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RestaurantsLondonBelgraviaSW1

survey result

Summary

Opinions divide on these “spacious” and well-located all-day brasseries in Chelsea (right on Sloane Square) and the City (in Broadgate). Fans vaunt them as “very pleasant” for many occasions, and particularly for a business lunch or “excellent breakfast/brunch”. Critics, though, hate them for being “so noisy” and dismiss the food as “overpriced and disappointing”.

£66
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“A Sloaney spot for ladies who lunch” – the well-known, “very lively” Chelsea branch right on Sloane Square that’s also convenient for “business lunches or drinks” (no-one talks about its City offshoot). The food avoided the drubbing of prior surveys and won consistent support this year.

£68
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

Attractive bar/restaurant on Sloane Square inspiring very mixed feelings: fans say it delivers “a buzzy atmosphere and surprisingly good food” but for its harshest critics “it’s a package made in hell”: “slow, crowded, with indifferent service” and “awful, expensive cooking”. (Limited feedback on its Broadgate sibling).

£64
  £££
2
Average
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

The hugely convenient location of this “very buzzy” Sloane Square rendezvous, “probably explains why it’s overpriced”; it has a new Broadgate sibling, which is “good for a quick business lunch”, but likewise only “averagely good” in most respects.

£63
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

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Have you eaten at The Botanist?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair
Yes
64

Prices

Harden's says...

The Botanist SW1

An elegantly-conceived bar/brasserie, on a corner of a square which is a byword for fashionability; the latest product from the Martin ('Gun') brothers, it offers 'high street' fare at boutique prices.


Starting off at The Well EC1, the Martin brothers have made quite a name for their gastropubs. Arguably the best was their second establishment, The Gun E14, across the river from the Dome (O2) - a smart place offering good food, but with prices reflecting the proximity of Canary Wharf. They have since opened a string of other places, always on the east side of town, always offering good to middling quality, but never anything resembling a bargain.


The brothers' latest opening is the first to be situated in what our west-centric guest described as 'the polite postcodes'. And what a location it is! On a bright corner of the square which, for many, still marks the centre of fashionable London. The site has been given an expensively tasteful make-over, which is perhaps most obviously successful in the bar. The brasserie-style dining area benefits from the light, but is an awkward shape into which the smallish tables and (admittedly comfortable) chairs feel rather shoehorned-in.


The main reservation about the Martin brothers' establishments has always been their prices, so one doesn't expect their new baby - in the heart of SW1 - to be any sort of bargain. Even so, we were rather startled by a bill - for a standard lunch, and with total alcohol spend equivalent to one decent bottle of wine - of £120 for two. This included a 12.5% charge for service which was agreeable, but much too slow.


The food - from a menu of contemporary Anglo-French brasserie 'classics' - does not really measure up to the prices. Our guest used that word 'polite' again. If it were furniture, it would be the sort people expect to find at Peter Jones - the descriptions might be reasonably enticing, but the products are solid rather than inspiring. Our overall impression on departure was the mismatch between the toppish-rank bill, and the largely unremarkable fare that had preceded it.


Probably correctly, however, the brothers seem to have concluded, that - with this location - prices are unlikely to be a matter of particular concern.


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Last orders: 11 pm

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