The sun has been shining on Leeds once again, meaning a post-work pint is back on the menu.
The city’s beer gardens are back in fashion and Leeds’s business quarter is full of options as far as a sociable drink is concerned.
With a couple of burgeoning building projects well underway down Wellington Street, even more suited and booted workers are sure to be frequenting the bars, cafes and restaurants in that area of town soon too.
Toast, next to the Co-op at West Point, is one of the more established post-work spots in Leeds’s business quarter.
And although it currently neighbours a construction site of the swanky new Central Square development, it is still proving popular with residents and workers in the area.
There’s a tried and tested mix of eye-catching orange touches, funky hanging metal lights, plush leather stools and chairs and dark wooden tables, which combines to create a relaxed getaway for punters.
Low key instrumental music plays in the background as a bustling, naturally chatty atmosphere dominates this bright and quirky bar which leads out on to a sizeable beer garden.
Plasma screen TVs showing the football adorn the walls to cater to sports fans and there is a popular food menu which is enhanced by offers such as a two-for-one Monday meal deal and Tuesday steak night.
Drinks-wise the offering is pretty varied too. There are more than a dozen classic cocktails, and half of those are available at two for £6 on Sunday to Thursday from 5pm until 9pm, as well as a good range of beers and ciders both on tap and in the fridges including Stella Cidre, Guinness and Hoegaarden. You can also indulge in more than 20 white, red, rose and sparkling wines and champagnes.
We went for a pint of Brahma lager, a citrus-packed Whiskey Sour cocktail and a can of non-alcoholic ginger beer. The bill came in at £13 in total, which is not particularly unreasonable for the area.
Overall Toast is a pleasant and enjoyable place to be. Far from the greys and whites of the area’s offices, the venue injects some welcome colour and atmosphere.
It neighbours similarly clean cut business break bars such as Lazy Lounge, Elysium and the Primo bar/ restaurant in a cluster of venues that lead the suits back into central Leeds’s busy Boar Lane and Greek Street bar centres.
Toast is a well-rounded establishment with plenty of good features, nevertheless this is not a cosy local or a particularly homely setting.
It’s a modern functional space that offers its post-work and residential punters a place to have a quiet one, and it does it well.