At the top of Birmingham's iconic Cube building, luxurious Hotel Indigo towers above anything else the city has to offer… quite literally.
It's the perfect place for a romantic getaway as you take in the breathtaking views, relax in the spa or tuck into perfectly cooked steak at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse.
But in the absence of my dream man, I take my sister for an overnight stay there and good old girly catch up after a hard day shopping.
Our deluxe room, furnished in zingy lime green, is dominated by floor-to-ceiling windows affording panoramic views of the city centre – Brum has never looked better.
A 32-inch flatscreen TV stands at the foot of an enormous king size bed and in the bathroom we find Aveda toiletries, a rainfall shower and fluffy cotton bathrobes.
Miniature bottles of Shiraz await us on the dresser, alongside a hand-written welcome card.
Even better, the complimentary minibar is stacked with more wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks to keep us going while we spruce ourselves up for dinner at the MPW Steakhouse on the 25th floor.
The restaurant is understated elegance with its plain white tablecloths and moody monochrome photographs of Mr White (you’d think, for a chef with three Michelin stars, he’d be a bit happier).
At 7pm it’s already busy, so my sister and I are thrilled to bag a table next to the windows. Thankfully neither of us suffers from vertigo (just don’t look down).
Granted, Birmingham’s skyline is not Manhattan but, as our friendly waitress promises, once the sun goes down and the city becomes a swath of twinkling lights you can almost imagine you’re in The Big Apple.
MPW promises “affordable luxury”, and with starters priced from £5.75, mains from £13 and wine from £19.50, I’d agree it hits the mark. If you’re feeling flush however, there is a £295 bottle of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Alexandra Rosé – maybe next time.
The menu features British and French favourites including belly pork with butter beans, shepherd’s pie, haddock and chips and, of course, steak.
There is also a good selection of wine, bitter, ale and cider including two ales from Stourbridge.
Our starters – crispy fried calamari, priced at £7.50 and potage of mussels Billy By, a rich and creamy soup with plenty of plump mussels (£6.50) – are both delicious and set the standard for an exceptional meal.
Controversially, I don’t order the steak instead choosing the roast rump of lamb à la dijonnaise, served with pomme dauphinoise (£17.75).
Having been a vegetarian for 14 years until recently, meat and I are still on something of a honeymoon period. This was the best lamb I’ve ever had – served pink (as requested) and so tender it melted in the mouth.
My sister opted for the 10oz sirloin steak (£24.95), which was full of flavour and cooked to medium rare perfection. It came with sauce béarnaise, onion rings, chunky chips and a juicy grilled tomato.
The portions were also generous – none of those teeny haute cuisine servings here – and a great match for a bottle of Argentinian Salentein Reserve Malbec Valle de Uco (£36).
We did, of course, manage to leave room for pud.
The other side of the table tucked into a bitter chocolate mousse (£6.25) which was rich, smooth and velvety while my banana and toffee mess (also £6.25) – a take on the classic Eton mess – was as delightful as it was huge. I managed half before admitting defeat.
Obviously we couldn’t leave without a visit to the adjacent Laurent Perrier Champagne Bar.
This is where Birmingham’s in-crowd go to see and be seen, and if you happen to get tired of the 360 degree skyline it’s great for people watching as you sip a Bellini or the speciality Marco cocktail – a heady mix of black vodka, Champagne, cranberry juice and lime.
After a night of indulgence, Hotel Indigo’s club and spa was exactly what my sister and I needed.
After few lengths of the pool and a reviving sweat in the Kelo sauna and steam room (then plucking up the courage to try the cold bucket shower) I'm ready to try out a Lava Shell massage.
Dubbed "the new hot stones" this treatment uses self-heating tiger clam shells from the Philippines which, as my therapist explains, allow a deeper massage to improve the circulation.
It sounded gimmicky, but 60 blissful minutes later I leave the spa with that deliciously weird combination of feeling both refreshed and super-relaxed.
Sometimes, you must admit, a weekend break can be more trouble than it’s worth.
There’s the Friday rush to leave work on time, the crawl through rush-hour traffic only to take the wrong junction off the M6 and arrive – hours later – shattered, starving and still arguing over who was supposed to be navigating.
Which is exactly what makes Hotel Indigo such a gem. Why go further afield when you have “affordable luxury” on your doorstep?
• Fancy it? Overnight spa breaks at Hotel Indigo Birmingham are available from £99.50 per person and include an executive room at Hotel Indigo (bed and breakfast), a spa treatment, use of the spa facilities and fitness suite, and complimentary refreshments. For more details visit www.hotelindigobirmingham.co.uk.
Hotel Indigo, The Cube, Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RS
Tel: 0121 643 2010
By Abigail EdgeSubscribe to our Newsletter