There aren't many occasions when Mancunians can enjoy sitting outdoors, but when we get the opportunity, we flock there like seagulls on chips.
So far, the weather has been pretty fab for us, in what we could probably start describing as our summer.
Which means terraces and beer gardens across the city have been packed to the brim.
Store Street Exchange, near to Piccadilly Station, has a terrace that's not to be missed during this heatwave.
Inside Store Street Exchange
Situated within Hilton's DoubleTree branch, the restaurant boasts an open-plan dining room with a bar and outdoor terrace area tacked on the side.
There are trams going past (which isn't as annoying as it sounds) and if you're there at 5 in the afternoon, busy commuters making their way to and from the station are great for people watching.
When we arrived, we asked if we could sit outside to make the most of the weather, and chose a table near Store Street's terrace bar.
Store Street Exchange is a two minute walk from Piccadilly Station
Manchester Bee cocktail
We were promptly greeted by our cocktails from their new summer menu, including the hugely anticipated Manchester Bee Cocktail, made with Manchester's Three Rivers Gin, honey, cucumber, lime juice, syrup and lemonade.
I wasn't sure how honey flavours would taste in a cocktail, but it was sweet and fresh, and exactly the kind of drink I wanted with the sun beating down.
Manchester Bee cocktail
I've heard people make the 'it's hotter here than it is in Greece' comparison over the last week, and sipping our cocktails in 30 degree (ish) heat, it felt like we were abroad.
Store Street Exchange's new cocktail menu is designed to reflect the tastes of summer; here are the highlights...
Their twist on the classic - it tastes like a Margherita (one of my faves) but the added bubbles give it a lovely summer vibe.
It tastes like it has a good amount of alcohol in it too. Not like some places where they give you 0.1% booze and 99.99% ice.
The fizzy Marg
Exchange's tropical take on the British summer classic, served with spicy ginger beer and passion fruit syrup.
If you're a fan of Wimbledon's drink of choice, you won't regret ordering SSE's version.
The Cuban Mule
Their take on the Moscow Mule, the Cuban is served with ginger beer, mint and lime, and the second of their spicy summer additions. It's tasty if you're in the mood for a bit of a kick after a long day in the office.
The terrace is nestled between a few high-rise buildings with a paved courtyard and tram track filling the space. It may be tucked away, but it's far from a place that should be ignored when the weather is scorching.
The Terrace packed for after work drinks
We sampled a few of their mains, with hefty portion sizes so we weren't going hungry.
Their seafood linguine, served with crab, prawns, mussels, squid, chilli, white wine, and parsley, was a fresh and tasty fish option, light enough for the summer months.
The gnocchi, served with roast squash, baby spinach, garlic and parmesan, made for a pleasant veggie option - a nice change from the usual risotto you find under the vegetarian section.
Gnocchi with a cheeky side of corn on the cob
There's also sea bream, served with peas, bacon and baby onions; roast cauliflower, served with spicy sweet potato and yoghurt; battered cod served with mushy peas and chunky chips.
But if I'm being completely honest, it was all the kind of food I could find elsewhere for cheaper. Yes, it tasted fine, but it it wasn't a highlight.
IPA Beer Battered Cod
The highlight came in the form of cocktails, a chocolate dessert and a perfectly sized cheese board.
No matter if you're in the mood for sweet or savoury, their dessert menu caters for both occasions.
The cheese board comes with a selection of artisan cheeses, onion chutney, grapes and a few crackers, comfortable enough to feed one person or two (if you're both feeling full).
My friend and I shared half of the cheese board and half of the melt in the middle chocolate pudding, served with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.
I was IN HEAVEN.
I've realised I'm at that age where savoury is becoming more appealing than sweet, but that didn't stop me wanting the chocolatey pud. And I'm so glad I did. We both devoured every mouthful of both dishes. Well worth the six quid we paid for it.
Melt in the mouth pud
Store Street Exchange serves a range of hearty dishes across their menu, including a half chicken, Buffalo wings, marinated shoulder of pork and leg of lamb from their famous rotisserie; the Store Street Burger; freshly prepared summer salads, and a number of tapas-style starters.
If you're not up for splashing cash on main meals, their starters menu offers a small selection of tapas-style dishes to go with their new summer cocktails.
Chicken koftas, served with yoghurt and apple slaw, calamari, rotisserie chicken wings, herb-crusted Portobello mushrooms, and black pudding fritters are all featured.
Tapas style starters go perfectly with their new cocktail menu
We're aware there are numerous places to sit outside in Manchester when the sun is shining. But this place feels hidden away from some of the bustle of the city centre. The atmosphere on their terrace isn't chaotic. It's relaxed and feels like the kind of place you'd want to go with a few friends after work.
And the Manchester Bee cocktail needs to be sampled by all Mancs.
The terrace at Store Street Exchange is open from 8am for breakfast until dinner at 10pm.