The Botanist, Leeds Trinity: A Review

This Tuesday, I had the luxury of dining out at one of the new restaurants in Leeds’ latest super shopping centre – the Trinity centre. It was a good friend’s birthday celebration, and none of us had visited the centre yet so everyone was very excited to sample one of the many many delights within.

Firstly, the Trinity centre itself is rather gorgeous. It’s huge, bright and airy and crammed with giant shops. Yes, there are a few ‘gaps’ where we eagerly await some shops arrival to Leeds, such as the only Victoria’s Secret in the UK outside of London! But personally these gaps don’t detract from how exciting the place is. There are tons of restaurants and bars, ranging from Carluccio’s to creperies, our very own The Alchemist and of course, The Botanist!

The restaurant is located on the Boar Lane side of Trinity, so if you’re in town it’s worth walking through the centre to get to it. It’s almost hidden, right near to the lifts to the Angelica and Crafthouse restaurants. The outside is beautiful, and the whole place is set slightly below ground level. You can see the kitchen from the outside, and there are two heated terrace areas outside where you can enjoy a drink with a view of what’s cooking. Inside the place gets even better. The whole design is modelled on a potting shed, so there are rustic tables and benches, hanging spades and other gardening paraphernalia. The ceiling lights are made from old plant pots, and the tables are decorated with little pots of flowers – it’s a perfect blend of cutesy and cool, and has a very romantic vibe. The staff were all super friendly and fun, and very accommodating for us (we were a large party of 10) without a hint of resentment when we were slow to order and kept changing our minds!

We struggled to settle on decisions on everything, from the cocktails to the food. This was a sign of how good the options were however, endless amazing sounding cocktails and oodles of yummy food on the menu. We kept our beadies on other tables to see what they were ordering and how it looked, but this didn’t help our decisions! In the end, I opted for two cocktails (not at once, I am a student but I paced myself!) The first was a blueberry and passion fruit martini, with vodka, fruit purees, mint and a very mysterious alcohol called Licor 43. I still haven’t found out what this is yet… but it was delicious! Very tart and sweet all at once, and went down a treat. The second cocktail I chose was very different, a white grape and raspberry spritzer. This contained real grapes, raspberry puree, vodka, white wine, lavender syrup, lemon juice and sugar. It was a large drink! It was much more refreshing than the first drink, and was packed with ice and the grape pieces made it feel even more like a treat. I would highly recommend sampling their cocktail menu!

Now onto the FOOD. In the end, most of us opted for the chicken hanging kebabs, which was served with ‘properly seasoned’ chips, and were served on a vertical skewer with mushrooms, pepper and onion. At the top of the skewer, a little pot of garlic butter with ginger and sweet chilli was placed for us to pour through a small hole to cover the entire kebab. The portions were plentiful, and everything beautifully cooked and tasty. The chicken was tender and tasty, and the chips were delicious. The coleslaw was the only slight drawback – very onion heavy, which did not help our breath after the garlic butter too! However, everyone enjoyed their food immensely, full bellies and strained jeans were felt all around. I rounded off my meal with a single espresso, which was served in a gorgeous tiny china cup.

Overall, the whole experience was really very lovely. Live music was played the whole time we were there, from a talented young woman who sang and played the piano. The decor and the crockery was beautiful, and the food delicious. In addition, the whole evening including service charge only set me back £28 in total, which whilst not exactly being cheap, was definitely worth it. I’m definitely going back as soon as possible, and would highly recommend anyone else in the Leeds area to go and try it!

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