Halfway up Beetham Tower - Manchester's tallest building – and separating the lower Hilton hotel with posh apartments above, sits two floors of Cloud 23, a bar offering the best views of any in the city. Beetham Tower is an imposing landmark and its location on the site of Manchester's old Roman fort means that all roads into the city seem to head straight for it.
As, so it seems, do Manchester’s most flashy customers, descending in such numbers that you’re best to book in advance for weekends rather than risk a long queue in the Hilton foyer waiting for the friendly security staff to wave you towards the superfast lift.
The bar itself impresses the moment the lift doors open and you're welcomed with a smile, shown to your sofa or table and offered a cocktail menu as dizzying as the heights that you're occupying. From traditional favourites to complex creations with dry ice wafting out of them, the drinks do not disappoint, and there's a fine selection of wines and beers too.
Things can get a bit clubby at the weekend, and this is a favourite for mums having afternoon tea during the week, but, as the sun spreads a golden glow across the city and through the glass, everyone just stops and looks and smiles, and it’s beautiful.