The Dean, Dublin

You might have noticed that things have been a bit quiet on the blog recently. That’s because I recently took a weekend break to Dublin and have been recovering ever since, “when in Rome….”

I have plenty to share from the trip, but first of all I thought I’d tell you about a lovely place my friend and I discovered while we were out enjoying some cocktails.

The Dean is a seriously cool boutique hotel with an equally cool restaurant and bar attached. It is set in a terrace of beautiful Georgian townhouses on Harcourt Street, in the heart of Dublin's vibrant nightlife district.

We started with a drink in The Lobby, a quirky space with an original Tracey Emin neon piece hanging on the far wall reading 'I Fell in Love Here’. iMacs glowed from the reception and a DJ played in the centre of the room. Despite the stylish decor, it had a really laid back atmosphere.

We noticed that lots of people were going up in the lift and followed suit. Up on the 5th floor we found Sophie’s, the rooftop glasshouse restaurant with fabulous panoramic views across Dublin. It was bustling with people enjoying wood fired oven pizzas and cocktails. 

We walked through to the outside terrace area, having a go on some wooden swings along the way. The terrace is the perfect place to wrap up in a blanket under an electric heater with fantastic views across the city.

Having grabbed ourselves a free table and made ourselves comfortable we got talking to a group of Dutch people who lived in Ireland. They suggested that we try “a great bar just down the street”. It was only once we had left and were stood in said bar that we realised they had tricked us into moving on so they could nab our table. Cheeky! We trawled the city’s bars all night but didn’t find anywhere as good as The Dean. 

If you’re sampling Dublin’s nightlife, it’s definitely worth a visit!

Hilton Manchester Deansgate

You know you’ve arrived in Manchester when you spot the iconic Beetham Tower, soaring high above the rest of the city.

Beetham Tower cost £150 million to build and is the 7th tallest skyscraper in England. It was designed by Ian Simpson who now lives in the incredible penthouse, in the top two floors of the 47-storey building. 

Situated within the lower 23 floors is one of my favourite places to stay in Manchester, the Hilton. It’s a contemporary hotel located on Deansgate. Each of the bedrooms has floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views across the city. 

The best part of the hotel, for me, has to be Cloud 23 sky bar. It is one of the nicest places to unwind with a cocktail while enjoying panoramic views and is ranked amongst the world’s best bars.

You enter Cloud 23 by walking along a red-carpet to a private lift which whizzes you up 23 floors to the exclusive bar. 

Cloud 23 has four different zones named after the gods of ancient Greece “seated in their lofty position in the heavens”: Apollo 23 (God of Music, Light and the Sun), Zeus 23 (King of the Gods), Iris 23 (Goddess of the Rainbow) and Eros 23 (God of Love). 

The interior is stylish, the music is cool, the drinks are creative. Talented mixologists whip up a whole array of fantasy cocktails, including Stratospheric 23, said to be the tallest cocktail in the UK!

Cloud 23 is also a very popular place to take afternoon tea, which I plan to do on my next visit. What could be better than enjoying tea and cake in the clouds?!

It’s one of the most unique bars I’ve visited and well worth the trip if you’re in Manchester. Dress to impress, it is a firm favourite of Manchester’s stylish set!

Whether you opt for cake or cocktails, I’d recommend making a reservation as Cloud 23 is generally fully booked and operates a queuing system. You don't want to be left hanging around outside...

Hilton Manchester Deansgate

303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ

0161 870 1600