Champagne bar with a metropolitan vibe and a long drinks list of fizz-based concoctions
Sometimes an occasion calls for something sparkling, and when such an instance arises in Leeds, many head to the city’s dedicated champagne bar Épernay at the Electric Press near Millennium Square. The sophisticated bar is the perfect setting for a celebration and boasts a huge drinks menu full of some of the world’s finest fizzies. Those familiar with the venue’s Manchester sister will know to expect elegant but trendy décor and endlessly knowledgeable bartenders. With its exposed brickwork, leather armchairs and bustling central location, Épernay Leeds may as well be in New York or Paris.
In the world of Épernay, there’s a different champagne to suit all tastes, occasions and budgets – though supermarket prices certainly shouldn’t be expected. The house’s ‘dry and elegant’ chardonnay Ayala Brut Majeur is one of the least expensive bottles at £39, rising up to an average price of £60 for an even wider choice, with top-of-the-shop bottles Louis Roederer Cristal and Krug Rosé priced north of £200. For the true champers devotee the bar hosts masterclasses to learn about the nature of the drink, from the region where the grapes are grown, to selecting a good bottle.
Naturally, the bar’s champagne cocktails are sublime and more than sufficiently decadent to get a party started, however there are plenty of mixes without fizz, including a wicked pornstar martini, a mean mai tai, and a chocolate twist on a white Russian, aptly named ‘the dude’. There’s an equally extensive non-sparkling wine list, as well as short, long and straight-up drinks, and bottled beer and cider to try.
No classy evening would be complete without nibbles, and the bar also serves canapés and tapas all day and afternoon tea at the weekend – perfect for a pre-show appetiser before heading off to the neighbouring Carriageworks Theatre.
12 Great George Street
|Opening hours:||Sun-Mon noon-midnight; Tue-Thu noon-1am; Fri-Sat noon-2am|