Michael 84

The Botanist Newcastle Review

Sunday, 8th May, 2016

The Botanist Newcastle Review

Do Not Go To The Botanist On A Saturday Night For A Drink

You have been warned. Don’t go to The Botanist on a Saturday night for a drink. We were out at the Weekend and met up with some friends who were already in The Botanist, so went to the bar for a drink.

The Botanist is a bar-restaurant which is fairly new in Newcastle. They take space in the old Monument Mall building, with the entrance a small side door next to Jamie’s Italian. Once you’re in, there’s stairs to climb (they also have a lift), and you’ll have to walk up a couple of flights of stairs to get to the bar. They’re numbered, I think there were 53 if I remember. Once inside the place looks really nice, and the ceiling and rest of the décor is a bit of a feature. The layout is cool, with tables and the bar in the centre, and it has a nice upstairs. They had a live band when I was there on Saturday night, who sounded pretty decent. The drinks are mostly cocktails, with a couple of other options, but this is seen as a place to grab a cocktail, so everyone in the place is ordering and drinking cocktails.

The service…What service? Calling it slow would be so much of an understatement it’s untrue.

Saturday night is of course a busy night, that’s to be said in most bars in Newcastle. This was a reasonably busy Saturday night, but it was not extraordinarily busy, just your average Saturday night bar busy. We were there for around 20 minutes, did not get served, and then left. When you say a bar is busy you’re probably thinking that the bar is packed and it’s 6 or 7 deep of people, with lots of movement. This is not what busy means at The Botanist. I was at the front of the bar, with a person either side of me, and saw the guy next to me who was there before me get served. I stood for around 15 minutes and still did not get served. That’s not too unusual, but what’s unusual is that in that time the guy standing next to me STILL had not got his drinks! The barman who was in front of me was making cocktails, but I have no idea where they were actually going, because nobody at the bar seemed to be moving!

This was the most bizarre experience at a bar I have seen. The bar staff seemed to be making drinks (3 or 4 serving), they looked like they were busy working, but looking around nobody seemed to be moving away from the bar and nobody was drinking. I actually have no idea what to make of it. I go to so many places which do cocktails; Jalou, Revolution, Alvinos, Browns…They all take a little time, but it’s nothing like The Botanist! It’s genuinely the longest I have been at a bar and nobody at the bar actually got a drink! I let my mate stand where I was for 5 or 10 minutes, we still didn’t get served, the guy who I was standing next to STILL didn’t have his drinks, so we left.

If you want to go to the Botanist because of the cool décor my advice would be go, take a couple of pictures, then leave and go somewhere else for a drink. Since I didn’t get a drink I can’t tell you what they were like, other than expensive, which is not a surprise for a place like this, and would not be so appalling if you were able to actually get one of their expensive drinks.

You can pay a visit to their website here, it’s much better than wasting your time visiting it in person. Maybe you can order drinks a few weeks in advance, or B.Y.O.M (Bring Your Own Mojito). Needless to say I’ll not be hurrying back.

On a positive note I now have a new found respect for the other bars which I thought took their sweet time, but they’re actually quite rapid. Check out my other Newcastle Bar Reviews here.


Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

  1. Helen Said,

    I’ve always thought this of the Botanist, I was there one Thursday night ordering beer and wine and it still took a good 10-15 minutes to get served, too pretentious for it’s own good in my opinion!

    posted on Sunday 8th May, 2016 at 19:01
  2. Stephen Said,

    It’s awful when you go somewhere and it’s really disappointing. Having worked behind a bar, I used to try and remember a decent order of the first four or five people to serve and in what order so can’t stand it now when I go into a bar and seem to be invisible to the staff. As a rule I’ll wait ten minutes before walking out. I think you have far much more patience than I would have in a place like this and in need of a beer on a Saturday night! Stephen

    posted on Sunday 8th May, 2016 at 19:45
  3. Michael Said,

    Hi Helen, That’s a shame that it’s just as bad through the week, I’ve just been on a weekend.

    Hi Stephen, I can appreciate that a place that sells cocktails and is busy will take a bit of time, and then it’s worse when the bar staff serve in the ‘wrong’ order, but this was even worse than that! The bar staff appeared to be busy making drinks, but nobody at the entire bar was getting their drink or moving, and it clearly takes them too long to make a drink.

    posted on Sunday 8th May, 2016 at 22:39