Bar review: Cloud Express @ Cloud 23 – Hilton Manchester Deansgate

Adam Lowe

Cloud 23 has been made over for a magical journey this Christmas. Arrive in the lobby, where you will be guided by train tracks to board the Cloud Express.

The decorated lift, playing train sounds, will arrive at the Tanqueray Platform 23 – where you’ll find benches, vintage luggage and platform signage.

Cloud 23 will be marking this magical takeover with festive skewers, sweet treats, six Tanqueray cocktails and a Jacquart Champagne Flight.

With each Cloud Express cocktail, you’ll receive a Golden Ticket with the chance to win an exciting prize at the end of each week, so make sure you don’t miss out!

Our review

It was a gorgeously clear winter’s day on our visit last weekend. The sights across the city were very apt for the railway-themed bar design, since we could see trains and trams below, as well as some of Manchester’s iconic architecture.

The cocktails

When we were nicely settled by the window, we enjoyed the Jacquart Champagne Flight: three champagne cocktails with a Christmassy twist: Spirit of Christmas, Christmas Sparkle, and Joyeux Noel.

The first cocktail for our tastebuds was the Joyeux Noel: Jaquart Brut, sage and cranberry. The cocktail had a gorgeously deep gold gleam, and was bejewelled by ruby red at the bottom of the glass.

Sage is probably my favourite herb and paired well with the curranty dried cranberries, which were neither too sweet nor too sharp. This cocktail had a clean, subtle flavour that reminded my gardener partner of ‘the purity of freshly fallen snow’ (his words).

The orange twist finishes it all off with a nice festive note. It’s really enjoyable and easy to drink.

Next up we tried the Spirit of Christmas. A clever concoction of Jacquart Brut, Martell VSOP, banana liqueur and white cacao, this festive little number had a certain enjoyable richness.

It was fruity and mellow, and yet both ripe and light.

The miniature chocolate buttons at the end provided a nice, creamy bit of loveliness to finish it off. If you’re like me, you’ll be tipping your glass to make sure you can get each and every one.

Last but not least, we got to try the Christmas Sparkle. This was a party drink, for sure, comprising Jacquart Brut, Tanqueray Seville, goji berry, rosemary and passion fruit.

The unique blend was fruity, bubbly and cheeky, with real passion fruit like tart jelly on the surface. The goji berries give you a slight pick-me-up, making this one perfect before a night out.

Afternoon tea

The Cloud Express is in the station throughout December, when you can also try the afternoon tea from 12pm until 5pm.

Christmas gifts

Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Take advantage of Cloud 23’s 12 Days of Christmas Giving! voucher. You can gift someone £50 of cocktails for just £25.

To purchase, go to

More information

To make a reservation at Cloud 23 call 0161 870 1670 or email

Alternatively book online via

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About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people. He sometimes performs as Beyonce Holes.