Head off the Leeds high street and make your way into the clouds for a night of theatrics. Opening the doors to The Alchemist in Trinity Leeds hits you with an immediate buzz. We headed past the bar and were enveloped by the golden hour of the evening before delving into the menus.
The Trinity venue has just had an overhaul, enhancing the seductive surroundings that act as the perfect backdrop to the bar theatrics that The Alchemist is known for.
If you're heading there for drinks, get a front row seat at the bar and be prepared for the bar staff to work their magic from the periodic table of alcoholic concoctions.
Depending on your choice, the theatrics can be served right in front of you at your dining table, as ours were. The other half went for ever the classic - with The Alchemist twist - a smoky old fashioned.
For me, something a little yet refined in the screwball, but a real sweet treat that was a delicious starter.
The food menu at The Alchemist is a real culture mix, from the classic pub nibbles - calamari, houmus and dip, chicken wings - to Mexican nachos, Thai fishcakes and creative serves of meat bon bons and lollipops. These 'tapatisers' are perfect for a group, order a few and work your way around the world of flavours.
We started with three between us. I've been before purely for a light bite and felt undersold on the nachos, they're not the loaded stack you're used to, but ordered with other small plates they're perfect, even if the dip serves could come in a better ratio. The Thai fishcakes I've tried before and loved and the new try of the lemon chilli squid was that classic calamari flavour, with a very subtle heat of chilli.
The break between courses is the perfect opportunity to work through the iconic drinks menu, all broken out into the different flavours and styles on the menu.
For him, another mysterious smoky bottle in the drug rummer. For me, something a little less sweet this time served with an edge from an Alchemist hip flask.
And onto the mains, the thing going underrated at The Alchemist in my opinion. Across the menu is a good price range (prices start at £8, peaking at £22 for the fillet steak), a varied choice and fresh, tasty food served to your table.
It doesn't come with a mind-blowing taste, but for a delicious option on an evening, you're going to leave satisfied here.
Mexican being my favourite cuisine, I opted for the veggie burrito. The accompanying sweetcorn salsa was actually my highlight of the dish, so incredibly fresh with a great zing to break up the rice packed wrap. A touch more salsa or zest in the burrito would have been great, but it was tasty-tasty as is.
Matt went for the steak, served with garlic butter and fries, and peppercorn sauce as an additional extra. The steaks come in three cut choices, this one being the 9oz rib eye. Again, not the be-all and end-all with steaks, but cooked to order and served with seriously moreish fries.
We finished the night out on the terrace, a perfect sun spot if you're ever looking for one in the city centre, with blankets at the ready once the evening chill hits.
You undoubtedly already know of the theatrics the bar can bring, but make time for the food at The Alchemist and take advantage of table service for the drinks.