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36Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 SKY BAR AT SIROCCO, LEBUA AT STATE TOWER, BANGKOK, THAILAND Perched atop the 63rd floor of Lebua at State Tower hotel, Sirocco is one of the world's highest open- air restaurants, and its adjoining Sky Bar stakes the heady claim of being the most spacious rooftop bar in Asia. It is also, undoubtedly, one of the most dramatic. Guests scale the dizzying heights of the State Tower to emerge at the loftyrestaurant - the open- air element ( you are literally floating in the sky) adding to the vertiginous experience. From here, a glamorous deck extends out to linger in the air above the dramatic vista of the Thai capital and the Chao Phraya river. After catching your breath at the setting, you'll descend to the deck where a gloriously illuminated stairway leads to the neon- lit Sky Bar in one corner of the restaurant. Here, the fun begins. The dynamic city of Bangkok pulsates far below but up at the Sky Bar peace and space reign supreme. That's not to say there is no atmosphere - quite the contrary - but it is a great place to escape the heaving bustle of street- level life. With an escalating list of awards to its name, live jazz bands and a dazzling menu of cocktails, fine vintages and appetisers, Sky Bar at Sirocco has to be one of the most intoxicating cocktail venues in the world. For more information, visit www. lebua. com/ bangkok ORBIT LOUNGE BAR, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA Bold, vibrant and innovative, Sydney hits visitors with a feast of attractions, and one of the best places to view the finest of them is 47 floors up at the Orbit Lounge Bar. Located in the revolving Summit restaurant ( which hasn't stood still for 40 years), the Orbit Lounge Bar will certainly spin your mind. Its dynamic cocktail menu, quirky design and enticing atmosphere all enhance one of the most spectacular views to be had in Australia's capital city, including bird's eye shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. A great tapas menu vies for attention with the drinks menu, the latter of which abounds with martinis, muddles and mocktails made by expert mixologists who use the finest spirits, fresh seasonal produce and very large measures of creative genius. Favourites include the tarte au chocolatwith caraibe, frangelico, café bohemeliquor, double cream and nut praline. Or try D'lux which blends puréed lychee shaken with grand marnier and Grey Goose orange vodka. But for all- out extravagance, the Peri- Gold- Fashion commands top dollar. Perigord truffle aromas and 23 carat gold dust swirl with the world's most prestigious spirit - Cognac - along with dried white grapes and a hint of l'Heraud Fine Champagne, vintage 1900. No wonder it's listed under the ' Opulence' section of the cocktail menu. For more information, visit www. summitrestaurant. com. au

AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI37 topfive VERTIGO 42, LONDON, UK High style and lofty views vie for attention at Vertigo 42 in London. You arrive to a striking display of mirrored corridors, vast windows and bright, colourful seating. As well as being a visual extravaganza in themselves, these are a great preparation for the piece de resistance: the aerial views of the London skyline. From the bar's location in Old Broad Street, you get a lofty perspective of the Millennium wheel, Tower Bridge and other famous bridges of the city, St Paul's Cathedral, The Houses of Parliament and the iconic OXO tower - to name a few. Also clamouring for your visual attention is the drinks menu, which has more than 30 types of Champagne including Laurent Perrier, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot and Bollinger. Vintage Champagnes range from a Louis Roederer Cristal, to the highly lauded 1990 Krug Clos Du Mesnil. But those wanting to celebrate in a big way should pre- order a nebuchadnezzars ( equivalent to 20 bottles, or 1,500cl) of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label Brut and Moet et Chandon NV Brut Imperial. To accompany your bubbly and the view, take your pick from a selection of fresh Iranian caviar ( sevruga, oscietra and beluga) and a fantastic light- meal menu. For more information, visit www. vertigo42. co. uk SKYBAR, TRADERS HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA Asia has a thing for tall buildings. Towers and skyscrapers reign supreme, and Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur is high up among the leaders for the most dramatic structures. One such contender is the Traders Hotel, located in the very heart of the city centre. Gazing out over the vast Petronas Towers, Traders Hotel has ensured guests have the finest views of these two landmarks by stationing its SkyBar right opposite. The bar ticks boxes in many categories - the drinks are liquid heaven, the décor is chic, the atmosphere cosmopolitan and the views, if possible, even more intoxicating than the cocktail menu. Guests are compelled to relax and gaze at the illuminated twins tow-ering opposite as upbeat music beats in the background. Named Best Malaysian Bar by Malaysian Tatler, Traders SkyBar has serious style credentials, and this is reflected throughout the hotel. There are 571 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, including executive suites which have a separate sitting room for work or leisure and the option of a park or city skyline view. The hotel also has a fine showing of restaurants, including the elegant Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill, serving prime steaks, and Western and Asian fare imaginatively presented beneath an animated light show at the Gobo Chit Chat restaurant. For more information, visit www. shangri- la. com