This brand new champagne and cocktail den has a massive marine ecosystem

1761 & Lily’s Bar has Manchester at its heart, from worker bee symbols to a modern Mancunian menu with references to our beloved city.

Step downstairs from the 1761 restaurant into the bar, a cosy hideaway lit by candles and decked out with plush tan leather upholstery adorning big, comfortable Chesterfield armchairs and sofas.

The first reaction really is: “Wow”. Manchester meets Vegas.

You can’t miss the magnificent 18,000 litre fish tank which wraps around the social space. It’s a £500,000 (ish) marine ecosystem maintaining a living coral environment where over 300 fish can breed and thrive. Quite the commitment for the independent owners.

They’ve also clearly come to some compromise for comfort over covers. The bar is designed to make you stay. And drink. And then come back.

Lily’s Bar is named after Madame “Lily” Bollinger, who came up with the most quoted anecdote of all time about drinking Champagne:

“I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”

Aside from buckets of ice-cold Bollinger Champagne, Lily’s cocktail menu embodies ‘a moment in time’ theme, with each one inspired by people’s history. It’s like a libation library.

You’ll definitely want to try their exclusive Oceana cocktail while you gaze at the ecosystem. It’s a delicious concoction of samphire-infused Three Rivers Gin, limoncello, lychee, coconut and lemon, garnished with a sprinkle of spirulina and dill and a vodka-infused seaweed mist.

You can contemplate the importance of our oceans’ sustainability while you’re enjoying it, because 50p from every cocktail sold is donated to the Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.

Other tempting cocktails include Mademoiselle Chanel, an elegant tipple featuring Grey Goose Citron vodka, Lillet Rose, Fair Kumquat liqueur and Cherry Drops; or Diamonds Are Forever, which fuses Ayala dry Champagne, white peach oyster, salted caramel and silver pearls.

So, escape from the city above, take a step back in time, and join us in Lily’s Bar. You won’t want to leave.

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