It is the original rooftop bar in the city’s nightlife scene as we know it, offering a spectacular backdrop to a cocktail or a glass of fizz long before the modern day whipper snapper bars came along.
The Sky Lounge sits on top of the Double Tree Hilton Hotel and overlooks the trendy Bridgewater Place development, Granary Wharf, the South Bank and beyond, into the countryside.
Every now and then, City Buzz visits a bit of a hidden gem in the city and with the likes of Angelica, Alchemist, Issho and East 59th all opening with roof terraces smack in the centre and proving more popular than a pornstar martini, it would be easy to over-look this one.
Think brunch, lunch and dinner as well as a host of classic cocktails. Sounds like every other bar in Leeds right now granted but you are highly unlikely to find a hen party dancing on the tables in here. With its slightly off-centre location it has a more relaxed, laid back demeanour where you can take in and enjoy the suave surroundings.
And having to take a lift to the 13th floor, even that itself makes you feel like you are going somewhere special. As the doors open you are presented with black decor, dazzling disco balls on the ceiling, leather seats and low lighting.
Visiting on a Friday night is interesting. For a lot of city centre bars, which are the current 'hotspots', you have professionals out for a post-work pint that ended up being one too many and those dressed up and good to go for an all nighter. Either way, going to the bar is like trying to part treacle. Here it is busy, there is a good vibe, live music but you can get served before last orders so always a bonus.
City Buzz makes no secret of the drink of choice being champagne so the cocktail is always going to be fizzy. In this case a French 75 and the boy goes for a 'Lemon Basil Flip' - twice. However, the vision can still make out that the whole raison d'etre of the Sky Lounge is the outside, rooftop terrace and the spectacular views from it. There is something about enjoying a drink outside at night while being able to see twinkling lights for miles around - so that's what we did, even though it was probably windy enough to stop the high sided vehicles on Bridgewater Place below, but with the outside heaters on full force and throws handed out by staff - it is actually exhilarating.
No sooner has the sun gone down, then it comes back up and as part of a re-brand towards the end of last year the Sky Lounge launched a brunch menu that differs from the bottomless menus that are the new trend. It might at first seem as steep as the lift at £20 but you don't leave hungry. Tuck into pastries and croissants before choosing two courses from the menu. It is a mouthwatering mix of granola and fruit, goats cheese and pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. Have wanted to try these for years but the calorie counter freaked out. However, it was totally worth it.
The second course offers a traditional cooked breakfast, grilled steak, lobster pasta and eggs benedict - all of which would be a meal in themselves but were enough to fuel a shopping trip in the city afterwards....and a vow to return for more American pancakes and gin.
Bar supervisor, Rhys Griffiths, said: “We have been here for nine years but there are a lot of bars, like Issho and we want to compete with that and keep what we do fresh.
“The view makes it, people can come for breakfast and see the sun come up, come for a drink and see the sun go down.”