South London

Published on June 25th, 2014 | by Sophie Coulthard


The Botanist, Kew

The Botanist, Kew Sophie Coulthard

Summary: A buzzing atmosphere of loyal locals, attentive staff and a varied bar selection in a pretty location


Garden Party

Kew isn’t the first place that springs to mind when deciding where to pop for a bite to eat or a quick pint. That said, if you’re after a posh pub dinner with countryside views on a sunny evening within zone 4, look no further.  After an extensive revamp, The Botanist on Kew Green is the perfect place to unwind with a pint or three whilst taking in nature-inspired décor or the glorious view. Inspired – they say – by its tasteful clientele (and also possibly some Drake and Morgan properties of which the parallels are plentiful), The Botanist’s facelift with its splashes of feature wallpaper, quirky signage and botany-inspired shades has helped it to become one of the more stylish properties in a popular corner of Surrey.

Offering plenty of speciality beers, lagers and ales, the gastropub ticks all the right boxes for the locals or out-of-towners who fancy supping on a fashionably edgy Beavertown 8 Ball craft beer or a Meantime. The wine list is decent and the cocktail list seasonal, though be warned that the cocktails are no-frills and pretty basic, though tasty. Current offerings include the refreshing Summer Cup Ginger Ale or the Mint Julep, both for £6.55.

Tomato Humus

Starters tend to be quite vegetable based, with a delicious pea soup tasting deliciously sweet yet salty and served with a generous hunk of bread. The sun-blazed tomato humus served with celery and cucumber is a flavoursome but healthy starter for those watching their waistline; though for those after something a little more wicked, try the pan-fried chorizo served with focaccia.

The mains are of varying quality; the restaurant group’s southern fried Shropshire chicken with fries, slaw and a house pickle dip is always a treat and one of the best hangover cures I’ve certainly ever come across, though my 21 day aged 8oz rib-eye steak at the Botanist was pretty disappointing. The fatty meat was grisly in places and dry in others, though the accompanying béarnaise sauce was its redeeming feature.

Ribeye Steak

The pork and chorizo burger with caramelised onion jam was a treat for the tastebuds and a punishment for the arteries and waistline, but the healthier wild salmon fishcakes with lemon crème fraiche is also a delight of a dish if you’re counting those cals.

Pork and Chorizo Burger

The dessert choice is ample; the salted caramel and chocolate tart with clotted cream is wickedly rich and the cheeseboard looks decent enough. The lemon and lime crumble tart was beautifully cooked and is light and refreshing, especially when paired with the accompanying raspberry sorbet.

In terms of costs, starters come in at around £5-15, mains from £11-£18 and desserts around the £6 mark. It’s not cheap, but this is SW London.  With Sunday lunch specials and a new brunch offering, the Botanist is sure to be busy over the weekends, especially over the coming summer months. Punters can take advantage of the sunny days with The Botanist’s ‘Secret Garden’ courtyard at the back of the pub, or simply just enjoy the light, airy atmosphere inside with the conservatory bar area and large windows.

A buzzing atmosphere of loyal locals, attentive staff and a varied bar selection in a pretty location make The Botanist one to try if you’re in the south west area, and the food’s pretty decent, too.

The Botanist, 3-5 Kew Green, Richmond, TW9 3AA

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