Nope, The Botanist is not an individual who likes to be known by their job title, nor somewhere that celebrates all things plants, but a restaurant on Temple Street (hill) in town, that's actually a little bit great.
Firstly it walks the thin line between adorable and annoying. The rather ornate, teetering on pretty, makes it look slightly feminine, but there's enough wood to keep things balanced as this bar-cum-restaurant-drink-after-work-venue, appears on Temple Street. It's a tad confused like most places in Birmingham that try to do myriad things, as opposed to being great at one thing, but let's not split hairs, I'm a fan.
It's in Cheltenham House, so Googling it is a bit difficult as offices just show up, making it a tad frustrating to find, if, like me, you saw that when you initially breezed past, The Botanist has the title of 'Cheltenham House' stamped on it, and if you'd only looked down a little would you have realised that The Botanist's cheerful little sign was hanging there.
My sister and I were meeting a friend, and this new, inviting spot looked great. The humble, but cool outside belies the space and thrilling inside of The Botanist, slightly fantastical with unusual light fittings, a talented pianist who entertained us no end, an open kitchen and what seemed like half-decent food, forced our hand. And oh how we underestimated the food. I know The Botanist is in fact part of a chain - sigh - but the food is delicious. My sea bass was beautifully done, and even my sister's, what seemed like, small vegetarian small, was fantastic, the zingy, but light dressing packed a punch and made every leaf, slice of avocado and tomato, a superb mouthful.
My sisters, friend and I were pretty full after our drinks and meals, but there's always room for dessert right? We thought so, and ended up all choosing the baked cookie dough with vanilla icecream despite my twin sister's protests that we should have shared one. Frustratingly she was right. These little skillets of baked cookie dough were a gluttonous, purely indulgent choice for dessert, but annoyingly, extremely filling (!) We all said we would have preferred more ice cream to balance out the achingly good, but extremely thick cookie dough. Balance, eh?
The Botanist, isn't perfect, however. The service wasn't great. It wasn't busy when we visited, but our waitress was in no rush to present us with the bill, even though we'd asked. She'd also forgotten one of our drinks and took longer than we'd expect to clear our plates. Considering the quality of The Botanist, and the other impressive factors that make up this venue, the service was the part that let it down.
I would, however, without a doubt head back, thanks to the daily entertainment during the week, win.