Fourth Floor Bar review: Here's what I thought of the top floor bar in Leeds' Harvey Nichols
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But while the drinks at Harvey Nichols' Fourth Floor Bar are top notch, the décor leaves something to be desired.
For many, the shop is synonymous with 1990s sitcom Absolutely Fabulous and its chaotic protagonists. It was the stomping ground of the booze-quaffing Edina and Patsy, who would splurge on outrageous outfits in too many episodes to count.
It was partly for that reason that the store now ranks up there with Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, and Liberty London.
That is why news that Harvey Nichols' Leeds branch, in Briggate, was redesigning its Fourth Floor Bar, came as an exciting prospect for those who enjoy the finer things in life.
Its 'cake and champagne' themed makeover sounded all very Marie Antoinette, with guests enjoying premium drinks in plush surroundings.
Arriving on a busy Saturday afternoon, it was not long before we each had a drink in our hand.
Mine: a Curtain Call cocktail, with white rum, lemon juice, Campari and Harvey Nichols Brut Champagne. It was perfectly strong yet light, effervescent and summery. My guest went for a Moet Chandon Garden Spritz, which was similarly delicious.
They came with an ornately decorated Victoria Sponge. It was beautiful - like an elaborately embellished art deco building. It felt like an act of vandalism to topple it with a fork. Sweet but not cloying, it was ideal for sharing.
We each had another glass of bubbly, and it was not unexpected when the bill arrived at £56.65. I knew I would be forking out more than usual - but something was not right.
For that amount, the interior design is not as glittering as one might expect. In fact, it's slightly tacky - as though whoever was in charge had picked a high street furniture store and ordered everything it stocked in gold.
Brassy sequins line walls and partitions, while a migraine-inducing bleached neon exclaims: "First cake, then champagne." It might look nice on Instagram, but in person it's all a bit disappointing. It's also a small bar and space feels limited, as though the idea to add one was hastily agreed at the last minute and a corner was annexed off.
Don't get me wrong, it's alright. But the Fourth Floor Bar is perhaps less Absolutely Fabulous and more Debenham's café. Pretty - but lacking the sparkle you'd want if you're spending hundreds in the three floors below.