Zach Williamson – Leeds Model, Event Promoter and now City Dweller Contributer pulls up a seat at Malmaison’s sizeable bar for some cocktails and bubbly.

Coming from Leeds and previously working in Hotels the Malmaison and its facilities have always been a boutique hotel industry front runner in our city.

When I was asked to Review the Bar at the Malmaison hotel in Leeds as my first assignment for City Dweller magazine it was an instant yes.

Cocktail

Cocktail

I have stayed in a Malmaison hotel before in Manchester for work but never sampled the bar, but before the review even began I had high hopes as my previous experience with the brand was of great standard with quality service and this time I wasn’t disappointed either.I decided to take my other half for a Friday night date night after work around 7.30pm and we were going to start in the ‘Malbar’ for a session of Cocktails.

As we walked in we were greeted by a rustic carpeted stairway that guided us down to the mood lit cocktail bar. The decor is minimalist but luxurious, mainly dark with flashes of colour and brought to life by the rich wood furnishings. It took only a few seconds for us to be greeted by a warm smiling member of bar staff who showed us to our table in no time.

A sizeable bar and seating area directly across from the restaurant the atmosphere was welcoming but with a buzz of mingling and fun. The outside of this modest bar hidden under the hotel seemed quite reserved, but once through the revolving door of this imposing building on the corner of swinegate in the heart of Leeds the bar came alive.

The atmosphere had a laid back vibe but the soundtrack of contemporary chart music with a slower tempo set the scene and leant well to the mixed crowd of custom of all ages, dress codes and walks of life. Although it was obvious everyone here had come here to celebrate Friday in style as the sound of cocktail shakers and faint laughs from groups and couples echoed the opulent Cocktail bar.

My first move was to study the cocktail menu, it is well laid out to suit whatever you fancy a ‘Maison’ (French themed cocktails), a ‘Fizz’ (Champagne cocktail) or a ‘Classic’ Cocktail amongst many more. We weren’t over faced with an essay of drinks just a short comprehensive list of great named and descriptive cocktails. The Champagne, wines and beers on offer were also fantastic in the terms of choice but tonight was all about the mixolgy.

Swiftly our order was taken, my other half started with a ‘Valentine Rose’ and I with a ‘Bad boy good girl’ for obvious reasons. The drinks are surprisingly reasonable price wise taking into account they are made with the best quality of ingredients, easily rivalling any quality water hole in Leeds. My first choice was a mix of Bubble Time Champagne, Belvedere vodka, fresh lemon, strawberry & rhubarb cordial, fresh strawberries, basil leaves. I like to incorporate at least 2 of my 5 a day when drinking.

The service was quick our drinks were on the table within minutes, ready for our first taste we were impressed by the presentation of the drinks a mix of colours served in classic champagne saucers.
As we soaked up the atmosphere, chatting away and becoming familiar with our surroundings our first round was gone and before we knew it round 4 of cocktails was on its way.

I believe this is testament to quality cocktails as they were going down so easily, a great way to spend a Friday evening with a group of friends, a loved one or to simply to slurp the end of a hard week away.

Both equally impressed and well on our way my other half and I finished the evening with a glass of champagne. We had missed dinner as we got caught in the moment and drank hours away without realising the time. This kind of sums up our visit to the Malmaison bar, the quality of service, vibe and great cocktails are all effortlessly executed which leaves you free to enjoy your evening and we did just that.

Perfect for any occasion I have now got a promise to keep to my girlfriend to go back and sample the restaurant as the food that evening smelt divine.

Something to appeal to all the Malmaison bar certainly lived up to my expectations and in doing so I think I have found a new local.

I will be back for sure.

See you about town!
Zach

FACT BOX
a: 1 Swinegate, Leeds, LS1 4AG
t: 084469 30654

w: malmaison.com/locations/leeds/
fb: www.fb.com/malmaisonhotels

BAR TIMES for Non Residents:
7 days a week: 11am till 11pm