When the Botanist first opened in Newcastle a few years ago, it immediately shot to the top of the most sought after spot in toon for somewhere to eat. I remember you couldn’t get booked at a weekend for up to six weeks in advance, and even nowadays it’s still pretty difficult. When I was there last month for a Gin Masterclass (seriously, try it), our host told us that a new mezzanine eating and private function area was coming soon. The new mezzanine has finally opened, adding only more character to the beautiful bar.
Overlooking the giant tree, inside and above the bar the mezzanine is an extension of that narrow walkway you go along to get to the outside terrace. It seats 60 people, or there’s room for 80 standing if it’s a private function area that you need.
One of the first things you notice is the beautiful pink canopy, entwined with the wooden beam ceiling, that really reminded me of The Ivy in London! Dotted with glowing lights the atmosphere is cosy but sophisticated, florally themed but not overdone.
The launch night last week was an opportunity for people to see the space in use as a function area, and I have to say it is definitely a space with a difference. You don’t lose the atmosphere or the live music that floats through the bar below, and with direct access to the outside terrace, bar, and views down Grey Street it really is a private space in the heart of everything going on.
I can see it working whatever the season, I spied the warm blankets in the baskets on the terrace outside, and obviously in summer the terrace is a real sun trap. I took my friend Amanda along and we both said we wished it had been open for our 30th celebrations last year.
We were greeted with prosecco on arrival, and throughout the evening the staff were great and attentive to our glasses emptying, and on hand for top ups. Trays of beers joined the party, as did the option of the Botanist signature cocktail, named The Botanist.
There were also a selection of snacks making their way among the guests too, from mini burgers, bread and hummus, haloumi and pepper skewers, glazed chipolatas, and my personal favourite, scotch eggs. These are all available off the main bar menu, but with the new mezzanine comes the option for them to be used as catering for a party or event.
The past two Christmases (is that a word?) my friends and I have hired out the Granny Smith room for our Christmas get together, which for less than 16 people is a really good option for a private space, with personal service, and a good spot for swapping secret Santa’s. The Christmas menu is out at the Botanist now so if you’re keen don’t leave it too late to book up!
With the addition of the mezzanine, the Botanist really has become one of the most unique bars in Newcastle. With a full range of catering and hosting options, a fine tuned food and cocktail menu that changes with the change in seasons, and private dining or celebration spaces to suit parties of all sizes.
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