Francesca MacDuff-Varley, finalist on The Apprentice, entrepreneur and City Dweller Columnist heads to Malmaison Leeds to sample their new cocktail menu.
Continuing with our theme of meeting the characters of Leeds, we invited city dweller and former Apprentice star Francesca Macduff-Varley to Malmaison to sample a few cheeky cocktails at their newly refurbished Chez Mal bar.
Francesca Macduff-Varley, who came third in series 9 of The Apprentice, is a respected entrepreneur and the founder of a variety of businesses, such as The Dance Mob, A-List Lookalike, Show Fashion, Pindles and ZTUDIO.
Every week I dread Mondays but when you get an invite to try the hottest cocktails at the newest re-vamped bar in Leeds, Chez Mal the day brightened up straight away.
What strikes you first about the newly refurbished Chez Mal is the fresh vibe and welcoming atmosphere which has turned this round from just a ‘nice’ hotel bar to a bona-fide drinks and cocktail venue. Gone are the plain décor and dimly lit tables to a transformation into a savvy chic venue full of atmosphere and buzz.
We went straight in with the very Sex in the City “Cosmopolitan’ and were guided through the classic cocktails and exciting ‘twist’ cocktails that have been designed and developed for Chez Mal by their Malchemy team.
Leo Higney is the Bar Manager at Malmaison. If you’re looking for an event or if you’re wanting to try out a cocktail masterclass in Leeds, the extremely knowledgeable Leo and his team are available for hire to host your event and guide you through the experience.
After falling in love with their ‘Metropolitan’, ‘Old Fashioned’ and then the ‘Smoked Old Fashioned’ a sneak peek at the brand new bedrooms was in order. The bedrooms exude comfort and feel like the sort of place you want to move into permanently. With wallpaper that looks like art and bedding you can sink into forever… in fact next time I’m trying everything on the drinks and food menu from the comfort of the huge Mal bed.
Back to the bar for the final instalment of cocktails, the surprise of the evening (that I would never, ever have tried) was the Le Latin. Bacardi with white wine and olive brine had my face all screwed up and saying ‘no thanks’ when described however I had to eat my words as this drink was amazing and tasted just like a Cloudy Lemonade.
The night was finished off perfectly with the ‘Valentine Rose’ full of deliciousness, edible flowers and my favourite element for any drink a ‘little bit of Veuve’ cemented the Chez Mal as my newest and favourite bar in Leeds. As they say at this time of year… the winner is Chez Mal.