Friday 17 April 2015

The Botanist Roof Garden

For many years now I've been rather obsessed with roof top bars, especially ones that offer fruity cocktails and beautiful views.

When I lived in London, my local in Wimbledon had the most amazing roof bar and every sunny weekend I'd rush up there as soon as the pub opened to grab myself a spot. That haven for sun worshipping is one of the things I miss most about my life in London. 

So when I heard that the Botanist (still the hottest bar in Toon!) was going to be opening a roof bar, I was excited but trying not to get my hopes up too high in case it didn't live up to my expectations.

Last week I was invited to the VIP launch night and finally got to have a look round the new space in what was definitely the most anticipated event of the year so far. 

I should have known that the Botanist, creators of the only indoor magical tree in Newcastle, would not let me down!  As soon as I stepped foot on to the roof I knew that Newcastle finally has itself somewhere perfect for those loving views and sunshine. 

It had been a rather warm Spring day here in the Toon, so we were thankful to be handed the Botanist's signature cocktail in an ice cold glass as we arrived.

 I've enjoyed one of these bad boys before and they are so refreshing (Elderflower, Mint and Jasmine are such a beautiful combination) a very good place to start if you can't decide which cocktail to have first. 

I sat still for all of about 2 minutes enjoying my drink before I left poor Simon looking after our table so I could go for a proper explore of the beautiful garden.

As with the Bar and Restaurant downstairs, the Roof Garden is a feast for the eyes. Decked out in the familiar rustic style, I loved the fairy lights and little hideaway huts perfect for a cosy night out with friends.

There are plenty of seats with picnic benches and white garden furniture dotted around the roof as well as some more open spaces for those that prefer to mingle and get noticed.

The bar is lit by hanging lanterns whose golden glow looks really beautiful against the dark wooden counter below.  It's finished off perfectly with little wooden bar stools for those wanting to watch the master cocktail creators at work.

Live music has become a much loved feature of the Botanist and on VIP night we were treated to a live acoustic set featuring so many of Simon's favourite tunes I had to put up with him singing in my ear all evening!  There's something really lovely about enjoying live music out in the fresh air and I can only imagine how great this is going to be on a Summer's evening.

Taking a moment to tear my eyes away from the beautiful bar I peered through the crates of bright green plants adorning the window sill for an aerial view of Grey Street, one of the UK's most picturesque streets. I've always appreciated the historic buildings that line the road but seeing it from above makes it that little bit more special.

It's definitely beneficial to look up when you're strolling around Newcastle and from the roof of the Botanist you can truly appreciate the tops of the stunning buildings like you never could before.  The green clock peaking out over the top of the bar is the roof of Emerson Chambers (home to Waterstones), it's so beautiful yet I bet most people walk past it without ever really noticing it. 

With our Botanist Cocktails drained we turned our attention to the drinks menu.   I ordered a Rose Wine, perfect for slowly sipping whilst doing a spot of people watching. 

Simon had a Samuel Adams which he enjoyed so much he quickly ordered himself another.

As it began to get dark and the bar was lit by the beautiful fairy lights I had my nose back in the cocktail menu and ordered a Strawberry and Cucumber Breeze .   It always takes me such a long time to decide which cocktail to order at the Botanist because they all sound so amazing.

What had started off as a "quick drink after work" soon became a happy evening of excited chatter and we found ourselves really not wanting to leave this beautiful space.   Eventually we had to, so reluctantly pulled ourselves away, praying for a hot Summer that will allow us many long evenings in the roof top garden. 

Be ready to shout it from the Roof (Garden) ... NEWCASTLE IS THE PLACE TO BE THIS SUMMER!   With the restaurant booked up every Saturday until June and the queue for the bar getting ever longer I can only imagine that the Roof Garden will also be a huge hit.  So I'll see you all up there .. I'll be the one racing you to the top of the stairs to bag a seat in the sun!

Want more?  Read my previous blog posts about Date Night at the Botanist and Cocktails at the Botanist

We were invited to a VIP Launch night and got our first couple of drinks free ... however we enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed on and splashed out on extra drinks!
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