March 16, 2014

Bloggers Tea Party at The Botanist

Last week I attended what was probably my favourite blog event yet – a tea party at The Botanist. I had already discovered The Botanist a few weeks ago and at the time I commented that I hoped to try the food soon, so I was overjoyed when an invite for tea, food and cocktails dropped into my inbox! It was a fantastic evening, so prepare for a very photo heavy post!

We were greeted by a beautifully set out table, full of floral ceramics. We began with a cup of tea – I chose the Turkish Chunky Apple, an excellent choice thanks to its clean and refreshing taste – before moving onto some bubbly. The atmosphere was fantastic, and surprisingly busy for 6pm on a Wednesday; this is firm favourite for after-work drinks among the inhabitants of Leeds.
After we had quenched our thirst, it was time to try some food – the part I was most excited about. We began with some delicious starters:
We were treated to a selection of starters, and I was blown away by the presentation. We began with the houmous board, served in a cabbage leaf with crudites and flatbread. I loved the seeds and nuts on top to add some crunch to the houmous.
We were also treated to some salt and pepper onion petals with sour cream. These were a beautiful twist on pub onion rings, and although some of the bloggers felt they couldn’t eat them all, I devoured them! I love onion rings and this version was light, tasty and the sour cream dip balanced them perfectly.
Finally, the stand-out starter for me was the chicken liver and rum pate. Served in an adorable miniature plantpot, accompanied by a wheelbarrow of plum and apple chutney, I was stunned by the presentation and may have let out a squeal of excitement! The pate itself was gorgeous, although I would recommend asking for extra bread, as we used up every last crumb!
I had to restrain myself from demolishing the entire starters because I knew we had another course to come – the deli board:
The deli board is a wonderful idea – you can choose 4 items from the menu, which are then presented on a wooden board with some flatbread. I chose the home-dried tomatoes, cured Parma ham, pork pie and piccalilli, and the Somerset brie. I cheekily swapped half of the cheese with Kel from Adventures in Tea and Cake so I could also try some of Shorrock’s 2 year-aged Lancashire. I am so glad I did because this was one of my favourite parts of the board – it was seriously strong, and a half-portion was the perfect amount for me. I wasn’t disappointed by any of my choices – the tomatoes were succulent, the ham was finely sliced and not too fatty and the almost tart piccalilli complemented the generously sized portion of pork pie.
I love ‘picky food’ and deli boards are one of my favourite things to order. The Botanist version certainly impressed – the mix and match option is unique and ensures that you get exactly what you want, and the portion size was just right. For just £9.25 I also thought it was great value for a tasty lunch or after-work snack between two.
Stuffed full of delicious food, we were then treated to some of The Botanist’s signature cocktails and live music. I personally found the music slightly too loud when trying to hold a conversation, but the cocktails more than compensated for this! I tried an English Mojito, which was fresh and bursting full of flavour as I had been expecting, having tried cocktails at The Botanist before. I then tasted the Peach and Basil Margarita, which certainly packed a tequila punch! Although the cocktails are pricier than my normal student budget, I’d definitely recommend them as you really get your value for money thanks to their strength, taste and exciting flavour combinations.
I’d thoroughly recommend The Botanist for some delicious food and wonderful cocktails. It’s real Leeds gem and I look forward to returning very soon.