Some of the best views across Leeds can be found at the picturesque canal-side development that is Granary Wharf.
The spectacular panorama over the south of the city, highlighted by the towering Bridgewater Place skyscraper, can more specifically be found at the 13th storey Sky Lounge at the Doubletree by Hilton.
The mini bar district has a quaint collection of bars that includes the earthy Hop, themed Bar Brasil concept and wine-centred LIVIN’Italy as well as the high altitude main attraction.
What is quite easy to miss however is the Doubletree by Hilton’s slightly more down to earth offering, Granary Lounge, which can be accessed back down on the groundfloor.
It’s a more relaxed affair situated next to the four star hotel’s downstairs restaurant, with casually dressed punters enjoying the early evening sun in this open plan, airy bar space on Barfly’s visit.
With an enviable beer garden looking out over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal opposite the popular Pour House pub restaurant, Granary Lounge offers a sophisticated experience that exudes expense and quality.
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows bring the outdoors in, while the interior itself is straight out of a contemporary design catalogue. Angular dark leather sofas snake a pattern in the main seating area aside ultra-modern swivelling burgundy seats set on a part wood and part tile floor.
High neutral ceilings, sleek stone, wood and tile surfaces and dominant central concrete pillars combine to create an alluring bar space. The main bar is stone-topped and lit from below and, set in front of a spirit-filled wooden background punctuated by wine coolers, is complimented by an adjacent ‘whisky library’ wood feature to show off its extensive collection of premium spirits.
The addition of a couple of home comforts such as plasma TVs on the walls and a bar bites menu adds a more relaxed side to the venue, which its showy, extravagant 13th floor sister bar somewhat lacks.
The menu is slightly different to Sky Lounge as well, featuring draught beers and cider and a slightly smaller collection of cocktails and wines. Around a dozen mixes including bellinis, signatures and classic choices are available here ranging from an expectedly pricey £7.95 to £9.95. You can also choose from alcohol-free mocktails.
Becks Vier, Boddingtons, Stella Black and Magners are available on draught, while there is a healthy selection of bottled beers and ciders here although they are expensive, costing from around £4.20 to a whopping £5.80 for a bottle of Rekorderlig cider.
You can also choose from around a dozen red, white and rose wines and a handful of champagnes that range up to £295 Cristal.
We went for a couple of the cocktails, with a flavoursome and refreshing vodka, raspberry puree and lemon Raspberry Mule and a sweet rum and citrus Daiquiri. Adding in a bottle of Asahi Japanese beer the bill came to a hefty £21.10.
Granary Wharf is a picture postcard pocket of Leeds city centre with a selection of varied and good quality bars – Granary Lounge can certainly count itself as one of those.
Yes, it is pricey, but if you are after good drinks in plush contemporary surroundings then you can’t go wrong here. However given that it is slightly more geared towards a casual drink, splashing out on champagne cocktails might not meet everyone’s tastes.