Coffee and greenery: We review The Botanist

Words by Lauren Matthews from The Kitchen Collective. What was once home to a dark, uninhabited car park - in the otherwise bustling City Works Depot - is now home to the newest addition of the area’s eateries: The Botanist. I like it. It’s warm and inviting, which is a feat in itself considering the concrete facades still show remnants of its former life – scratched paint notifying drivers of road rules and such. I like the beech wooden furniture, the gentle splashes of colour in the outdoor seating arrangement and cushions within, as well as the greenery that comes in the form of terrariums and fresh flowers. In fact, The Botanist, owned by Anthony Browne (also behind Brother’s Brewery) as the name suggests, isn’t just an eatery. It’s also a wine and tapas bar, as well as a florist. And while I may have initially thought that having a florist inside a cafe is a tad random, aptly named Eden (who runs The Botanist’s flower show) does a brilliant job to make me wonder why other cafes haven’t done the same. Eden tells me she’s up bright and early to visit the markets, multiple times a week, to hand pick her weapons of choice, the finished bouquets and posies brightening the moods of regular clients and visitors alike. The menu is a concept that is not nearly done enough – a forever changing buffet of time and seasonally appropriate dishes. As the doors open each day to yawning coffee hunters, head chef Sara Simpson (former Clooney and The Tasting Shed) rolls out a range of freshly baked goods, appetising brunch-inspired buns and savouries, and when the clock strikes midday and the cabinet is starting to look a little worse for wear, Sara refills it with imaginative salads, hotpot winter warmers and a number of sweet treats to ensure you see the afternoon right. The space captures the late sun, the perfect place to while away an afternoon as you regroup after a long day at work. They serve a selection of craft beers from aforementioned sibling, Brother’s Brewery, as well as a good selection of wines. And as the sun finally sets behind Victoria Park the kitchen once again provides, with made-to-order tapas and canapés. I suggest you make your way to The Botanist if you have both an empty stomach and a vase to fill – after all, I can’t think of any other one-stop-shops to keep both vessels happy. [gallery ids="3433,3434,3435,3436,3437,3438"]