Leeds has plenty of them and the offering is growing by the day, but Headrow House is one of the originals. My uni days (when I should have been in lectures) were often spent there, or at its sister bar Belgrave, but it had been a while since I’d visited.
Headrow House is a huge, multi-use venue that’s set over four floors.
There’s an award-winning restaurant, the Ox Club, a large beer hall, gig space and two rooftop terraces.
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As we walked up the dingy, slightly smelly staircase, I had to reassure my companion that this was *the* place to be on a summer’s evening. As we reached the top and the sun poured down on us, they were soon convinced.
It’s a gorgeous space. The first deck consists of long benches and striking orange umbrellas, as well as the DJ booth, while the top deck boasts plush seats and wooden, heated huts.
There’s everything you could want behind the upstairs bar, Redondo Beach, from craft beer to cocktails - which are two for £12 all day, every day.
There’s plenty of summer favourites, like Aperol Spritz, cucumber collins and a spiced rum crush. We opted for two gin goblets, mine with tonic (they were out of slimline) and lemonade for my sweeter-toothed companion.
They were served perfectly - in a proper gin balloon and garnished with fresh raspberries, a slice of lemon and a chunky sprig of rosemary.
It’s hard for bar staff to make an impression, as they don’t have much time to do so, but we were met with big smiles and asked about our day.
We headed straight up to the top roof terrace which, on a Friday night, was packed with revellers and we couldn’t find a seat - so back down we went.
We settled for the only outdoor seats left - right next to the DJ booth. We soon gave up on trying to talk to each other, but settled back to enjoy her disco-laden set.
For our second round we went for two more gin goblets and managed to find a seat on the upstairs deck.
As the sun set over the rooftops, it was only the chill that eventually pulled us away. And our final bill for four gin serves came to £24, a steal.
Despite more and more competition, Headrow House is still nailing it.
Address: 19a The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 6PU
Telephone: 0113 245 9370
Opening hours: Sun-Tue, noon-12am; Wed-Thur, noon-12.30am; Fri-Sat, noon-2.30am