When you're stuck in the office all day with the sun teasing you through the window there's only one place to head as soon as the clock hits 5:00 pm, the Botanist - home to the best cocktails in Newcastle.
The most popular cocktail bar in the Toon, the Botanist in Newcastle have just revamped their cocktail menu for Spring and opened up their Roof Garden, a sure sign that long evenings of sunshine are just around the corner.
I was invited up to the roof last week for an evening of Botanicals and Blooms. With the promise of an introduction to the new cocktail menu, I dug out my sunglasses and my favourite Spring mac from a forgotten box under the bed and headed outside for an evening of fruit and flowers.
Those of you familiar with the Botanist's cocktail menu (please don't tell me it's just me who spends way too much time studying it) will notice that over 60% of the menu is brand new.
Don't worry the old favourites are still there (believe me I was very relieved to see that the Passion Fruit & Basil Crush is still on the menu) but some of the most loved drinks have also had a bit of a revamp with fresh new ingredients and flavours. In fact, nearly all of the cocktail menu is now made with fresh fruit rather than syrups and purees - which means that you can probably convince yourself that the Botanist cocktails are part of your five a day!
The terrace was looking gorgeous in the Spring sunshine and had been decked out with colourful blooms by the talented ladies at Katherines Florists to celebrate the new cocktails.
I'm not exactly skilled when it comes to flower arranging, if I'm ever lucky enough to get a bunch of flowers I stick them in a vase and hope for the best. Katherine's Florists gave us a flower arranging demonstration that made my jaw drop to the floor. Arranging beautiful seasonal flowers in an oversized cocktail glass full of kiwis and strawberries, their centrepiece looked stunning and would be beautiful for a Summer wedding.
Of course spring cocktails aren't just about the florals, they're also about gorgeous scents and fruity flavours and Jo Malone were visiting from the counter in Fenwick to show off some of the lovely fragrances they have to compliment the Botanist's cocktails.
Blackberry and Bay will forever be my favourite but I loved learning about layering scents and will be visiting at some point over the next few months for their bridal consultation service.
I don't want you to think that I was just swanning about on the roof having a great time, I took my study of the new cocktail menu very seriously and so have a great recommendation for your next visit. The Plum and Thai Basil Mojito is a gorgeous cocktail of plum, thai basil, cranberry, fresh lime juice, Bacardi Carta Oro and Cherry Mariner. I actually think it could be this years "The Botanist". I can't really take the credit for discovering this beauty for myself, the Botanist cocktail list is so huge I quite often ask for recommendations and the friendly lads and lasses at the Botanist pointed me in the direction of this one.
The Botanist's new cocktail menu is available now and we've had a fair few decent sunny days recently so what better excuse do you need to head up to the roof of the most popular bar in Toon?