Angelica, Leeds

Angelica LeedsD&D London has opened its first bar and restaurant outside of the capital in the new Trinity Leeds development

Traditionally, you wouldn’t go to a bar in a shopping centre expecting too much from their drinks. This is not the case at the new Trinity Leeds leisure and retail development in Leeds city centre. Living Ventures has opened The Botanist and The Alchemist, on the lower-ground and first floors, but if you take a lift up to the sixth floor, you come out at Angelica, the first bar and restaurant to be opened by D&D London outside of the capital.

Angelica has been designed as a classic “grand café”, made up of an informal restaurant, bar and garden – a wrap-around terrace with views across the city. As with other D&D London bars and restaurants, it was designed by Conran & Partners under lead designer Tina Norden. While it is a bustling grand café in the daytime, the interior and lighting allow the space to transform into more of a laid-back cocktail bar in the evening. “Angelica’s interior is light and airy, with a limed oak floor that extends out onto the all-weather terrace,” Tina adds.

In the centre is a circular pewter bar staffed by a team headed by general manager Jon Pinner, a former bartender who was previously manager of SkyLounge cocktail bar on the 13th floor of Leeds’ DoubleTree by Hilton hotel and manager of the private members bar at Oracle in Leeds. As well as putting together an extensive wine list, Jon has an expert team of cocktail bartenders, presiding over a list that is strong on fresh ingredients and infusions.

The cocktails, ranging from £8 to £11.50, include many of the classics plus signature drinks such as Beyond the Sky, mixing Disaronno amaretto with fresh cranberry juice, sweet basil, vanilla syrup and fresh lemon juice. Jose Cuervo Tradicional infused with peach and cinnamon is the base for the Estupendo, mixed with cinnamon syrup, agave syrup, peach puree, lemon juice, egg white and a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters.

Some of the best cocktails from D&D London’s bartenders in the capital are featured on the menu including The Deer Hunter, created by Nebojsa Kutlesic, bar manager at Skylon, which combines Dalmore whisky with Pedro Ximénez sherry, Choya sake and chocolate bitters. There is also a list of barrel-aged cocktails such as a twisted Negroni made with Tanqueray Gin, Aperol and three vermouths – Martini Rosso, Antica Formula and Dubonnet. The barrel-aged Mandarine mixes Yamazaki 10 Year Old and Mandarine Napoléon with Lillet Blanc, Cherry Heering and lemon juice, priced £12.50.

Executive head chef Lee Bennett most recently headed up five luxury restaurants in the Equinox complex in Singapore and trained under top chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Ducasse and Marcus Wareing. But, returning to his Yorkshire roots, he has focused on “good, honest food cooked properly”. Dishes range from salads, burger and steak to fresh crab and Schezuan beef, while freshly prepared sushi and sashimi are available from the raw bar. The inventive bar food menu includes gourmet popcorn with goat’s cheese and pepper or chilli and caramel.

Breakfast is served from 10am seven days a week, through lunch and dinner to 11pm, although the bar is open until as late as 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. One floor down from Angelica is D&D London’s other restaurant, Crafthouse, where the focus is more on the food. Here, dishes include a 900g 35-day aged rib of beef on the bone and a Barnsley double lamb chop, cooked in the only Josper Grill in Yorkshire.

Although Crafthouse’s kitchen is also headed by Lee, it is positioned as a separate business. The interior was also designed by Conran & Partners, and there is a short cocktail list. Both are also accessed via a street-level lift in Boar Lane as well as through the shopping centre. Crafthouse even offers views of Leeds – but just not quite as spectacular as Angelica up on the sixth floor.

Trinity Leeds, Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6HW
Tel: 0113 897 0099

Design: Conran & Partners
Bar, wine wall: Concept Bars
Table lamps: Into Lighting
Furniture: Conran Contracts
Open kitchen: Cater Design
Contractor, joinery: Crane Interiors

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Bar magazine

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