Its reputation has transgressed new heights in recent years, and whatever your opinion of it (if you have one) The Hilton's Cloud 23 in Deansgate is incredibly profitable and has a hugely loyal fan base in Manchester.
Touted as a venue for an extra special occasion, when I arrived at the reception on Saturday night I wasn't surprised to see that everyone in the queue was dressed as though they were going to a wedding or auditioning as extras for Geordie Shore.
When you take the elevator up to the 23rd floor (make sure you book or you'll be in the queue til you're old and grey) and step out, Cloud 23 is a vast space, if a lot dimmer than I expected (our party were sat by the window at around 7pm and we were struggling a little to read the menu.) This may just be a clever tactic to emphasise the view - which was to be fair, pretty extraordinary - the city-wide scope made the bright lights of Manchester look not so different to those of London or Dubai and the atmosphere in the room was mixed and electrifying.
Ladies who lunch were tipsily finishing off their afternoon tea nearby suited and booted gents enjoying a few bevvies before a night out, elegant couples and friends of all ages were taking advantage of the extravagant bar and everybody looked like they were having a great time…