We all know far too well those Sunday blues. Sunday marks the end of the week and even worse the weekend. Monday is far too close and we prepare to go back to the grind that is work. But who says Sundays have to be so negative? I actually love Sunday’s, in fact it is one of my favourite days of the week. A fresh start awaits and the best part? A hearty Sunday roast!
When I was younger and time was never an issue, I used to indulge in a Sunday roast every week. I would look forward to it so much. A different meat each week, piles of veg, a huge Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and of course lashings of gravy. Now that I am a bit older time is of the essence so my weekly roast is just a fond memory. Don’t panic though I am certainly not depriving myself of what I would say is the best meal that can be. Not being able to have mum’s roast lunch is heart-breaking because nothing comes close to how good she makes it, nevertheless I get the opportunity to try out the some of the North East’s finest.
For this weeks edition I headed into Newcastle’s city centre to meet a dear friend of mine at The Botanist. A widely popular cocktail bar and restaurant that took over the toon, back in December 2014, overlooks Grey’s Monument with stunning views across the city. Luckily we had booked a table in advance knowing it would be busy. We arrived late afternoon for our 2pm slot and were seated straightway passing the bar area and into the restaurant part.
Although having visited this beautiful botanical hotspot many of times before, I had never experienced their Sunday lunch so I was excited to see what was in store. We chose our drinks first which were two non-alcoholic drinks. I went for Berry Good Times to cool me down in the humid weather we had that day. A mixture of fresh fruit including blackberries and blueberries combined with mint and raspberry syrup was shaken with apple and cranberry juice. This fruity and refreshing mocktail was finished with a sprig of mint for the forest berry decoration and all for just £4.75.
My friend went for one of the dearest mocktails named Tropical Crush. This non-alcoholic juicy drink included pineapple juice mixed with Seedlip Garden spirit, passion fruit syrup and orange juice topped with half a passion fruit for that exotic look.
The staff were all lovely and friendly as well as being very apologetic about our wait for our dinner. However, we hadn’t even noticed the time as we were so engaged in catching up. The food came and we were pleasantly surprised at the enormity on our plates. My friend ordered the lamb roast costing her £12.95. This roistered meat was seasoned with garlic and rosemary salt and served alongside a pot of The Botanists’ homegrown mint sauce. I on the other hand asked for the slow roasted belly-pork. Again the meat was seasoned with their garlic and rosemary salt as well as keeping with tradition of fresh Bramley apple sauce being the accompaniment.
Other options on the Sunday menu included Red Tractor assured chicken, premium English beef or a mushroom, red lentil, stilton and chestnut roast. The prices range from £10.95 to £13.95. All of these, including our orders, come with honey-mustard glazed carrots, braised red cabbage, broccoli, roast potato’s and a Yorkshire pudding. This is all brought together with rotisserie gravy.
I was delighted with the giant chunk of pork that was plated. The crackling could have been crispier for my liking but nevertheless I ate it all. The red cabbage was divine, it had a really sweet taste to it which complemented the traditional flavours very well. In all honesty I couldn’t taste the honey-mustard on the carrots and both of us didn’t receive broccoli. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed my Sunday lunch. My friend was the same and thought her lamb was cooked really well to her liking and there was very little fat on the slices she received which is quite rare for this cut of meat.
Going the extra mile we had to order some sides. Cauliflower cheese topped with crispy onions and a portion of creamed garlic kale and leeks. Both costed £2.50 each with other options for the same price being buttered carrot and parsnip mash or baked courgette, sage and apricot stuffing balls.
We cleared our plates completely as well as our side orders. I had the garlic kale and leeks as an extra and for someone who doesn’t love cream, this dish was amazing. It wasn’t too creamy and it went really well with gravy adding a bit of a richness as well. Delicious!
Overall we had a great time catching up over a lovely Sunday roast. The total price for both of us came to around £40 which I thought was a really good deal for a Sunday lunch especially at such a boutique and established location. Both of us left with smiles on our faces, no room left in our stomachs and minds of two people who will be returning very soon.