Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Leeds for a few hours? These hidden gems could be just the place to relax with a stiff drink…
With the break-neck pace of the modern world, finding somewhere to get away from it all for a little while is hugely underrated. Whether you just want to read the paper in a comfy chair with a pint, or nibble on something tasty with a creative cocktail by your side, these old-school drinking dens are just what the doctor ordered.
Named after the nickname for an American Prohibition speakeasy, you can immediately tell how serious Blind Tyger is about creating a genuine old-school drinking den atmosphere – and they succeed. An easy-to-miss door on Cross Belgrave Street leads upstairs to a dark, luxurious bar, where the wide-ranging menu covers everything from craft beers to a mixture of classic and modern cocktails – such as the whiskey and thyme syrup Tar & Feather. Once you’re in on the secret, you’ll find yourself coming back time and time again to enjoy the secluded atmosphere and killer drinks.
Blind Tyger, 5a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Originally a barbershop, Remedy is now divided over two floors. Upstairs the mens’ hairdressers lives on, while downstairs they’ve embraced a potent combination of drinking and jazz. This down-to-earth watering hole has great grub and a stellar selection of wines, all at a reasonable price. Their local cheeseboard is one of the many highlights, especially when washed down with with local craft beers or strong coffee. Jazz and swing records fill the air during the day, but don’t miss their regular live music evenings.
Remedy Hairdressing, 16 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
With a real log fire in the winter, an original mahogany bar and the Sunday newspapers on hand – Whitelock’s lives life at a more relaxed pace, just like when it was built in 1715. It helps that they have an enormous selection of real ales, craft beers and spirits to keep you company, as well as a full menu of delicious home-cooked, locally sourced pub grub. Try their classic fish and chips paired with an Elland Best Bitter. If you’re anything like us, you’ll never want to leave.
Whitelock’s Ale House, Turks Head Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.
Epicurus: Death & Taxes
Recently placed 8th on the prestigious UK-wide Top 50 Cocktail Bars list, the relaxed atmosphere and impeccable service at Epicurus: Death & Taxes is what truly defines its old-school nature. Split into two bars, Epicurus downstairs has a cocktail menu with a twist. Each drink is inspired by a song, and the menu is made up of 20-second snippets of each. Once you’ve chosen, sink into a spacious sofa with a heavenly charcuterie board. Upstairs at Death & Taxes, it’s members-only – they mix up vintage cocktails in a fresh modern style. Don’t worry, though, membership is free, you just need to apply.
Epicurus: Death & Taxes, 3 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Quite possibly Leeds’ worst kept secret when it comes to hidden bars, The Maven is a popular speakeasy amongst locals thanks to its stylish decor and creative cocktails. At the end of Call Lane, go through the unmarked entrance, climb the stairs and open the door with the ‘M’ emblazoned on it to be transported to a bygone era. The Espresso Martinis and Old Fashioned’s are to die for, but if it’s wine or beer you’re after, don’t worry, they have plenty of both to go round – and the dapper staff will be only too happy to help.
The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Corvin Pamp