that offer good cocktails, and do 2for1 offers, which means that unless they do something spectacular, after the initial buzz wears off, it might not get the business to stay afloat. Only Time will tell.