The former luggage room of the five-star Grosvenor Square London Marriott has been lovingly transformed into one of London’s chicest cocktail bars, with more than a hint of 1920s speakeasy. Knock on the discreet black door, be taken down a winding corridor and enter this decadent underworld of jazz, liquor and cocktails served in cut crystal glasses. Dark leather chairs, white marble flooring and plenty of mahogany give this secretive cocktail den a refined, smoking room quality while highly skilled bartenders craft drinks lovingly using ice chipped off a huge block behind the bar. Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 6JP
Perched high above the streets on – you guessed it – the 23rd floor of the iconic Hilton Hotel in Manchester, this sky high cocktail bar offers a head-in-the clouds drinking experience with panoramic views across Manchester’s skyline. With cocktails inspired by Manchester’s industrial past including the Mr. Mercer’s Cotton Peculiar and the Berry Black Smog, various lounges offering views in different directions and even a section of clear glass floor to really make your head spin, Cloud 23 is one of the top hotel bars in the UK – in every sense of the word. Hilton Hotel, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ.
Situated inside the former home of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, the first floor bar at the rather grandiose Blythswood Square is easily the most upscale cocktail bar in the city. Making it into this list on account of its sheer grandeur, the bar combines palatial neo-classical design with traditional Scottish fabrics to create an environment that’s both imposing and welcoming. Still riding high from its recent multi-million pound refit, Blythswood Square is one of the UK’s must visit hotel bars – and if your budget stretches then the rooms aren’t half bad either. 11 Blythswood Square , Glasgow, G2 4AD
Taking mood lighting to the extreme, this striking design bar in the daring St Martins Lane Hotel showcases Philippe Starck’s innovative vision by bathing different areas of the room in a spectrum of diffused, coloured light. Decor is kept clean and simple to let the light lead the way, creating different atmospheres and illusions as it goes. With efficient table service, an eye catching cocktail menu and a stylish clientele of residents and non residents alike, the Light Bar is one of the most unique destination bars in the UK. 45 St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4HX
If fizz is your thing, then this Venetian style bar inside a converted eye hospital will oblige with around 30 different varieties of Champagne. Inspired by Venice’s Cafe Florian, the bar flaunts a rustic renaissance vibe complete with hand painted frescos, decorative plasterwork, stripped wooden floorboards and distressed leather chairs. A true slice of La Dolce Vita in the heart of Birmingham. Ah, lovely bubbly. 25, Church Street, Birmingham, B3 2NR