Dry Stone Walls
A few miles out of the city centre, and you'll see fields surrounded by dry stone walls. This centuries old craft is still in use to define boundaries, and confine cattle etc.
A common site in the Peak District, Yorks Dales etc.
If you're out walking, please don't damage these walls, by climbing over them..theres usually a style nearby to climb through.
There are courses to learn the art of dry stone walling, think one is at Birchover in Derbys, but I'll check it out (very soon!)
Beautiful Down Town Bramall Lane-
Bramall Lane is Home to Sheffield United Football Club, the team that I've followed since the early 70's, when they were promoted to the 1st division (before the Premier League was invented!) I had a season ticket for a few years, and saw many of the 70's legends such as George Best, Kevin Keegan etc, but my hero was Tony Currie!
I remember watching Utd play, while a cricket match ran alongside!! The cricket pitch was replaced by the 'new' South Stand.
Besides watching Utd, I've also seen one of my heroes play twice on this ground- Bruce Springsteen!!! On the Saturday, I got to the front row! people still talk about how they sat in their gardens, and could hear the concert- even as far away as Brinsworth- (near Rotherham town)! I went back the next day, but paid for a seat this time!
My title 'Beautiful Down Town' etc etc reminds me of the 70's when the DJ at half time always used to refer to 'The Lane' as such, before playing 1 of his 3 records - Rose Garden by Lynne Anderson, Bridget The Midget, or The Streaker- I seem to remember these were the only records he ever played, Oooh I'm getting a flashback to those songs with the scent of meat pies and hot Bovril drink!!!
It's a sad day - UTD have just been relegated back to the Championship league :-( Hmmm, footie shirts, scarves etc can be purchased from the official souvenir shop, or local sports shops.
If you're prepared to fork out a small fortune, you can attire yourself in the latest club shirt, t - shirts, fleeces, coats, scarves, headgear, badges, underwear etc- all in home and away colours!!
If you're supporting the away team- well there's safety in numbers I suppose!
Programmes are sold by vendors outside the ground, plus an array of souvenirs.
Sharrowvale Road is a very pleasant part of Sheffield and seems more Surrey Village than Steel city. It is a little winding street lined with organic grocers and butchers, little coffee shops, picture framers, restaurants and pubs. Pop in for a pint in the Porter Cottage
A Good Meeting Place
The Place, is a modern pub, stylish and comfortable.
Popular with locals, office/shop workers, and staff from the nearby Royal Hallamshire Hospital and University.
A wide variety of draught and bottled beers/lagers/ alco pops etc.Extensive cocktail menu.
Seperate non smoking bar
Toilets upstairs. Come as you are.
Mediterranean food in Sheffield city centre
My girlfriend and I ate at Ego Restaurant for the first time one Sunday lunchtime in July 2010.
This Mediterranean restaurant is attached to the rather upmarket Mercure St Paul’s hotel right in the heart of Sheffield city centre. It is located next to the Winter Gardens and just a few minutes walk from the Peace Gardens. It is also less than a minute’s walk from both the Crucible and Lyceum theatres. It capitalises on its proximity to the theatres by offering a special pre-theatre menu on certain evenings.
I always got the impression that Ego was a rather upmarket and expensive place to eat. I formulated this impression from its appearance (you can see into the restaurant through a large glass window that borders the neighbouring Winter Gardens, and it’s always looked very plush) and from browsing the menu on display outside the restaurant. To some extent it is expensive, or at least it is if you’re paying the full price. However, at the time of our visit the restaurant was offering 40% off everything on their Spring/Summer a la carte menu (the main menu). So, those £6 starters were a far more reasonable £3.60, and the £10 mains suddenly became bargains at just £6.
This isn’t the only offer that was running at the time of our visit; another tempting offer displayed on the menu was 2 courses for £11.95 or 3 courses for £13.95. This offer is valid weekday evenings between 4pm and 7pm, Saturday evenings between 4pm and 6pm and all day Sundays, and appears to be a permanent offer at the moment, unlike the 40% off offer that was due to end a few days after our visit.
It was a mild and dry afternoon when we arrived, so we asked the waiter for an outdoor table and he showed us to a table for two on the edge of the terrace. This afforded us good views of Tudor Square, the theatres and, in the opposite direction, the Sheffield Wheel (a large observation wheel scheduled to be positioned in Sheffield city centre for a temporary period of around 18 months).
It was quite busy with it being Sunday lunchtime and quite a few of the outdoor tables were occupied. I was a little worried that service might be slow, as that seemed to be the biggest criticism of Ego that I had read in the reviews on TripAdvisor before our visit. As it turned out, the service was slower than we’ve experienced at most other restaurants that we’ve dined at lately, but it was also busier than anywhere else we’ve visited, so it was only fair to make allowances. Besides, we were there for a leisurely Sunday lunch and weren’t in a hurry. The negative reviews that I read tended to be from people who were there for the pre-theatre offer and were consequently in a rush to catch the start of their show.
We had briefly browsed the online menu a few days before our visit; I’d spent enough time looking at it to get a good idea of the range of cuisine on offer, but not long enough to come to a decision of what I would likely order. So, as the waiter took our drinks order (relatively expensive soft drinks at £2.10 each: a bottle of 7 Up for me and a pineapple juice for Emma), we sat and perused our menus.
The menu designs followed the same theme as the cuisine: quintessentially Mediterranean! The front cover of the menu featured a beautiful photo of a picturesque back street that was unmistakably Greek or Italian. As well as Greek and Italian, the cuisine also exhibited Spanish, Moroccan and French influences.
Choosing an appetizer was difficult as so many of the options were mouthwateringly tempting. We had to make a decision on whether to share a platter between us or order individual starters. The three types of platter on offer were Greek (see below), Italian (ham, salami, mozzarella and melon) and Spanish (chorizo, ham, calamari, garlic, olives and manchego cheese shavings). The salad options were imaginative; as well as Greek salad, other choices included chicken, grapefruit and pistachio salad and tuna and fennel salad. Continuing with the Mediterranean theme, other starters included grilled goat’s cheese, deep fried calamari and grilled sardines. The waiter informed us that the day’s soup was tomato and basil.
I was contemplating the chicken, grapefruit and pistachio salad; an option which sounded both healthy and adventurous. However, after much deliberation and discussion we decided to share the Greek Mezze platter:
Greek Mezze Platter - Cost: £8.95
This impressive combination of Greek specialities was served on a large wooden board. It included:
Greek salad – lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions and feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil and vinaigrette;
A bowl of green and black olives of varying sizes, some with their stones removed and some fully intact, and sundried tomatoes;
Chargrilled haloumi cheese - two pieces of tasty, rubbery cheese – a favourite of mine from trips to Cyprus and Greece;
Pitta breads – a couple of warm pitta breads cut into thin strips and ideal for dipping in the accompaniments: tzatziki (not being a fan of cucumber, I was happy that the overriding tastes were of yoghurt and mint; very enjoyable), taramasalata (not too fishy, but very nice) and hummus (thick and tasty).
We polished off every last crumb of cheese and every last salad leaf. In fact, the only thing remaining once we’d finished devouring our starter was a bowl of olive stones!
The choice of mains was just as impressive and varying as the starters. Encompassing many different regions of the Mediterranean, dishes included chicken Schnitzel, Greek moussaka, Andalucian pork, Tuscan meatballs, Bouillabaisse (a fish stew popular in Marseille) and sweetcorn frittatas. There was also a good selection of pizzas and steaks.
I opted for:
Prawn and Chilli Linguine - Cost: £9.45
A bowl of long, thin linguine pasta drenched in olive oil with red chillies, garlic, rocket and a dozen or so medium sized prawns.
The prawns came without their shells and were of a good quality. The rocket unfortunately lost all of its flavour having been cooked, which was a shame as I’ve taken a real liking to rocket in recent times.
Overall, the dish was tasty and filling. I would have enjoyed it far more though had it been a bit spicier.
Emma opted for:
Moroccan Lamb Tajine - Cost: £10.45
This authentic lamb stew was served in a traditional clay tajine pot. It consisted of very tender lamb (and plenty of it), with apricots, onions, peppers and couscous.
Emma tells me that it was very flavoursome and not at all spicy (Emma views this as a good thing, unlike me!).
I sampled a bit of the lamb and can vouch for its wonderful tenderness.
We still had room for desserts and with 40% off they didn’t look quite so overpriced. Choices included cheesecake, lemon tart, tiramisu, ice cream and cheese and biscuits.
I opted for:
Fruit and Berries - Cost: £4.50
I‘m really glad that I shunned the sweet cakes and puddings and chose the healthy option. I was rewarded with a colourful platter of fruit (kiwi, melon, mango, apple and raspberries) and a selection of dipping pots.
Using a small cocktail stick, I dipped the fresh fruit into pots of yoghurt, chocolate sauce and orange blossom honey. The yoghurt was thin, but very tasty. The orange blossom honey was very sweet but also very enjoyable in moderation.
Emma opted for:
Warm Chocolate Fondant - Cost: £4.95
The menu warned that there was a 15 minute waiting time due to the length of time taken to cook this dessert. I therefore asked the waiter to hold off with my dessert and bring them both together.
True to their word, both desserts arrived around 15 minutes after we placed our order. The chocolate fondant was a fairly small sponge pudding, served with vanilla ice cream, a strawberry and chocolate sauce.
Emma says that it was very nice (and having tried a spoonful, I’d agree!), but that she was expecting something a little more spectacular given the length of time it took to cook. It was reminiscent, in both appearance and taste, of the chocolate puddings that can be bought in supermarkets and warmed up in a microwave in 30 seconds. That’s not a criticism (I enjoy those supermarket puddings!), more an observation.
Overall, we both enjoyed our meals a great deal. We’ll almost certainly visit again one day in the future; either taking advantage of the special 2/3 course set menu or waiting until the next time they offer a significant discount on their menu. With economic conditions as they currently are, and the majority of restaurants offering special deals at the moment, I’d be reluctant to eat at Ego at full prices.
Good quality and variety of Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of Sheffield. A little expensive, but look out for the special offers. Recommended!