The Maven Leeds review: I try the hidden Call Lane cocktail bar voted one of the best in the UK
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The Maven is a stylish cocktail joint, with its unassuming entrance nestled between an amusements venue and a piercing shop. Visitors will have to look carefully to find it, but word about the Maven is beginning to spread far and wide - it was crowned one of the best bars in the UK last year.
I recently visited for a private birthday party in one of the Maven’s three bookable spaces, Monkey 47, a secret room with a private entrance just off the main bar. There’s two further rooms on the top floor, and all private events can be customised down to the soundtrack and cocktails on the menu.
It was a gorgeous space, with dim lighting, emerald green seating and vibrant botanical decor. The main bar area was just as stunning - a modern take on a 1920s speakeasy bar with a live DJ and a real party atmosphere. Even the toilets were very snazzy.
The Monkey 47 room had space for up to 80 guests and included a private dark oak bar, space to dance and seating to rest in between my friend’s carefully curated playlist of party anthems. The Maven is known for its sophisticated cocktails, and I started my evening with an espresso martini. It was deliciously smooth and the perfect blend of bitter and sweet; so nice that I went for another.
My third round was a classic Tom Collins, one of my favourite cocktails. It was refreshing with plenty of lemon and plenty of gin - for £9.50 the cocktails weren’t cheap, but they didn’t hold back with the measures.
The Maven is run by Escapism Bars, a Leeds-based group which also owns Brooklyn, Cuckoo, Call Lane Social and more - and they pride themselves on knowing how to throw a party. The staff at the Maven were a delight, making sure everything ran smoothly and our celebrations were the best they could be, with big smiles on their faces.
Positioned at the far end of one of Leeds’ busiest streets when the sun goes down, with stacks of choice nearby, the Maven stands apart from the rest with its elegant Gatsby-style decor and old-school charm.
Whether you’re planning an intimate date night or a big birthday bash, it’s well worth a visit.
Address: The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7DH
Telephone: 0113 242 3966
Opening hours: Mon-Tue, closed; Weds-Thurs, 5pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-3am; Sun, 5pm-2am.