Right in the very centre of Manchester you’ll find the enormous Mercure Piccadilly Hotel, geared towards tourists, visitors here for work reasons and just about anyone who fancies getting out of bed and being right in the thick of everything this great city has to offer.
On the third floor, you’ll find the eponymously-named Level 3, the hotel’s in-house restaurant and bar area.
It’s a grand space, kitted out with everything you could want, whether you’re knuckling down to business or just want to kick back with a few friends.
In one corner there’s a smart pool table, next to some large TVs screening all major sports events, with some suitably comfy seats facing the action.
In the centre of this vast space is a well-stocked bar, staffed by cheerful and friendly bar staff and waiters, and all around you’ll find tables, chairs, comfy sofas, ideal for those one-on-one interviews or work meetings – no matter how large or small your team.
But best of all, the far wall is given over to an endless row of floor to ceiling windows that give remarkable views over the city itself.
Here’s where to head if you’re looking for a peaceful, scenic place to get your work done – while taking the occasional glance over at the people of Manchester getting on with their own day, much like a real-time Lowry painting.
Get in the right position and you can take in views of the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens, with a host of awe-inspiring Victorian-era buildings looming gently in the background.
And the free WiFi and power supply helps, too. This is a space perfectly kitted out for Manchester’s worker bees to get their thing done, in a unique location with unbeatable views.
There’s a fine daytime menu offering up all types of teas and coffees, plus a few snacks and bites to eat if you get the urge.
Our tip? The triple-decker club toasted sandwich. Here you’ll get toasted bread, cut into triangles (as all good sandwiches should be) packed with chicken, bacon and salad, and a luxurious pot of mayonnaise on the side. Plus a tub of nicely-salted hot thick chips. It’s the very definition of a working lunch. Go on, treat yourself.
The sofas are comfy, the views fantastic and the atmosphere is a world away from that head-throbbing caffeine-fuelled feel of your usual coffee shop. It’s an altogether more relaxed experience, largely down to those huge windows giving the room a laid-back relaxing feel, half a world away from the hectic city’s streets down below.
And if you fancy making a day of it, in the evening you can simply shift over to a different corner to grab a game of pool with a friend before settling down to watch a match on the TVs.
Right now, Level 3 at the Mercure Hotel is something of a hidden gem. But views like this don’t go unnoticed for long.
Our advice? Nip in and try itself for yourself before the city’s laptop-wielding hordes get wind of it and make it their new home.