London isn’t the only city to offer unmissable skyscraper experiences – with stunning 360-degree vistas from the 34th floor of the West Tower there isn’t a better table view to be had in all of Liverpool. The aptly named Panoramic 34 can be anything you want it to be – bar bolthole, a venue for afternoon tea or a cash-splashing evening out with fine wines and top-label Champagne. The interior is slightly corporate-looking, with grey carpets, leather bucket chairs and long white drapes at the floor-to-ceiling windows, but it hardly matters when the views outside are so spectacular.
The kitchen feeds the big spenders with a terse menu of contemporary ideas such as poached halibut with scallop mousseline, mussels, cockles, sea vegetables and broccoli, and lamb hogget rump with turnip, potato, spring onion, mint and café lamb sauce. Vegetarians can look forward to thoughtful compilations too, such as mushroom and potato cake with sautéed spinach, winter truffle, butternut squash purée and puff pastry or chargrilled hispi cabbage with pickle purée, radish and Gran Kinara cheese. These might be followed by, say, raspberry pannac otta with fig compote and sorbet, a coffee financier with caramel, chocolate mousse and passion fruit crémeux or orange caramel jelly.
There are four set menus to choose from – the two- or three-course lunch and prix fixe menus, afternoon tea, and the eight-course tasting menu (with or without matched wines). None are cheap, but considering the standard and the setting, they aren’t overpriced either. An impressive wine list should keep even the most discerning of guests satisfied, while the equally lengthy bar and cocktail list ensures non wine drinkers have plenty to choose from. Posh bar snacks are a great way to sample the quality of the food without the expense of a full-on dining experience, which many like to save for big-0 birthdays and proposals.