The Botanist Sunderland

Review: The Botanist, Sunderland

This newly opened eatery is calling our name and we can’t possibly say ‘no’ to it. It’s the newcomer to Sunderland – The Botanist!

Caroline Dask

Journalist at Luxe


Having lived in the North East for almost five years, I am not afraid to admit that I have never been to The Botanist. However, this fact alone does not fail to surprise my colleagues here at Luxe HQ but I’m certain – this is what’s going to make my first-time experience at this well-known food chain even more special.

Once 5pm hits, I grab my dinner date and we’re on the move. First stop, The Botanist, then – Bonnie & Clyde at Sunderland Empire. I’m sure it’s going to be a brilliant night.

The weather agrees with us as well, as the clouds turn burnt orange, reminding us that Spring is here and with it come longer and brighter days.

The Botanist Sunderland

First Impressions

Walking through Sunderland I can’t help but look around and appreciate my surroundings. The city looks fresh, modern and with a certain glow surrounding it. It’s Tuesday night, so it’s peaceful and calm, providing a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of busy deadlines.

Before we step foot inside, I take a quick moment to cast my eyes over the river of tables outside. Located not too long of a walk from the Sunderland Empire, the Botanist will be the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail in the summer sun.

Upon entering the restaurant, a small ‘wow’ escapes my lips. Exotic trees, flowers and somewhat of a modern yet edgy interior surround me. The cocktail bar is the first to greet us. Think comfy chairs, booth tables and pleasant music. I can’t think of a better place to wind down after a busy day at work.

As we move through the bar, the friendly staff welcome us into the restaurant area, where there are plenty of tables to cater for busy evenings. The atmosphere is spot on, it’s busy but not overcrowded. There are plenty people around, either with friends, lovers or enjoying their own company.

Review: The Botanist, Sunderland – Starters

As we take our seats, the menu is already waiting for us. It seems to include an endless list of options and, as always, I struggle to decide what to opt for. But, drinks first!

While I may not have been to The Botanist before, one thing I do know is that they are experts when it comes to cocktails. Upon browsing around their drinks menu my eyes set on Strawberry Cucumber Breeze. And when it arrives, it’s like a summer in a glass. Light, refreshing and deliciously wonderful.

With a strong start to the night, I’m ready for the next step on our Botanist journey. It’s Calamari with crème fraîche and sweet chilli dip for me and Cumberland Scotch Egg with HP sauce for my dinner date.

The presentation of my Calamari is simply stunning. Every detail is carefully thought through. It arrives in a large seashell plate topped with herbs. Upon taking my first bite, I notice a hint of lemon, which pairs perfectly with the taste of calamari. The cherry on top is the dip. It ties this part of the meal perfectly together, adding a nice touch of sweetness and spice to the whole ensemble.

The Botanist Sunderland

The Mains

It’s time for the main part of the evening and this one is a no-brainer. As a newbie to The Botanist, my choice of dinner is quite easy. It’s their famous Hanging Chicken Kebab with a sweet chilli glaze and garlic oil for me and the classic Fish & Chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce for my dinner date.

Once our meals arrive, I can’t help but be impressed by the sight of our options. Yet again, the presentation is simply beautiful and so very appetising. Once we dig in, we exchange nods of approval and I’m pleasantly surprised by the melt-in-my-mouth texture of chicken.

Paired with roasted vegetables and chips, it’s the perfect, comforting meal. One, that sets a very strong start to my evening. Looking around the restaurant, I can see I’m not the only one who has opted for this famous dish. Safe to say, I can fully understand why it’s a favourite among the regulars at The Botanist.

The sweet chilli flavour mixed with garlic oil is outstanding. The sensational food has already got me planning my future trips here. And with an atmosphere so welcoming, I would even visit as a solo diner, as so many of their regulars do, to enjoy a blissful moment in the company of delightful food.

Review: The Botanist, Sunderland – A Sweet Escape

It’s the combination of a calm and friendly atmosphere, fabulous cocktails, exotic interior and gorgeous food that makes The Botanist in Sunderland a standout restaurant for me. From the minute you step foot in it, to the moment it’s time to leave, The Botanist is an experience worth exploring.

As we chat away and enjoy our meal, time slips us by. Before we know it, Bonnie & Clyde have been spotted at Sunderland Empire and it’s a sight we simply cannot miss. It’s a hard goodbye, but we leave with smiles on our faces and our bellies full.

Until next time…

thebotanist.uk.com/locations/sunderland