Orelle, 103 Colmore Row

We’ve all seen a gazillion snaps of the view from the 24th floor of 103 Colmore Row and Orelle’s bouji interiors. Nice, but what of it in the flesh?

Well, the restaurant is a stunner. Someone has worked hard on the interiors, no doubt thrown a lot of money at it, and it shows. There’s a fabulous bar area with stylish scalloped edge seating and striking floor to ceiling windows.

However, while we love this city almost as much as our own children, it’s not pretty by day from this vantage point – just lots of grey rooftops. But as the sun goes down and the golden hour kicks in, it absolutely makes sense and after dark , with Brum twinkling below, it’s even better.

The food on the other hand is a winner any time of the day or night. From a menu full of French classics and some dishes with a modern take, we ate like royalty. The absolute star of the show was a starter that sounded simple, looked a million dollars and tasted incredible – dressed Brixham crab with avocado, apple, sourdough and sunflower seeds. The crab was rich and salty, the apple sweet and zingy and the whole thing together was the best start to dinner we could have hoped for.

Chicken ballotine with leeks, pomme purée, mushroom and truffle jus was knockout delicious. Succulent chicken, a great sauce, earthy flavours and perfect pomme purée – what’s not to love? It was a hefty serving, but we managed. A dessert of chocolate madeleine, hazelnut, whipped pannacotta and salted caramel ice cream hit the spot too – think intense praline flavour with a hint of salt. It also looked pretty as a picture. The cheese was a bit of a drab end to dinner. It felt like it had been chucked on to a plate fresh from the fridge so rather than oozing, the soft cheeses were hard. The tawny port was welcome though.

Our visit was for a special occasion and despite our moaning about the grey rooftops, we’d do it all again. It’s pretty expensive – on a par with Brum’s top restaurants – but it’s a bit different and the food and service are excellent. Our advice if you want to make the most of being up high is to go for dinner just as the sun sets.

ORELLE, 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 3AG. Tel: 0121 716 8186 orelle.co.uk