Bar review: Headrow House, Bramleys Yard, Leeds

When the sun makes an appearance, it seems only right to ditch the cosy boozers that serve us so well during the dreary winter months and seek a bar offering customers the chance to soak up some rays.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 9:00 am
Headrow House is home to a beer hall, restaurant, cocktail bar and rooftop bar. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

After considering the likes of Water Lane Boathouse, Good Luck Club and Nation of Shopkeepers, we decided that only a venue with rooftop terrace would do.

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Naturally, everyone else had reached the same conclusion so it was no surprise to find just two sets of drinkers in Headrow House’s ground floor beer hall when we visited this week.

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The lower tier of the venue's rooftop terrace comes complete with its own bar.

This is a space that’s perfect for large groups of friends and those who don’t mind sharing the long wooden tables and benches with other drinkers.

Large copper vats in one corner give it a brewery feel, while the fridges contain a wide selection of craft beers.

My ‘good looking, charming’ friend immediately quizzed me on how he would be referenced in my review, before picking the local Kirkstall Pale from the half a dozen or so beers and lagers on tap. This trusty favourite turned out to be part of the happy hour offer, coming it at a very competitive £2.95 as a nice little bonus.

Like the pint, my house gin and tonic (£4.10) went into a plastic glass so we could head up to the venue’s popular roof terrace but pleasingly that didn’t stop the bar staff making the usual effort and garnishing it with a slice of grapefruit and sprig of rosemary.

The beer hall in the ground floor of Headrow House.

The former textile mill is also home to the Ox Club restaurant and Redondo Beach cocktail bar – both closed that evening – so there are a fair few flights of stairs to be tramped up before reaching the terrace.

It’s worth the effort though as the two-tiered terrace among the rooftops makes for a great drinking spot, with plenty of seating and large umbrellas for those who need a little shade on the hottest days.

The prime seats on the higher level had all been snapped up despite it only being a Monday, but we were still able to grab two spaces towards the end of a partly shaded table on the lower tier.

Our first drinks finished, we faced the dilemma of going all the way back down to the ground floor bar or choosing from the much smaller range of options at the terrace bar.

Feeling quite lazy, we were happy to settle for a pint of the Pilsner Urquell and an iced margarita from the terrace bar at £11.60 for the two drinks.

I’m not completely sold on margaritas as a whole, but this one hit the spot with just the right balance between the citrus juice and tequila.

A similar balance was struck on the atmosphere front as well, with the bustling terrace being lively without so cramped or noisy that we couldn’t relax.

There was praise too from my friend for the soundtrack and on another night we could happily have stayed longer.