There aren’t many prettier towns than Marlow, right next to the River Thames in Buckinghamshire. We spent a sunny morning wandering the shops (Sweaty Betty, Fat Face, a massive Jigsaw, Whistles, Mint Velvet, and loads of stylish independent boutiques and shops) down to the river, and then – all set to walk along the river’s edge for a while – the sky suddenly got really dark and fat blobs of rain started splashing on us. Ah well, instead we headed to West Street, to try the bottomless brunch at The Botanist, a pretty, quirky bar and restaurant on West Street. The front window completely rolls back, so when the sun finally came out again, it was a lovely spot to sit, sip a cocktail and watch the world go by while waiting for our table.
The interior is really cool, with huge ‘junk shop chandeliers’, mismatched furniture and vintage china (and the most stylish toilets I’ve seen in ages – forgot to take my phone – can I even call myself an Instagrammer?!). The bottomless brunch features a choice of cocktails, Prosecco, and an amazing Bloody Mary choice, or Hush Heath (remember them?!) fizz at an extra charge, plus one item from the brunch menu for £25. We chose the pink grapefruit and peach sangria (dangerously delicious!) and I had the special croque madame: a delicious savoury French toast sandwich, stuffed with hand-carved ham and melty Gruyère, topped with a fried egg and served with tomato jam, with a side of fries. Mr E went for the full English (I would ask for crisper bacon, but he declared it perfect). Next time I’m definitely going to try the veggie breakfast option, which looked amazing: grilled halloumi, avocado, baked beans, roasted mushroom and tomatoes, served with toast, tomato jam and eggs cooked however you like. Yum. Brunch is served in the lovely, quirky dining area at the rear of the bar, complete with open fire, which we needed after getting soaked in the rain (what is up with August? Such rubbish weather).
Service is sweet and friendly and judging by the very creative cocktail list, and the very yummy looking dinner menu (the hanging kebabs look fabulous), we’ll definitely back again very soon. The next bottomless brunch is on the first Saturday of every month – reserve your seat quickly!
Many thanks to everyone at The Botanist for their hospitality.