The Enchanted Nativity - Christmas at The Botanist
I was lucky enough to be invited down to The Botanist this week to road test their new Christmas menu with a few other bloggers. Our soiree was held in a gorgeous private dining room and it was lovely to meet Paul, Alice and the team and hear just how much hard work and dedication goes into the christmas season at The Botanist.
From 6000 christmas crackers and over £10,000 worth of Christmas decorations, to the staff starting work at 8am to test the festive menu themselves and little touches such as warm faux-fur throws on the winter wonderland roof terrace where jugs of mulled wine and spiced cider will be served, The Botanist really has pulled out all of the stops to make sure they capture the magic of the festive season. Not to mention that there will be live music (with a few festive favourites thrown in) twice daily and a few special events lined up too (make sure you follow The Botanist on facebook for updates - their special events are going to include carols by candlelight which under the twinkling lights of the monument dome will be a date you do not want to miss).
Festive Menu at The Botanist
The festive menu at The Botanist runs from Monday 23rd November - Thursday 31st December and is available for intimate dinners for two, family lunches or even a work Christmas dinner for over 70 people. Priced at just £22.50 pp for a three course lunch or £27.50 pp for a three course dinner, I think the prices are very competitive too. For booking enquiries, call 0191 261 6307
Options include Chicken liver pate, radish and pickled veg or Beetroot and roast pepper salad, walnut dressing and goat's cheese crumb. Both were delicious but without a doubt I would recommend you sample the Roast vine tomato soup, basil oil, balsamic and crusty roll. A spoonful of this just feels like a warm hug and it took all my self discipline not to ask the other guests on our table if I could finish their leftovers!
and for main.....
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without traditional roast turkey so of course you will find turkey and all the trimmings on the menu. There is also the option of Roast fillet of salmon however I feel that the most popular choice will be the sirloin steak with baby spinach and forestiere garnish. I did worry that the portion may be smaller or the cooking not up to scratch (which is sometimes the case over Christmas) however all of our steaks were simply perfect.
The unlikely star of the show though was the Pumpkin ravioli, crispy shallots and sage. Now there wasn't a single vegetarian on our table however most of us said this dish was our favourite. I would actually go as far as to say it was the best pasta dish I've ever eaten - I am definitely going to order this again.
moving onto dessert.......
To finish there is the option of Christmas pudding and brandy sauce (my favourite and I will always order this when it's on the menu), Orange and bitter chocolate truffle torte with mint sugar which was beautiful but very rich so if you are struggling to fit much more in at this point, it may be one to avoid. Most of us agreed that the sliced apple and almond tart with caramel ice cream was the winner.
Winter Wonderland Roof Terrace
The Botanist are going to prove that their roof terrace isn't just for summer and are transforming it into Newcastle's very own winter wonderland this year. With views of the Christmas markets around monument and the Christmas lights down Grey Street, there isn't anywhere else I would stop for a drink during my Christmas shopping this year. The roof terrace is mostly enclosed and will be decorated for the festive season and filled with warm blankets, throws and cosy cushions. The roof top bar will be serving mugs of mulled wine (£5) and warm spiced cider alongside the Botanist's famous cocktails. As I found out this summer, the Botanist also serve decent tea and coffee and a nice selection of non-alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks, so if you can't drink alcohol, you can still treat yourself and take in the atmosphere.
The winter wonderland roof terrace opens this evening (Thursday 19th November from 6:30pm - just after the Christmas light switch on) and the first 50 people through the door will receive a complimentary mug of mulled wine or spiced cider. If you are in town tonight, you'd be mad not to pop down and take a peek.
Sadly, I can no longer be there tonight. Boooo! However if you follow us on instagram I will be posting a few pics from the winter wonderland roof terrace when we visit on Sunday.
A children's festive menu is also available. Call 0191 261 6370 to book.