The Perch Rooftop Bar is one of those places in Belfast that I was always hearing about but had never actually been to, mostly because if I had been enjoying a drink in sister bar Sweet Afton I would later turn toward the city centre rather than look around the corner of the building to head upstairs.
I finally managed to correct this deficiency in my knowledge and I found The Perch to be something of a kitsch gem. The darkened entrance tunnel is lit by fairy lights as birds twitter from speakers all around and then you travel a manned lift to to the top floor of the old converted warehouse, or you can walk five storeys if you are feeling energetic.
The bar itself sits in the centre of a bright and airy room, half of which is permanently covered and half of which has a retractable roof to make the most of those rare days of sunlight that cook us up like vampires.
The furniture is a mix of trendy conservatory and patio furniture, along with a few stools and long tables, with wooden floors on the inside and artificial grass outside. It's quirky without being annoyingly so.
Cocktails are the big selling point on the menu, but they also have a decent selection of more niche beers on tap (I won't say 'Craft' because I have a friend who would have a coronary if I called the Coor's owned Franciscan Well beers Craft), and the mandatory prosecco.
I was quite surprised to see that they also offered a decent range of pizzas and nibbles to snack on, but I know usually that if I had the option to sit and graze all day I would probably never leave, so fair play.
I had a giggle to myself when I noticed that they literally just sawed through the joices of the old Victorian warehouse to lift the roof off and make the bar, that's the ingenuity we're famed for.
And you know what, the whole thing works. There is just something cool about sitting on a patio sofa drinking a cold beer on a sunny day five storeys above the traffic.
The Gate, 42 Franklin Street, Belfast
7 days a week
On street and nearby multistorey, but don't be thick if you're driving