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Stylish spots to celebrate the end of lockdown

Remember when you could just slip on your stilettos and head out for a drink? No? Neither can we, so to refresh our memory, we're raising a toast to these stylish bars which are fully reopening this month!

NineB Wine Bar, Leicester

It was a crying shame when the city’s most stylish bar was shut so soon after it opened last year, but fast forward and we’re already looking forward to booking out a cosy booth and getting our glasses topped up with fizz. They’ll also be serving a full a la carte menu all day but if you’re there just for a tipple, grab one of the bright orange bar stools and enjoy the view. Bookings now being taken for reopening from 17 May.

Black Iron, Leicester

This glam restaurant/bar in Grade II listed building, Winstanley House, is tucked away in leafy parkland just outside of the city. They’ve been serving food and drink on the terrace, but are looking forward to opening indoors soon. Inside, gold mirrors adorn the walls, crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling and a gorgeous gold Art Deco style shelving unit is filled with every spirit possible. The wine cellar is stocked with more than 160 varieties making it a perfect place for a pre-dinner drink, or a social gathering spot with friends.

Balloon Bar, Grantham, Leicestershire

This gem of a bar is hidden was actually dreamt up by the Duchess of Rutland. Located in the Engine Yard – below the Fuel Tank Restaurant and just opposite Belvoir Castle, it’s a quirky place for a drink that’s for sure. Sink into a velvet, hot air balloon booth and admire the travel-inspired décor which will make you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise. Although gin is its thing, (locally produced Brentingby of course), there’s plenty for wine connoisseurs and cocktail fans too. Fully reopening from 17 May.

Cellar 44, Market Harborough

The only exclusive wine bar in Harbs, it’s intimate and cosy and a great spot for pre and post dinner drinks. Located on St Mary’s Road, in the heart of the town centre, the dimly lit bar serves a variety of great wines, premium gins and artisan beers alongside a mouth-watering selection of cheese, cured meats and light bites. Seating is limited as it’s such a small space but worth a visit if you’re in town. (UPDATE: reopening June 21). If you’re still peckish after, trot on over to Ascough’s Bistro down the road.

Veeno, Leicester

You don’t have to be an oenophile to drink here: the Italian wine bar also serves a range of Italian cocktails and will be launching their new spicy cocktail, Il Piccante when they reopen in a few days. If you do enjoy a glass of red, we suggest a glass (or bottle) of the Nero d’Avola – produced in a family vineyard in Sicily – to toast the end of lockdown with Italian tapas! They also offer a three-course Wine Tasting Dinner. Salute!

The Case Champagne Bar, Leicester

Does coming out of lockdown warrant some luxury champers? The Case is finally fully reopening this month to huge fanfare (unfortunately they were told their courtyard seating didn’t meet the city’s health and safety Covid-19 rules) but later this month, you’ll be able to enjoy the delights of their little bar upstairs or the charming Snug downstairs with its sumptuous red leather booths, flagstone flooring and natural brick walls. Serving champagne cocktails and everything from Veuve Clicquot to Bollinger and Krug.

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