Babycream, Headrow, Leeds

Positioned amongst the garish neon bars of the Headrow, Leeds’ unofficial Electric Mile, Babycream is surprisingly elegant. Its sister bar in Liverpool recently won the Hi-Life Best Interior award, and with both bars sharing a design concept, it isn’t hard to see why.

The emphasis is on comfort and luxury rather than high fashion, with the low lighting and simple colour scheme (chocolate brown and, er, cream) accentuating the ridiculously glamorous polished mahogany bar. The glowing tables and generous levels of chrome keep it trendy- it’s a media haunt, not a gentleman’s club.

The black collar crew were definitely out in force when we visited, and as you may have anticipated, it ain’t cheap. Cocktails start at a fiver, pints from three pounds and the cheapest, roughest house wine is fifteen pounds a bottle. However, when the aforementioned wine is a lovely crisp Chenin Blanc, you begin to regret all the times you paid half the price for a bottle of chilled urine. The cocktails themselves are fairly traditional, closer in spirit to a prohibition era Dorothy Parker than Henry J. Bean, although they’re not too proud to offer a chocolate lime martini.

The Cream brand is renowned for creating dance hits from old school samples, and Babycream works in a similar vein, making their most fabulous drinks when spinning their own take on a classic, the best example being the strangely sweet vanilla mojito. If you need something fruitier, check out the Jamaican rum, passion fruit and ginger beer concoction, which is intriguingly titled Like Two In A Hankie, and if anyone can explain this moniker then Nouse wants to know. There is much to recommend about Babycream, not least its proximity to Primark- what better way to celebrate saving huge amounts of money on clothes than spending huge amounts of money on drink.

Just remember to stash the chavvy carrier bags away from the eyes of the more sophisticated clientele.

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