Listen carefully and you’ll hear rather a lot of buzz floating around Farnham’s social circles right now about the town’s latest restaurant and coolest bar, The Botanist. Officially opened in early March, we were invited along to the grand opening of this little gem of a boutique restaurant chain.
The launch night was spectacular, nothing less. Delicious cocktails to die for, scrummy canapés, live music and Prosecco on tap – all the makings of a fabulous night and a very warm welcome to lay on for the town. A few days later we were lucky enough to return to sample the menu and review a truly fantastic dining experience. This was our chance to really test the secret formula that has made this upcoming chain so successful up and down the country.
Positioned across two floors in the center of Farnham, The Botanist is in a great situation for picking up hungry customers looking for great quality food and a varied menu, something different from the town’s existing eateries, which you can find pretty much anywhere.
The first thing you notice is the unique, stylish yet higgledy piggledy decor, uncertain as to what style you’d call it, but it works… Imagine walking into an eclectic greenhouse adorned packed full of natural materials including some more unusual pieces like the chandelier made out of glass goblets, vases as well as random pieces of jewelry. It’s a breath of fresh air from the contemporary themed interiors of The Botanist’s competition. There’s a very relaxed vibe here, the clientele know their stuff when it comes to what they like in terms of food, the staff are super friendly and nothing is too much trouble. We’d even go as far as to liken the chain to the ‘famous’ The Pig country chain but a very affordable and local version. In fact, we’ve recently noticed many local pub chains have tried and are still trying to achieve this level of style and sophistication, but so far have failed for one reason or another. The Botanist on the other hand seems to have understood this magic formula and are producing it by the bucket load!
Now let’s get to the food and drink…
The Botanist is somewhere to come for the food AND the drinks… they deliver superbly on both fronts with an added bonus of live bar entertainment every single night. Novel and very welcome as far as we were concerned. Considering the bar was officially just a week old, the place was very busy, and it was only a Tuesday night. We were seated upstairs and experienced a very comfortable level of music as well as lighting, both adding to a unique charm that someone must have taken a long time to get right.
The beer menu is something to marvel at – 93 individual beers are stocked at The Botanist, there is literally something for everyone and I took great joy in trying a Hawaiian beer for the first time – delicious! It feels as if there is an American influence somewhere along the line, someone with a clear passion for beer.
With drinks now on the table we turned our attention to the delightful starters, which includes deep fried onion petals, pork crackling (like you’ve never had before), basket of chicken wings, the smoked haddock fishcake and calamari with lemon mayonnaise – yep, we tried most of them and it would have been rude not to!! To follow we tried their house special ‘dangling’ Lamb Kofta kebab with a bed of cheesy chips, which won’t disappoint.
I’m not sure how we did, but we made room for desert… but it was a mental jostle – man Vs food stylee. We would very much recommend the sticky toffee pudding; it’s an award winner for our money, wow!
So, to sum up – The Botanist is a very welcome addition to Farnham, it offers everything that a bar/restaurant should have to succeed in what is a very competitive market. It is priced very competitively, with lots of added extras that many other bars and pubs in the area just forget to include – music, a service with a smile, range of cocktails and beers, and exceptional food. Keep a close eye on this brand – as soon as they float on the stock market I’m buying lots of shares! Thank you The Botanist and all it’s wonderful staff that made us feel most welcome. We’re looking forward to seeing you again very soon!
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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