The West Bridgford nightlife scene was once so popular, which is why many people were disappointed when some of the most frequented bars closed their doors for good.

But, bringing some new and interesting food and drink culture back to West Bridgford is The Botanist. Due to open it’s doors to the public on Monday 9th October 2017, we were invited through the doors for a sneaky peek before the grand opening – I can tell you that people are in for a treat!

Decked out to look like a cross between a hipsters greenhouse and an expensive laboratory, the atmosphere is warm, inviting and much more imaginative than the ‘industrial’ decor that became trendy recently. I particularly loved the “no riff raff” sign and would like one for my front door!

All of the staff were very welcoming and helpful and you could see that they were genuinely excited and enthusiastic about this amazing new venue and showing what’s on offer on the various food and drink menus.

We looked at the cocktail menu first, it is not just full of gin like many may think because of the recent gin boom (yes, that is a thing) but there were plenty of choices on offer from rum-based, vodka, whisky, alcohol-free and even some craft beers. Something for all. I opted for their signature cocktail ‘The Botanist’, served in a chemistry style beaker with an addition of real flowers, it was a delicious mix of flavours including elderflower, but it reminded me of a mojito. My sister chose a ‘Pimms Tea Cup’ – a Pimms cocktail served in a cute mini teapot and teacup.

We did try some of the food on offer, as we weren’t very hungry we went for the nibbly foods. We had some ‘Salt and Pepper Onion Petals’ which tasted as lovely as they sound. They were a twist on the traditional onion rings with a delicious salt and pepper batter coating very reminiscent of Chinese salt and pepper flavours. We also tried a ‘Deli-Board’ a tapas-style pick at dish where you can choose four items to have on your board (extra items can be added for extra dosh!). On our board we had the houmous, roasted red and yellow peppers, honey mustard glazed ham and pulled pork sausage roll.

Literally served on a board with a piece of pretzel shaped bread, we munched our way through it all. All cooked to perfection, the pulled pork sausage roll was very rich, I couldn’t finish it but someone who loves pulled pork would demolish it I am certain. The ham was melt-in-the-mouth, the houmous was light and creamy and the peppers were full of flavour. We also nibbled at some ‘Properly Seasoned Chips’, which I could have eaten two more bowls of.

We then ordered a cocktail that we had seen someone else have, served in a flowerpot with a test tube poking out…you pour in a magic potion and your cocktail starts smoking! I was mesmerised, true mixology. It was delicious to drink too. I also tried an alcohol free cocktail which was nice and fruity.

We were offered the dessert menu, we politely said we would have a look, thinking we didn’t really fancy anything…but after seeing what you could order, we could not resist. Sharing a banana split, not quite traditional, but tasty all the same, we were in agreement that the desserts were definitely worth the last push for more mouthfuls.

We visited in the evening at around 7pm, it will be interesting to see what it is like earlier, whilst it is not aimed at families I just wonder who you will find in there at various times during the day. Definitely a place for after work drinks and food, I am looking forward to visiting The Botanist again soon with various friends and colleagues. I have a feeling The Botanist will be a great success and bring people back to West Bridgford’s nightlife.