The Midnight Bell review, Water Lane - Leeds Brewery has earned its place as a city favourite

The Midnight Bell on Water Lane.
The Midnight Bell on Water Lane.
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Leeds Brewery’s flagship pub, The Midnight Bell has become a firm favourite on the Leeds bar scene since it opened around ten years ago. Although slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre on Water Lane, Leeds Station’s relatively new south entrance makes Holbeck’s urban village area more accessible than it once was.

First impressions?

Real ales are one of the pub's most popular features.

Real ales are one of the pub's most popular features.

The pub manages to impressively combine the best bits about a cosy, country pub while maintaining a city vibe. Stone flooring and oak beams coupled with cosy chairs and a fireplace make it the ideal hideaway on a cold winter’s day but in summer, The Midnight Bell truly comes into its own with its spacious courtyard beer garden - surely one of Leeds’ best.

The staff are warm and attentive. One of the barmen wrongly assumed my companion and I were a couple and offered us seats in a more secluded part of the bar - a hint of embarrassment, but a welcome gesture all the same! With the weather as it was, outside was the only option.

What’s behind the bar?

Plenty of Leeds Brewery beers - Leeds Best, Leeds Pale, Yorkshire Gold, Midnight Bell and Leodis larger - as you’d expect, and something for everyone.

It being a mid-afternoon after work visit, we opted for Leeds Brewery’s Solstice (3.5 per cent / £4), a straw-coloured summer beer. Crisp and refreshing.

There’s gatstro-type food on offer too, though we weren’t eating on this occasion. If I had though, I’d have gone for the chicken liver pâté, with pink peppercorn butter, sea salt and rosemary focaccia toast (£5.50) and the pan fried sea bass fillet, with crushed new potatoes, wilted greens and lemon caper butter (£12.95)

What’s the atmosphere like?

It was quiet on arrival at 3pm, but a steady stream of punters wandered in as the afternoon wore on. You’re made to feel right at home here and it’s why the pub is so well-regarded by beer lovers, social drinkers and office workers - Welcome to Yorkshire’s headquarters is right next door.

Will you be going back?

Without a doubt - it’s an ideal place to take an out-of-towner to show them what Leeds has to offer.

If you’re ever in need of an event various parts of the pub lend themselves well to receptions, private parties and corporate events.


Address: 101 Water Lane, LS11 5QN


Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 11am - 11pm; Friday & Saturday, 11am-midnight; Sunday, 11am-10.30pm



Value 7/10

Atmosphere 8/10

Service 9 /10