So Living Ventures are taking over the world. Their empire building regime is going great guns, throwing millions of pounds at Manchester's unloved buildings and pulling in crowds of the beautiful people. They already own half of Spinningfields, with The Oast House, Australasia, Grand Pacific, Manchester House, Artisan and the Alchemist all coming under Tim Bacon's kingdom.
The Botanist is already an established brand in footballers' playground Alderley Edge, so I was interested to see how this would work in the already saturated 'über-cool' Manchester bar scene. We had a quick peep at the menu before we went, which looked very similar to its sister, The Oast House. The hanging kebabs are there, as are those amazing fries.
My husband was initially disappointed by the absence of an online beer menu (concerns for lack of decent beer were raised...), only for us to find this beautifully illustrated booklet on the table.
Steak and ale pie with gravy, mushy peas, and chips: No messing about. Decent pastry, tender beef inside in a thick, ale rich gravy.
Chicken and mushroom pie with mushy peas, gravy and mash: Another pie, another way. Again, three cheers for the crisp pastry, and a creamy chicken filling.
Lamb burger with salsa, lettuce, gherkin, tomato, and seasoned fries: We actually sampled both the beef and lamb burgers, a bit by accident. My brother and I both ordered the beef one with cheese, but we got one of each. Our waitress apologised profusely but I really wasn't too worried and offered to keep the one that came. I am so glad I did! The beef version is good, but I think I preferred the lamb. As a goodwill gesture the manager gave us a round of free drinks. Major brownie points for good service.
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