The familiar surroundings of The Botanist have taken up a new position recently, filling a void in York. The atmosphere and vibes of The Botanist fit perfectly into the historical and homely feeling city, now in residence on Stonegate.
Exploring the maze like streets of York, The Botanist unfolds from the iconic York wood building, lit from within. We arrived to a party in full swing, the windows starting to steam up from the inside, inviting you to join in and get cosy.
Through the front, you’ll be enveloped straight into the main bar. Everything you’ll undoubtedly already know about The Botanist is in play: a manic seeming but rigorously organised bar staff, small huddles of people catching up and winding down on a weeknight and attention to detail with assorted accessories stashed in every corner.
Make your way through the main bar - or detour direct outside - and you’ll be in The Potting Shed eatery. Should a shed get the Wonderland treatment, this would be it. The walls are lined with gardening tools and pressed flowers and the room is complete with a wrought iron gate. The staff are instantaneously at your table side to settle you in and familiarise you with the menu, before leaving you to get comfy.
Our starters were delivered with the extra detail of course - crispy calamari partnered with a teeny watering can, the calamari batter so moreishly crispy. And for him, thai curried muscles, so good that he’s been requesting them weekly since he scooped up the last of the broth.
For main, I tested the waters with a classic, fish & chips. The fish had that same deliciously crunchy batter, the chips weren’t anything to write home about but of course extra points were there for the plant pot and watering can accessories. The Mr opted for the special of the day, a melt-in-the-mouth, fall-of-the-bone lamb shank with a fluffy mash bathed in a rich jus. If ever a repeated special, it comes with high recommendation.
We finished the night with a dip into the ale tasting tucked away into the more private dining area. If you’re not already caught up, you can see more on The Botanist’s ale tastings from our visit to the History of Ales class. This was Best of British, allowing us to sip through the best in class from the UK with an enamouring host, one of The Beer Gurus.
The night ended all too soon as we slipped out to navigate ourselves back to Leeds. You’re undoubtedly already familiar with this bar and I predict it being packed in the run up to Christmas. If you’re in York, pull up a seat and get cosy.