Botanical Garden Bar returning to Norwich after 'huge level of interest'

The Botanical Garden Bar is back in Norwich by popular demand, with Norfolk food and drink on the menu. 

The Botanical Garden Bar is back in Norwich by popular demand, with Norfolk food and drink on the menu. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

An outdoor bar that launched last year in the garden of a medieval church in Norwich is back by popular demand.

Award-winning theatre company curious directive opened Botanical Garden Bar at its base at St Simon and St Jude Church in Elm Hill last July.

One of the pizzas on offer at the Botanical Garden Bar. 

One of the pizzas on offer at the Botanical Garden Bar. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

Alongside local beers and spirits and international wines, it also offered woodfired pizzas inspired by places in Norfolk.

It was a way for the company, which devises plays using the theme of science, to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and maintain an income with upcoming shows cancelled.

Customers enjoy pizzas from the Botanical Garden Bar. 

Customers enjoy pizzas from the Botanical Garden Bar. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

After proving a huge hit in the summer, the pop-up bar made a Christmas comeback, with around 8,000 people attending in total in 2020. 

It is now returning on May 6 and will run on Thursdays and Fridays from 5.30pm until 10.30pm and Saturdays from 12.30pm until the end of September.

Jack Lowe, artistic director, said: "We didn't plan to bring back Botanical Garden Bar, but due to the huge level of interest we're really excited to be making this a summer-long venture.

Infused gins using fruits and herbs from the garden. 

Infused gins using fruits and herbs from the garden. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

"Our seating capacity is small, meaning there are no crowds. The atmosphere is magical and cosy too with some rare plants growing in the various corners of the garden.

"We hope it becomes a staple thing from May to September each year."

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Alongside the pizzas, there are three new global sharing boards, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Indonesian, inspired by the places the company has toured. 

Mediterranean tasting board from Botanical Garden Bar. 

Mediterranean tasting board from Botanical Garden Bar. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

There are gins infused with botanical fruits and herbs grown in the garden and each month there will be a guest beer on draught from a local brewer. 

Curious directive is also gearing up for the return of indoor performances, with virtual reality-theatre hybrid Frogman set to run there from Thursday, June 24 until Saturday July 3.

Curious directive will perform Frogman this summer as indoor theatre returns. 

Curious directive will perform Frogman this summer as indoor theatre returns. - Credit: Contributed

It is a crime drama set on the Great Barrier Reef and each audience member gets their own VR headset. 

Mr Lowe added: "It has been a really long time and it is really exciting to put a play back on in our studio." 

Book a free table and tickets for Frogman (£10 to £12.50) at curiousdirective.com

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