When Manchester’s Beetham Tower opened in 2006, it divided the city’s residents in two – those who see it as a bizarrely-shaped eyesore and others who believe it to be a unique addition to the city’s silhouette.
The building may be divisive but one thing is certain: the 23rd-floor bar that divides the Hilton hotel from its residential top-half serves up a mean cocktail and offers the best views in town.
A daytime visit to the bar Cloud 23 for afternoon tea is a worthwhile treat and allows a 360-degree vista of the landscape for miles around.
However, the views really come to life during the evening as the city pulses and sparkles beneath your feet (quite literally – there is a square of glass floor that braver visitors can take their chances on).
It’s always advisable to book your visit, weekday evenings may be OK for an impromptu drink but on weekends, snaking queues to the one elevator stretch through the lobby. A guest list is available, but fills up fast.
Cloud 23 may look glitzy but you don’t need to be in a suit to enjoy it. Beers range from £ 5.50 to £ 8 and glasses of wine from £ 6.50 to £ 12.50. Cocktails are £ 11 – £ 23, rotate regularly and are named after standout Manchester places or events, such as Dalton’s Atomic Experiment, the Industrialist or the Ena Sparkles.
Splash out a little, enjoy the view and make your mind up about Beetham Tower – love it or hate it, you can at least decide over a killer cocktail.