on January 22, 2013
Cloud 23 is in my opinion the best place to go for drinks in the whole of Manchester. Other than the fact that they serve up some amazing cocktails the main reason is because of the view that the bar has out over the Manchester skyline. The bar is located on the 23 floor of The Hilton Hotel in the Deansgate area of the city. Depending on when you want to visit you may have to queue to be able to get in the bar. This might seem like a pain but it is definitely worth it. The bar has a capacity of 200 and residents get to queue jump so on Saturday and Sunday nights it can be very busy. You can put your name down on the guest list but this is usually full for months in advance. If you get there early enough then the chances are that there will be no queue but it’s something worth considering if time is short. Entry to the bar is by way of a private elevator which is spacious and super-fast. Once you come out of the elevator a member of staff usually seats you. If possible try and get a window seat as the floor to ceiling windows offer an amazing view out of the city and it is worth coming to the bar for this alone. The view really is spectacular. The décor of the bar is pretty plush as you might imagine and it has a really sophisticated air without being too pretentious. There is even a glass part to the floor where you can look down to the swimming pool 23 floors down. Service has always been fantastic when I have visited and as it is table service there is no long queues to manoeuvre at the bar. The wait staff have always been really friendly and attentive and I have never sat for ages trying to get someone’s attention to get a drink. The drinks menu is decent with plenty of choice. As Cloud 23 has won the Manchester cocktail bar of the year award a few times you should definitely try the cocktails on offer. They are expensive but really good quality and more unusual than a lot of the cocktails you find in a lot of bars. All the liquor used in them is premium branded and some of the mixing ingredients are really unusual and exotic. There is even a selection of non alcoholic mocktails that although I haven’t actually tried sound delicious. Expect to pay in the region of £10 for the plainer cocktails and more for the more exotic ones and the champagne based ones but although this is expensive they really are some of the nicest that I have ever tasted anywhere. Most of the other drinks are also expensive and cost more than they would in another bar but you are paying a premium for the view and the ambiance at Cloud 23 and for me personally I really think it is worth this extra. As well as serving drinks in the evening you can come for afternoon tea. This is something that I haven’t done yet but I definitely plan on my next trip to Manchester coming back to Cloud 23 and having the afternoon tea. The toilets aren’t something which I normally discuss when visiting somewhere but the ones at Cloud 23 are amazing and the nicest toilets I have ever used. In the men’s toilets there also floor to ceiling windows next to the urinals and I can honestly say that I have never before used a urinal with such a brilliant view. Cloud 23 is definitely somewhere that is more of a destination than somewhere you just randomly decide to go. It is very popular and with good reason. The drinks are good and the service is fantastic but the reason to go is to just experience it. You never know you might get lucky and see a premiership footballer as apparently this is one of their favourite haunts.
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