ACHICA Living has been about town this week setting its sights and senses on a cheeky cocktail, or two, at The Botanist restaurant. Based in London’s Sloane Square, this beautiful restaurant is worth the visit if not for the charming décor alone. The restaurant is named after Sir Hans Sloane, the pioneering naturalist and Chelsea Physic Garden benefactor, and the interior pays homage to the great master with scientific wall drawings by Adam Ellis, based on Sir Hans’ original illustrations.
As you enter the bright and breezy space, you’ll be mesmerised by the lightshow of collector’s curiosities displayed on the far wall. The space is complemented by Miguel Mila’s Estadio chandeliers – a trinity of glittering halos that supplement the light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. A natural colour palette of mushroom, stone, green and wooden hues is stylishly set off by white leather chairs and benches…
We headed for the striking polished-pewter cocktail bar in the adjoining room to see what cocktail candy lay in store. Sage green leather banquettes, chocolate-coloured armchairs and floor-to-ceiling mirrors making this a sleek, unique and timeless cocktail lounge a place you may never want to leave – especially once you’ve tried the cocktails!
We took a shine to the Tea House Martini (Earl Grey-infused gin shaken with orange-flower water and finished with a knotted bamboo leaf served in a Martini glass). The exotic Lucky No.7 cocktail (fresh kiwi ‘muddled’ with lemongrass and vodka and ‘lengthened’ with apple and lime) was also rather delicious. The short, but very memorable Hans Garden cocktail (recipe below so you can try it at home!) was worth the hangover in the morning too…
The menu, serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, is also a feast for your eyes. Following Sloane’s adventuring spirit, Head Chef, Andrew Beddoes has ‘drawn together inﬂuences from far and wide’. We chose the buttery Stilton and white onion tart, with roast pear and rocket salad and the cutlet of rare breed British Lop pork, with Pommery mustard mash, a black pudding stuffed apple and cider jus. One word: Yum.
Mix The Botanist’s signature Hans Garden drink yourself with the cocktail recipe:
Garnish: Cucumber slices and mint sprigs
Method: Muddled, shaken and strained
Glass: Old Fashioned (plus a Boston glass for mixing)
50ml Hendricks Gin
20ml Fresh apple juice
15ml Elderflower cordial
1cm slice cucumber, cut into cubes
6 leaves of fresh mint
A few cubes of ice
Muddle the cucumber cubes, mint leaves and elderflower cordial together in the Boston glass. Add the gin and fresh pressed apple juice, shake and pour through a strainer over ice cubes in the Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a mint sprig.
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