This year I decided to try and cook at least one new thing a week, and go somewhere new once a month. Even if it's just a new coffee shop or a local city I've been before, I need to learn it's okay to take time off sometimes!
One of my favourite new discoveries is definitely The Botanist. I'd heard about it on Facebook and instantly looked forward to it opening (I'm a sucker for a good cocktail), and it did not disappoint.
With a world-famous selection of botanical cocktails, craft beers/ales, champagne and wine, it's the perfect place to unwind. Situated in Monument Mall, it was amazing to see the difference from what we assumed was previously the food court! The decor is absolutely perfect.
The food menu, inspired by the deli, rotisserie and BBQ, only had a few vegetarian options, but they were more than enough and I was really surprised by the reasonable prices. We opted for The Botanist Deli Board to start, followed by halloumi hanging kebabs, and both were so delicious!
The perk of sharing meant we weren't too full for dessert, so ended up splitting a banana and coconut kebab, and I think I've found food heaven. Like the savoury hanging kebabs, the dish comes with sauce in a little bowl above the kebab, and once tipped upside down it slowly coats the kebab, as well as providing a topping for the ice cream at the bottom.
And of course, it would have been rude to go to a chain renowned for their cocktails without trying a few! First I had the apricot and mint daiquiri - I was a little apprehensive since it looked a bit like sweet potato soup, but as soon as I tasted it, I was in daiquiri heaven. The mojito was a bit too strong for my liking and I ended up wishing I'd gotten a flavoured one instead of the standard version, but it's my favourite drink so I had to at least try it! The plus side of the cocktails being as strong as they were was definitely the fact it meant you had to take small sips at a time. I hate cocktails that just taste like juice because I always end up drinking them too fast!
As we were finishing our meal, they had a girl with an amazing voice performing an acoustic set, and instead of being rushed out of our seats for the next people to take our table, our waiter told us to just relax, order another drink and enjoy the music which was something I wasn't really expecting considering how busy it always is.
I'll definitely be frequenting The Botanist a lot more - and I'm excited to try a new drink every time I go!