The Botanist, conveniently located on Sloane square, represents the perfect hangout if you want to experience the Chelsea vibe. The real core of the place is the bar, where many of the best-dressed and chicest people in town crowd around the poofs and small tables as well as on the pavement around the building. The bar interiors are characterised by bright metalwork and creamy leather while floor-to-ceiling windows and art deco chandeliers make the restaurant a bright and comfortable place to dine. The walls are full of botanical images – plants and animals – from the journals of the botanist, Sir Hans Sloane.
Compared to other venues owned by entrepreneur brothers Tom & Ed Martin – they are the force behind several bars and restaurants around London including The Cadogan Arms and The Gun – the Botanist is more a chic cocktail bar than a gastro pub. The restaurant has a mainly Anglo-French menu and a pricy wine list. There are several appealing choices from lobster to duck and salmon fishcake; they make a pleasant meal but nothing mind-blowing, especially considering the higher than average prices. The canapé menu available at the bar is probably a better option if you want to eat something while having a drink. The service is surprisingly charming and attentive, considering that the place is always extremely busy.
It’s probably not the place you’d choose for dinner; but it’s where you want to be if you want to see and be seen. The clientele includes smart- looking professionals, chilling out after work, high-heeled girls often dressed up to find the man of their life as well as friends meeting to catch up and have a drink. The real strength of the place is the fact that from day one it was seen as a trendy bar where locals would happily hang out, sipping one of the great cocktails and joining in the Chelsea buzz.
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