OPENING a hotel just as a world wide recession hit was always going to be a risk but the team at Mint have pulled it off.
So, Confidential was happy to join them in the Sky Lounge, high up on the 13th floor of the hotel, to raise a glass of Rhubarb Bellini - it's way nicer than it sounds - to their success.
"Unlike, say, Bar 23 at the Hilton in Manchester we wanted the space to be more inclusive rather than having people queue round the corner."
The last time I was up here it was winter and dark, but on a warm summer night, with not a cloud in the sky, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Aside from the amazing view of Elland Road to the right, you can see for miles into the Yorkshire countryside.
But in many ways it affords a view of a city that is really raising its game with massive changes underway, and more in the pipeline. But it also requires big players like Mint to take a risk and put their money where their mouth is.
Rhubarb Bellini. Nice."It was hard when we first opened, but we have a good team here and we've done only doing well with rooms. but food and beverage and room hire are also up," general manager Stephen Turner told Confidential.
"We wanted to have this event in the Sky Lounge to say thank you to everyone who has helped, and I think we are now seen as the one of the big hotels in town."
Sky Lounge has become a popular point for people stating an evening to take in the spectacular views before heading off round town.
"Unlike, say, Bar 23 at the Hilton in Manchester we wanted the space to be more inclusive rather than having people queue round the corner, and we've also reviewed the prices here and reduced to bring them in line with other similar venues," says food and beverage manager Javie de La Hormaza.
"We're also introducing music on Thursdays nights with a choice of the three plates of the food we are sampling tonight, plus a bottle of house wine for £20, plus all cocktails will be £5.50 all night."
Confidential food writer Anne Smith had also conquered her fear of heights to join the celebrations, and was impressed by the samples of the new menu.
It's all too much for our manAs she munched through the menu, the breadcrumbed mushroom rissotto balls were a particular hit as were the nouvelle cuisine fish and (three) chips. But I'm afraid to say I had to fight her to get the Peach Melba and the splendid Mint Choc Chip Ice cream and Pimms Jelly.
I just left her alone to the Vanilla Cupcakes decorated with generous butter cream icing and silver sparkles.
But as we lounged on the balcony, it was nice to reflect that whilst Mint Hotel is bucking the recession you can look out from Sky lounge and literally see a city raising its game to take the fight to the other major northern cities.
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