The Botanist

7 Sloane Square, Chelsea, London, SW1W 8EE - View on a map
Book online below or call 020 7730 0077.

The Botanist Restaurant In Leeds
Details Image
Overall 7.3
Food 9.0
Service 6.0
Atmosphere 6.0
Value 8.0

our comments

At 6:30pm on an unbearably hot Thursday evening, the bar at The Botanist was already three-quarters full and well-dressed Sloanes and suits were spilling out on to the pavement and perching on the sills of open windows clutching cocktails and cigarettes. The bar staff take their time over each drink, despite the crowds, and the end result is exquisite. The Sloane No. 7 is an elegant blend of Plymouth gin, fresh blueberries and sugar syrup, topped up with champagne and served in a chilled flute. The bar itself is equally slick, with smart wooden floors, brown leather chairs, chrome tables and bright yellow bar stools. Conversation is difficult, but the people-watching is top notch. The dining room is a sunny, neutral space with cream banquette seating and impressive light fittings that hover above the tables like glowing UFOs. The rear wall showcases back-lit illustrations of the flora and fauna discovered by Sir Hans Sloane on his travels, and there are spiky plants on each table to complete the botany theme. It's all very well thought out and you get the impression that the owners, Tom and Ed Martin, really did their homework when they made the move from East End gastropub to Chelsea diner. The refreshingly concise menu was whisked away as soon as we had ordered and quickly replaced with warm bread and butter served on a chilled rock square. The wine list is equally comprehensive and yielded two reasonably priced glasses, including a smooth Languedoc rosé To start, pan fried tiger prawns were plump and juicy, served on thin square crisps with a cooling red pepper and cucumber salsa and arty drizzles of vivid mango puree. The flavours worked so well that it seemed effortless, and the presentation was polished but not pretentious. Cornish crab and avocado cocktail was refreshing, not overly mayonnaised, and lightly seasoned to allow the sweetness of the fresh flaky crab to take centre stage. For me, it was a little bland, but my companion disagreed and cleared the plate. My main of roast halibut arrived perched on a bed of spring greens and salty lardons, surrounded by a subtly delicious bacon cream. The Palourde clams certainly looked good on the plate but didn’t bring much in the way of flavour to the dish. My companion enjoyed the generous portion of roast suckling pig with apple compote and calvados jus, which was served at the table in a tiny copper saucepan. Feeling full, I somehow made room for the soft chocolate pudding and vanilla ice-cream, which was perfectly molten in the middle and sinfully sweet. The whiskey crème brulee, though well executed, is slightly dull by comparison and we agreed that the Knickerbocker glory arriving at the next table looked much more exciting. The food is several notches above the gastropub fare that the Martin brothers have perfected elsewhere, and the prices - given the location - aren't ridiculous. The Botanist's only flaw is the appalling acoustics. It’s brutally loud, both in the bar and the dining room, so you might find yourself polishing off three courses in record time, rather than lingering over coffee. The service, however, is flawless and our waiter was both witty and efficient without any unnecessary fussing. The neighbouring Oriel and Chelsea Brasserie should be worried, because The Botanist is proving to be seriously stiff competition. For a lazy weekend brunch, early evening dinner or cocktails after work; this is by far the best option on the Square at the moment.

KP - July 2008

your comments review this restaurant

While the food was excellent, the service really lets this place down. Upon sitting down, our coats were not taken, we were not given the pre-theatre menu (this was at 6pm), our plates were not taken away before our main meals arrived and we had to repeatedly ask for tap water.

Although, when we asked for the pre-theatre menu it was brought to us, I found it strange that they didn't give it as an option in the first place - obviously a ploy to get customers to spend more money.

Now onto the food, we had the £21 pre-theatre menu for two courses, which was excellent value for money. I had the smoked salmon, he had the rabbit terrine - both were excellent quality -the horseradish cream with the salmon was particularly good. For mains, I had the tortellini, which really was well-made. He had the veal which was huge - it easily could have fed two people if you bought sides. My greedy husband just had the veal (no sides) and almost managed to eat it all!

The wine was also well-priced - although not excellent value, it didn't have the substantial mark-ups that some restaurants impose.

It's a shame that the service did not match the excellence of the food - if it did, we would certainly return.
Comment on this reader review

D - View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 9 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My wife and I had a amazing afternoon tea today at the botanist. The cakes where top class. Will defiantly be back.
Comment on this reader review


Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Botanist has great food and is always buzzing in evening. Perfect place for a cocktail or a spot of dinner! Highly recommended!
Comment on this reader review

Hamish Jackson
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 8
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Terrible service. Not great food. Best to avoid.
Comment on this reader review


Overall rating 0 stars
Food 0 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0
Wednesday, February 01, 2012

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