Leadmill: Live Bands and more
This is one of Sheffield's iconic night spots, a place which I used to frequent many a night during the 80's and 90's. It opened in 1980, and is now Sheffield's longest running live music venue and night club. This former flour mill and later Arts/community centre has since gone on to win many prestigious local and National awards, and has featured some of the top British and International artists, but has a reputation for encouraging up and coming local acts.
It has been a long time since I was last here, but tonight ( November 20th 2014) I revisited it as I wanted to see a new, up and coming local band High Hazels - Remember their name! The Leadmill has a recognised track record for spotting bands before they hit the Big Time!
Through the years I've enjoyed some great times here in this dingy dark club.
Some great acts such as The Pretenders - we walked in to find them already playing on stage and for a while thought that they were miming as the sound was so good - soon realised that they were playing live and WERE so good.
Three rooms on one level, with a bar in each. The bar off the main room sells Leadmill souvenir T-Shirts and bags etc. Check out local artist Pete McKee's work above the bar too.
This visit, I was impressed by how friendly and helpful the door and bar staff were!
To be continued..
Dress Code: Come as You are - not a posing club for the most part - from what I remember/ witnessed tonight - folks are more interested in the music or meeting up with friends.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
The Bath: A Traditional Sheffield pub
UPDATE - The Bath has now been taken over by the Thornbridge brewery, to mixed thoughts Click here for info
The Bath is one of the few city centre pubs that hasn't been turned into a 'theme bar' or minimalised trendy wine bar style.
On a quiet side street off West Street, (which is home to many bars and restaurants catering to the student community).
The original building dates back to the 1860's, and became a hostelry around 1895. It was possibly a combined grocers/ beer-house at one time. It's now a Grade 2 listed building, for its 'outstanding heritage interior' ! The Bath, won the CAMRA/English Heritage 2003 Pub Design Award for conservation. At my last visit, there were copies of a book 'Yorkshire's Real Heritage Pubs; Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest in Yorkshire and Humber' for £4.99 on sale - Mr B brought me a copy, and unsurprisingly, this pub features in it.
Found at the end of a Victorian terrace, this quaint inn is set at an angle. It hasn't been too altered in its structure, since it was first opened as a Public House around 1908. The interior was altered in the early 1930's to expand into the grocers shop.
It's name probably arose from the nearby Turkish Baths, which opened in 1847 (Now Spa1847)
It's triangular angle houses a bar, with a hatch servery.
Opposite is the main bar, with original seating. The bar itself has unusual orange/brown tiles. The tiled floor is a new addition. Otherwise, most of the fittings are original, including the stained glass windows and dark wood fittings.
Real Ales and genuine atmosphere. Yes, you can even hold a conversation without having to compete with the music! Quiz night seemed quite popular when we were last in there.
The small rooms get quite crowded- popular with locals, students, University staff, Real Ale fans. Good mix of ages and clientele.
Afraid that I don't get to visit this place as much as I'd like - my girlfriends prefer the wine bar/mass marketed places for nights out.
Monday -Saturday 12:00 - 23:00
Sunday - 19:00 - 22:30
Dress Code: Casual - come as you are!
Usual student 'uniform' plus a smattering of fleeces/ outdoor gear.
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Fagans: Another Sheffield Institution
It had been a year or so since I'd last been in Fagans,something that had to be rectified! A few days earlier, I'd seen that local artist/musician Pete McKee had added to Sheffields 'Street Art' by creating his 'Joy of Sheff' couple in spray-paint on the wall of this Broad Lane pub.
Deciding where to go out on Saturday night, Phil suggested Fagans before heading to Trippett Lane. We had a peruse of 'The Snog' before crossing the threshold of Fagans.
Fagans is one of Sheffields drinking Institutions, formerly known as The Barrel, it was renamed in 1985 after a former landlord - Joe Fagan, who notched up 37 years as its landlord. The building has stood here since 1820.
A traditional pub with dark wood fittings and furnishings, a lounge, Tap room and snug, that serves a great pint of Guinness!
Walls are adorned with prints of Lancaster bombers ( Joe Fagan was a WW2 bomber pilot), old scenes and humorous articles. On one wall is a 'What's On' which included a flyer for the forthcoming 'Under the Big Top' festival to be held in Graves Park and headlined by Richard Hawley, who was himself enjoying a quiet drink at the end of the bar, under one of Pete McKee's paintings Legends in their Lunchtime (Made in Sheffield)that features Mr Hawley along with Jarvis Cocker and other local legends!
This is a place that attracts local musicians and artists, who can slip in for a quiet drink/chat/interview etc. Some Internationally known musicians have been known to pitch up, when they're In Town!
No Juke Box/muzak/pool table/slot machines - pheew! A rack of newspapers is available for browsing through.
Two chaps nearby were tucking into large plates of delicious smelling 'home cooked' food with gusto. I'd just eaten tea, or I'd have been tempted to choose something from the reasonably priced menu. Apparently the All Day Breakfast is highly recomended! This article confirms the generous portions and the atmosphere of Fagans
Live Music sessions and Quiz nights are crowd pullers.
Four hand pumps - Tetleys Original and Abbeydale Brewery's Moonshine are permanant fixtures! Also a selection of bottled drinks/wine/spirits/soft drinks.
I opted for a pint of Guinness, which was so good, we decided to have another before heading off to Trippett Lane. I'll certainly not leave it so long before my next visit!
UPDATE - I've now visited Fagan's quite a few times since, and look forward to each visit. Just for a quiet drink or a meal - most recently for a belly busting Sunday Roast dinner - excellent value at £7!
We had our works Christmas do here last year, and loved it so much, that we're repeating it this year!
Not on the usual pub route - Just a few minutes from Trippett Lane (Broad Lane runs parallel to Trippet Lane) Across the road and a bit further down Broad Lane is Butlers Curry House
Tram Stop City Hall/West Street
Buses 120 52 30 95 stop nearby
At West Street Live head down Rockingham Street and turn Right onto Broad Lane
Dress Code: Come as You are!
A place where You come to enjoy the Ale and ambiance, not to pose/Be Seen.
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
Sheffield Tap: Real Ale pub at Sheffield train station
We visited Sheffield Tap for the first time one Saturday afternoon in June 2010.
This small Real Ale pub is attached to Sheffield’s central railway station, accessible from platform number 1, and occupies a listed Victorian building which in previous lives has served as a buffet restaurant, a waiting room and a storage room, but had stood empty and derelict for many years. Lovingly restored, with ornate tiled walls and a long wooden bar, Sheffield Tap first opened its doors to thirsty commuters in late 2009.
Sheffield was already well endowed when it came to Real Ale pubs, boasting, amongst many others, the excellent city centre Devonshire Cat (with an impressive selection of draught beers and imported bottled lagers) and the imperious Kelham Island Tavern (the first pub in Britain to receive the prestigious CAMRA National Pub of the Year award twice in succession, in 2009 and 2010), so Sheffield Tap was viewed as a welcome addition to an already thriving Real Ale scene in the city.
When we first arrived, the main bar area was full, and we managed to secure the only free table in the pub, a small corner table in an adjoining room that displayed a Thornbridge Hall sign. However, when we left the pub 2 pints and 90 minutes later, it was much less busy, with the number of drinkers seeming to ebb and flow as various trains arrived and departed. Having said that, Sheffield Tap is by no means frequented solely by travellers passing through the station on their way to somewhere else; it is such an impressive pub that it is bound to attract loyal followers who will make a special trip to the station for no other reason than to drink there. We’ll certainly be returning again in future!
The coming and going of various commuters and the diverse nature of the clientele makes for a bustling atmosphere and interesting people-watching.
Sheffield Tap is a joint venture involving the Derbyshire brewing company, Thornbridge, and a company called Pivovar which imports bottled beers. As such, it offers a whole range of Thornbridge creations on tap; from the 3.5% Wild Swan Pale Ale, via the Lord Marples 4.0% British Bitter to the 7.7% Saint Petersburg Stout.
With dozens of beer pumps, there is ample room to offer in addition a range of guest ales, German Weissbiers, Czech lagers (from the Bernard brewery) and draught ciders. At the time of our visit, the guest ales were provided by the Otley Brewing Company from Pontypridd in Wales, and included O8 barley wine and O5 Gold.
I also noticed one pump with a strong offering (9.6%) named Bigfoot Ale and brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in California.
While the selection of cask ales is impressive, the choice of bottled beers is unrivalled in Sheffield. Some reports even claim that Sheffield Tap is the best stocked pub in northern England. Judging by the large fridges that run the length of the bar and contain hundreds of different beers, this is not a difficult claim to believe. The selection of Belgian beers is particularly impressive, but the choice runs much deeper than just Belgian offerings.
Sheffield Tap had first come to my attention when I read an article in the local media about how it was selling the controversial Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer (a staggering 32% beer brewed by Scotland’s Brewdog brewery) at a cost of £35 for a 330ml bottle. Despite its high price, stocks soon sold out.
If you’re not a beer fan, then Sheffield Tap is probably not the place for you. However, a small corner of the fridge is given over to bottled soft drinks, so Emma was able to enjoy a bottle of Schweppes orange juice and an orange and passionfruit J2O. I also noticed a small selection of wines.
Likewise, Sheffield Tap is not the place to come for food, although they do serve a selection of sandwiches and paninis.
An excellent Real Ale pub at Sheffield train station. One of the best stocked pubs in northern England, with a mind boggling selection of cask and bottled beers. You’ll almost be wishing for your train to be delayed!
Saturday 19th June 2010:
Our first visit to Sheffield Tap and it seemed only right to sample a couple of Thornbridge beers:
I started with a pint of Kipling; a 5.2% South Pacific Pale Ale with (according to Thornbridge's website) “passionfruit, gooseberry and mango aroma” and a “grapefruit-like bitter finish”. I’m not sure about the aroma, but the finish was certainly grapefruit-esque in its bitterness. A good pint.
For my second pint, I moved onto the more familiar Jaipur; a multi award-winning 5.9% India Pale Ale which I’d had before at the Devonshire Cat.
I will keep updating on subsequent visits!
Sunday 20th June 2010:
Oh dear, this doesn’t bode well for me: I didn’t even last 24 hours before making a return visit! We were in town anyway, the sun was shining and I was keen to start making inroads into the impressive array of beers on offer! On this occasion, a number of tables and chairs had been set up outside (on the opposite side to the railway platform), but the pub was less busy than it had been the previous day, so we scored a table in the main bar area.
I decided to try one of the guest ales this time and, after much deliberation, chose a pint of “Shad O” – a 4% stout from Otley Brewing Co.
Saturday 3rd July 2010
Another sunny Saturday afternoon! After being dragged around the city centre shops by my girlfriend for a few hours (or at least it felt that long!), I was allowed to stop by for a couple of pints as a reward!
We decided to sit outside on this occasion and make the most of the fine weather. It was pretty busy, but there was one free table, so Emma bagged it while I went inside to the bar.
I opted first for a pint of “O-Garden” – a 4.8% wheat beer from the Otley Brewing Company (and presumably a play on words relating to the more famous Belgian Hoegaarden wheat beer). It was a good pint, but not in the same league as Hoegaarden in my humble opinion.
Since our last visit, the number of taps devoted to Thornbridge beers had been reduced from 6 to 4, with the other 2 taps now devoted to Otley guest beers. I decided to try one of these; a 4.2% light ale with hints of citrus, going by the name of “O2”. It was an ideally refreshing pint on a warm summer’s afternoon.
Friday 23rd July 2010
This was the first time we’d visited the Sheffield Tap on a Friday evening; it was packed! It was only due to very fortunate timing that we managed to obtain a table in the main bar area.
Since our last visit, the Otley guest beers had been replaced with 4 pumps devoted to beers from the West Yorkshire-based Saltaire Brewery. I tried two of these; Saltaire Blonde and Raspberry Blonde – both light, 4% blonde beers; the latter having a sweet raspberry taste to it.
The other Saltaire beers on offer were a 4.2% Summer Ale and a 4.8% pale ale called Blackberry Cascade. By the time I’d finished my first pint, the Saltaire Blonde, this had been replaced by another beer, a 4.4% wheat beer called Amarillo Gold.
Unlike on our previous visits, the entrance from the platform had been shut off, so the bar was only accessible from the entrance on Sheaf Street.
Emma noticed a beer menu that was being passed around some of the customers at the bar. I’ll keep an eye out for this in future, as it’s the only hope I’ve got of identifying what beers are stocked in that vast fridge behind the bar!
I noticed, for the first time, a sign above the bar advertising pork pies for £1.50. We may sample one in future if we’re feeling peckish.
Friday 24th September 2010
We've visited The Sheffield Tap a handful of times since my last update, introducing friends and family to this excellent pub.
I've managed to lay my hands on the beer menu a couple of times and the choice is mind-boggling. There are hundreds of Belgian beers (I tried the 10.5% Piraat beer on our last visit), dozens of American beers and a small choice of lesser known beers from countries all over the world. If memory serves correct, some of the more exotic beers are from Mongolia and Kenya.
Sunday 7th November 2010
We paid a quick visit to The Sheffield Tap this afternoon to check out the new extension. Two further side rooms have now been opened up to provide much needed extra seating. We sat on a comfortable cushioned bench in one of these side rooms, while I enjoyed a pint of Thornbridge's "Doc Fest" (a 4.3% pale ale brewed especially for the international documentary making festival that was being held in Sheffield between the 3rd and 7th November 2010).
Friday 7th February 2014
My first visit to The Sheffield Tap for quite some time. Since my last visit they have begun to brew beer on site under the label of "The Tapped Brew Co." (www.tappedbrewco.com). I took this opportunity to sample one of their beers – "100 Cent" – a 4% American Pale Ale (£2.80 a pint)...and it was a very enjoyable pint! I won't leave it so long for my next visit!
O2 Academy: Music Venue
The building that houses the O2 academy has been a Sheffield landmark for decades. Recognised from Sheffield station, it was previously known as 'Roxys' - Roxy disco/night club, or Barry Noble's Roxy where Yes, I did dance round my handbag in the 1980's!
Before it became Roxys, it was Steelys, and previously Top Rank (It opened under this name in 1967) - where I saw one of my first concerts - Mr Big in the late 1970's.
'Poxy Roxys' as it was commonly known, was a 2 storey club, the upper floor being partly mezzanine style, offering views over the dancefloor.
I remembered the sticky carpet - pints of lager and black no doubt being partly responsible.
A popular (Cheesy)TV show of the late 1980's 'The Hitman and Her' featured Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachan visiting night clubs around the UK - one episode was from Roxys. I'm sure there will be videos on Youtube!
It closed in the 1990's, and stood empty for many years, opening briefly as a temporary church for the congregation of St Thomas's church
This music venue opened in 2008, as The Carling Academy - local group Reverend and The Makers were the opening act.
Later, becoming the O2 academy.
It was awarded the local Exposed Magazine Best Live Venue 2008-2010
I revisited this venue in April 2009, to see The Specials - A great night! I was glad that I'd decided to stand upstairs, rather than down at the front of the stage.
The O2 is a stand only venue, which is a problem for shorties like me, especially as the floor is on a level, and not sloped towards the stage.
Well, there is seating upstairs -a small cordoned off area for wheelchair users, along with a few seats.
Yes, once the lights went down, I'd noticed that most of these seats were unoccupied - I ducked under the rope and took a seat! A great view of the concert and crowd!!
Disabled tickets must be booked prior to the event-these are often limited.
Wheelchair Access and Disabled Toilets
I also saw Thin Lizzy tribute band 'Limehouse Lizzy' play here more recently - We'd noticed that it stated 18.30 as the start time, which we thought was quite early, and assumed there would be a support group, so headed to the pub first. Our mistake- we arrived around 19.30 to catch the end of their performance!
This concert had been in one of the smaller rooms - staff appeared to be getting the venue ready for a later event.
So, if you're coming to the O2, check the start time, and believe it! (Though recently, for The Cult and The Mission concert, we found that asking the security staff was more accurate as they had the times that bands were due on/off stage)
There are regular club nights on Fridays and Saturdays, while Student night is on Wednesdays, as well as 'ad-hoc' club nights.
...Oh and the carpets are still sticky!
Bars on both levels- pints etc served in plastic glasses - beer/lager as you'd probably expect-nothing too exciting to choose from.
Nearby pubs, for pre-concert drinks
Bankers Draft - Wetherspoons pub - for reasonable priced drinks and food - next to Castle Square Tram stop (3 minutes walk) - although it does attract some quite undesirable characters!
Behind the Crucible Theatre is Tudor Square, with a few bars - The Old Monk ( with another entrance on Norfolk Street - a few doors away from The Brown Bear) Crucible Corner and Crucible Theatre Bar (2- 3 minutes walk)
Surrey Street - The Graduate (3-4 minute walk)
If arriving by train/ bus/ coach - The Sheffield Tap at the train station offers a huge selection of Real Ales (5 minute (uphill) walk)
Opposite the station is The Showroom cinema, which has a pleasant bar and good food!
Probably better to avoid the pubs around the Castle Market/Waingate/Dixon Lane area!!!
Official merchandise is on sale inside, but unofficial T-shirts/posters are usually on sale outside after concerts.
Once you've been admitted, there are no 'pass outs'/re-admission - although there are 'Smokers Pass Outs'
Children welcome - under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.
Club nights are strictly 18 years old and over - ID may be requested if buying alcohol/requesting smoking pass out.
Challenge 21 rules apply at this venue.
Multi Storey Car Parking under venue.
Dress Code: No restrictions, However "if you are wearing a hat, hoody or bike helmet you may be asked to remove these prior to entry and that they be deposited in a cloakroom" I think it was £1 per item.
Also, some O2 venues don't allow football colours/Fancy dress
- Beer Tasting
Flynns - The Grapes: Pub with plenty of character
The Grapes used to be one of my watering holes during the late 70's/Mid 80's - Standing in the narrow corridor waiting to bag a seat in one of the two rooms opposite the bar (I never set foot in the small room behind the bar)it was a feat to avoid getting knocked into by folks rushing to the toilets.
Well, I had a drink in here recently, and there were no seats - Yes, I ended up stood in the narrow corridor again.
to be continued....
Dress Code: Come as You Are!
St Patricks Day/Night/Weekend - Well - at least something green!
- Beer Tasting
Dog and Partridge: One time traditional Irish pub
The Dog and Partridge was one of Sheffields long established Traditional Irish pubs (long before Irish Theme Bars were invented), where you could catch impromptu live music sessions, as well as hear many Irish accents. The Juke Box was stacked with Irish classics, old and new!
This pub has recently undergone a transformation. The old landlady, Annie Flynn has left here after over 30 years (taking the juke box and other favourite fittings) and moved a few yards down the road to The Grapes, or Flynns as it is now known . Apparently The Grapes is her own pub, which is a Free House, and not owned by a brewery/ corporate business.
I'd heard that after a few changes of management, this was no longer an 'Irish Pub', but was a rock bar. I'd also noticed that one of my favourite foodie business's The Street Food Chef was serving their delicious Mexican food here!
Well, in the interests of research ;-) I accompanied Phil on a mini pub crawl around this area of the city centre.
After a couple of pints in Fagans on Broad Lane - we headed to the Grapes, which was 'packed to the rafters' - Arriving at the Dog and Partridge, we braced ourselves for the usual struggle to get to the bar....... Hmmmm, walked straight up and was served straight away - Saturday night and probably less than a dozen people in here! Yes, Guinness is still served along with a range of Cask Ales, ciders as well as bottled beers and lagers.Some local ales from Kelham Island Brewery etc.
It was a bit strange seeing the place so quiet and the different decor - The old Dog has had a make-over. We headed for a seat in the empty room to the left of the door passing the space where the juke box was conspicuous by its absence. Apparently most of the Dog's regulars have voted with their feet and joined their former landlady at Grapes/Flynns
Well, it was quite nice to have a comfortable seat, and the chance to chat without being jostled about or shouting above music/inebriated souls.
A good selection of Soul/Motown and rock classics at a comfortable level. Some arty pics of Sheffield locations on the walls.
Well, it's certainly NOT like the old D&P, although the smaller off shoot rooms remain. It's difficult not to remember how it was, with its lively atmosphere. I'd certainly return here, but hope that it doesn't get 'discovered' by the West Street crowd.
While pubs are closing weekly, we also seem to be having new/resurrected pubs opening as regularly, particularly Real Ale pubs.
The new owners seem to have some new ideas - Good to see a local business supporting another - The Street Food Chef offer good quality food, using local suppliers as much as possible.
Try their food here Monday - Wednesday 11.00 -14.30
Thursday & Friday, 12.00 -20.00
My original tip about The Dog and Partridge
This is a must see, especially if you're fed up with themed pubs/ banks turned into wine bars /bars where you sit down for a chat with your mates, just as the sound system is turned up to full volume etc! (Blimey, just realised I've become 'Grumpy Old Woman' - Only seems like yesterday, that music could never be too loud!!!)
The Dog and Partridge is a local pub, that hasn't been trendified! A regular clientele, plus students, drifters in off the main drag etc!
The juke box is stacked with old Irish faves, The bar is stacked with Guiness, Jamesons and a lot more besides! and in the lounge, you're more than likely to chance upon an impromptu live music session!
A great atmosphere, warm and friendly- a great antidote to The West Street /Town experience!!
'Next door' is The Grapes, another 'regular pub' Trippets Wine Bar ( now a Thornbridge property renamed the Dada , is opposite The Grapes, (Both offer live music), then further along on Pitt Street, is The Red Deer.
A bit further up off West Street (which runs parallel) on Victoria Street, is The Bath, another traditional pub.
Individual tips/pics on these venues coming soon ish!
- Study Abroad
- Beer Tasting
Kelham Island Tavern: Award winning Real Ale Pub and Beer Garden
The Kelham Island Tavern is a traditional pub that is noted for its friendly atmosphere and wide selection of Real Ales. It is located around the corner from the Kelham Island Brewery and Museum.
The building dates from 1833, when it was known as The Sawmakers Arms. Its location provided a respite for the hard working steel workers in the vicinity.
With the decline in the steel industry, the area became neglected, and the pub, then known as The White Hart eventually closed, just before the end of the 20th Century.
In 2001, the present owners saw the potential for providing an oasis for Real Ale drinkers of Sheffield. Their vision and hard work resulted in them achieving many awards from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) including winning National CAMRA pub of the year in 2008 and 2009.
The pub retains a traditional layout with individual rooms - The front bar has seating and a fireplace (complete with a pair of china dogs) There is also a back room and a modern addition of a beer garden/conservatory. At my last visit I enjoyed a pint of Farmers Blonde (from the local Bradfield Brewery) sitting outside on the pavement area, where there are a couple of small tables with chairs. Pints are served in a lined glass, so you get a full pint ;-)
This is a popular place for CAMRA members, students, local residents (Many riverside appartments were constructed/converted here in the early 2000's when the area was gentrified) and those who appreciate a good drink in a relaxing pub. It's one of the stop offs on the Real Ale Trails, so it can get quite busy at times - which imo is no bad thing, as many pubs around the country are closing each week, due to lack of custom.
A notice in the bar warns that swearing is not tolerated, and cursers will be evicted! You won't find any piped music or fruit machines here - so you can enjoy a chat and drink without distraction.
There are weekly live music events - Folk and acoustic music mainly (see the web page for details) Monday night is Quiz Night
Dogs on leads are welcome too!
The real attraction for the majority of punters is the wide selection of beers that are available - Many from local Sheffield and Yorkshire breweries (Bradfield, Barnsley, Thwaites etc) A selection of 'Regulars' as well as about 9 guest beers that change over frequently enough to keep the 'tickers' happy - (the equivalent of train spotting, with enthusiasts travelling thousands of miles to notch up different cask conditioned ales, and 'tick them off' )
The Kelham Island Tavern was one of the locations featured in the documentary about this 'sect' Beertickers beyond the ale
Although it shares its name with the Kelham Island Brewery, the nearby Fat Cat Pub is the main place to sample their ales.
Food is available (12.00 - 15.00 (Except Sundays), but I've not eaten here-(I'm not sure of the menu either, but will suss it out at my next visit)
Open Daily - 12.00 - MIDNIGHT
Dress Code: Come as You are! Unlike some of the City Centre bars, this NOT a place for poseurs
Kelham Island attracts a real mix of clientele of all ages, sporting various attire, from 'Real Ale' T-Shirts to smart casual.
The Kelham Island Quarter is a bit off the beaten track, with a short walk from the nearest tram/bus stop, or a 20 minute walk from the City Centre so consider comfy footwear if walking here.
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
The Riverside Cafe Bar: Charity run pub - Kelham Island
Previously known as The Brown Cow, where it originally was a residential hotel, it became the Brown Cow pub, in the 1840's after the servants' quarters were turned into a beer cellar, and a licence to sell Ale and liquer was granted. it is located on the bankside of the River Don.
I visited the Brown Cow a few times during the 1980's, I seem to remember it being a Wards pub (Wards Brewery was based at Sheaf Brewery on Ecclesall Road, which has been demolished and apartments built on the site) , which was quite dingy, and in a run down area.
The pub has been known as the Riverside since 1995. It has been re-vamped and modernised.
Although it is called The Riverside Cafe bar, it is one of the Real Ale Pubs of the Neepsend Beer trail, aka The Valley of Ales. Located between The Harlequin and The Fat Cat pubs, the outside south facing terrace is a pleasant place to spend a warm summers evening, which is what we did during the recent Tramlines Festival. (The Fat Cat was too packed, so we stopped off here for a pint, before heading to The Harlequin).
Although this part of the Don has been cleaned up, (with modern apartments, lining the banks that once were home to many mills, powered by the water from the river) it is very much an urban river side view.
I was admiring the piece of Street Art, by phlegm on the wall below the Riverside, while Phil tried to point out a rat scurrying on the bank side. He had told me of times after the 2007 flood, that rats had been seen on the pub terrace.
To the left of the pub, looking from the terrace, is Borough Bridge, which is part of Corporation Street (A61 North bound). These were developed at the same time, and named to celebrate the incorporation of Sheffield as a borough.
Designed by Samuel Worth and Samuel Furness Holmes, Work started on 12th March 1853 - apparently the foundation stone is inscribed with this date, and was completed in 1856.
Constructed from stone, with 3 segmented arches, this attractive bridge has grade 2 status.
Prior to the Great Flood of 1864, an iron foot bridge, below this bridge, linked the city and the nearby train station. When debris built up behind it, carried by the force of the flood waters, the metal bridge was swept away.
During the 2007 floods, this area was particularly affected, but the Riverside pub, due to its high position, escaped damage.
Entering the pub, through the front door (Access is also available via the terrace), I spotted another piece of street art - One of John Dowswell's ducks (pic 5), See more of his work here
The well stocked bar had a selection of Ales, lagers, ciders, spirits and soft drinks.
Like The Harlequin, the house beers are provided by The Brew Company. Food (locally sourced) is served daily. There is a Childrens menu/buffet option.
I didn't have much time to look around the pubs interior, as I left Phil to 'get the drinks in', while I went to snare a seat for us on the terrace - One of the few evenings recently, when drinking al fresco was possible.
Mission accomplished - I managed to find a seat at one of the riverside tables, where were able to chat over a pint of beer.
The Riverside is unusual, in that, since 2009, is Sheffield's only 100% charity owned pub. The owners are Sheffield-based, non-profit organisation PointBlank, "who are committed to promoting local arts, music and creative activities".
The upstairs area, is used as an exhibition and Live Music venue. Music also features in the downstairs bar area, with 'Opus Acoustics' on Thursdays, and local DJ's and live Reggae/ Northern Soul/ Motown at weekends. Monthly 'Free-form Jazz improv sessions' (Wednesday) and a Quiz Night on Mondays.
June sees the annual Riverside Arts and Music Festival (free), with live performances, Arts and Craft stalls and workshops.
Well, this is a great place for people (and dog) watching! Quite an 'alternative 'Arty'crowd', many of whom appeared to be keeping the cities tattoo and piercings studios in business. Also, locals, students and Real Ale devotees.
There was a lively, good humoured buzz to the place.
I'm looking forward to returning here, and hopefully taking the chance to view some of the pieces of art exhibited in the bar and upstairs Shoebox gallery.
Dress Code: Come as you are!
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Beer Tasting
The Showroom: Independent Cinema and more besides!
The Showroom Cinema is one of the countries largest independent cinemas. Its four screens show a variety of films, many of these are not usually on view at the 'multi-plexes'
The Showroom and Workstation opened in 1993, in the former Kennings car dealership, a 1936 art deco building.
Following recent redevelopment of the area, including the Train Station, this area is now known as the Cultural Quarter. The Workstation provides office space for businesses in the cultural industries sector. There is also a room available for hire for parties-I went to a friends 40th Party here.
The Showroom specializes in Independent and Foreign films, and hosts regular themed Festivals.
I'm afraid that I don't get to visit here as much as I'd like.
My last visit was during the 2012 'Off the Shelf'' Festival, where Sarfraz Manzoor gave a talk about his life and his obsession with Bruce Springsteen as documented in his book 'Greetings From Bury Park' (which I'd enjoyed reading a few years ago)
In 2008,I went to see a documentary about Youssou n'Dour - I bring What I Love, where there was a talk by the pruducer of the film. Another time, I heard a talk by the historian Michael Wood, and got to chat with him afterwards.
The Showroom featured in the video for Leave Before The Lights Come On, by local band - the Arctic Monkeys , in 2006.
Check the website for forthcoming events.
Mon to Fri from 10.00
Sat/Sun from 10.30
Check the website for times of film showings
There is a comfy bar, which sometimes hosts quiz nights etc. It's popular with students from the nearby Hallam University, Arty types and professionals etc. Food available.
Mon to Thur 10am - 11pm
Fri 10am -12pm
Sat 11am -12pm
Food served Mon to Sat until 9pm / Sun 12 - 4pm
UPDATE- The restaurant/bar has been taken over by Simon Ayres, the former Head Chef of The Milestone, which I'm quite excited about! He's already created a roof garden, where herbs and vegetables are grown for the restaurant, and is in the process of refurbishing the café-bar and menus.
All public areas are open to wheelchair users - Please notify Box Office, when booking tickets, if you require a wheelchair space. Disabled parking on Paternoster Row next to the cinema.
Infra red sound facility for hearing impaired.
Near to Sheffield Train station and Bus interchange.
Dress Code: Come as You are!
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Study Abroad
The Harlequin: Friendly Real Ale pub -Kelham Island
The Harlequin is another of the gems of Sheffield's Real Ale 'trail'
This hostelry began life around 1849 as the "Manchester & Lincolnshire Railway Hotel" - it was a short distance from the Wicker train station, the first train station to be opened in Sheffield (31 October 1838).
In the first Sheffield Flood of 1864, the building was severely damaged - it's entire front facade was destroyed.
The name of the pub was later shortened to 'The Manchester'
Towards the end of 2006, this pub re-opened, with a name change - It was now known as 'The Harlequin' (In 2000 a nearby pub called 'The Harlequin and Clown' was demolished)
A few months after opening, it was forced to close, after the Sheffield Flood of June 2007, caused havoc in this area.
Surprisingly, the Harlequin was back in business within a few weeks!
I first visited the Harlequin during the 2011 Tramlines Festival, it was somewhere that I'd been looking forward to, as it is one of Phils' favourite watering holes. I've since been here a few times, and yes, it has a lovely atmosphere.
This Free House supplies a variety of drinks - The Brew Company , supplies their house beers.
They boast 14 regularly changed, hand pulled guest ales, 10 real ciders and perries, World craft beers, draught & bottled specialist lagers, plus a range of specialist spirits.
2011 was a good year for this pub - being awarded the Sheffield CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Cider Pub of The Year 2011 and Sheffield CAMRA Pub of The Month May 2011.
After visiting the Kelham Island Christmas Market on a particularly wet and cold Saturday in December, Phil and I escaped to The Harlequin, where we 'warmed our cockles' with an excellent glass of their mulled cider - it certainly packed a punch!
Unusually for 'A Real Ale pub', the Harlequin also has an affinity for spirits, stocking a variety of some well known, and many 'unusual brands'
- From the website ;
Geranium, Bloom, Death’s Door, 6 O’Clock, Blackwood’s, Tanqueray Rangpur, Hendricks, Bombay Sapphire, Gordon’s, Sipsmith, Bathtub, DH Krahn, Gin Mare, Hoxton, Krieken Genever, Oude Graan
Ron Zacapa 23, Pampero Anniversario, Goslings, Goslings 151, Goslings Family Reserve, El Dorado, Angostura 1919, Angostura 1824, Sailor Jerry, Sailor Jerry Original, Rumbullion!, Captain Morgan
Blantons, Rip Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve"
Through June 2012, there have been 'educational' spirit Tasting evenings on Thursdays. We were too late to sign up for one of these, but hope they will be repeated, as they appear to have been very popular.
Despite being an open plan pub, the low ceilings and dark wood bar maintain a 'traditional pub' feel. It has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
There are newspapers to read.
Live music is a popular feature of The Harlequin, as I mentioned above, my first visit was during the annual Tramlines Festival in 2011 (We were here again in 2012), where we enjoyed listening to a band playing rock covers.
Check the Website for forthcoming acts
Monthly open mic night (first Tuesday of every month) from 21.00hrs
Food is served daily, their Sunday lunch (12.30- 1500 £7.00) is very popular - We've still got to try this!
Mon-Fri 12:00-14:00; 18:00-21:00
Pub opening 12.00 - late.
Children allowed until 15.00
Beer Garden at the back.
Dress Code: No rules as far as I could see
A mix of clientele - locals, Real Ale fans, students etc
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
The Hop: Trendy Real Ale Pub with Beer, Pies and Music
The Hop, is one of Sheffields newest pubs, located in the trendy West One Plaza.
While many local pubs are closing each month, Real Ale pubs are flourishing in Sheffield.
This is a bit different, in that it's not a traditional old pub. It was previously the site of a supermarket.
West One with its restaurants, bars and apartments is just off West Street, with its 'cheap' student bars, where the emphasis is on 'getting hammered as quickly and cheaply as possible'
However, it's within a few staggering steps of The Washington and Devonshire Cat Real Ale pubs, also The Bath.
It opened towards the end of 2011, and has already won Exposed Magazines 'Best New Bar' 2012.
I drive past here most evenings, and was looking forward to visiting. Well, I had to wait until June 2012. We called in after enjoying a meal at our favourite restaurant, and before visiting The Washington- another first, that I'd been looking forward to!
Phil had been to The Hop once before, and had been impressed with it - High praise from a 'Traditional Real Ale drinker! One of my work colleagues, who prefers wine to beer, wasn't so impressed.
Well, I liked it! It was good to see a clientele that you wouldn't normally see in a 'Real Ale pub'
I liked the decor and atmosphere. There are prints of local music legends on the stairs (on the way to the toilets)
A well stocked bar, with Ossett Brewery ales and guest beers Check here for What's on offer Also bottled beers, ciders, lagers, wine, spirits and soft drinks
We'd enjoyed a good meal, prior to arriving here, otherwise, I would have had to have tried one of their pies, which are served daily from 12.00 - 19.00hrs from 'The Pie Hole'
These are award winning pies from Huddersfield (Andrew Jones Pies 'n' Pasties)
For a fiver (£5) you get a choice of pie, which comes with a mound of mash (Mashed/creamed potato) beer infused peas or baked beans, gravy, AND a pint of Osset Brewery Session Beer(or a mug of tea/coffee) - Certainly looking forward to trying this sometime soon!
The Hop is the 3rd pub, of a small chain, which was the brainchild of Jamie Lawson, the director of Ossett Brewery, Mike Heaton drummer of the Yorkshire Indie band Embrace and ex-Virgin Japan MD Mike Inman.
Wakefield was the first venture in 2009, Leeds opened a year later.
Free admission to music nights -Wednesday is Acoustic Music night, while Friday/Saturday are for bands performing cover songs.
Tuesday night is Quiz Night - Free Entry, Free Supper and a Gallon of Ossett Ale for the winners!
Daily- 12 noon - 12:30 midnight.
During the recent Tramlines Festival, The Hop, sponsored a free bus service - Blues and Ale Bus, which ran from The Hop to Kelham Island, and its Real Ale pubs, with live musicians playing for the duration. I used this service to get from The Hop to the Fat Cat, and was entertained by a group called C for Calculus
The Hop ticks many boxes for me, and I look forward to visiting again soon.
Dress Code: Smart casual dress code. No sportswear or football colours.
Please note the venue has a separate door policy on Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday match days.
Pre Match- Football colours allowed. Strict couples, families, mixed sex and small all-male groups only.
Post Match- No full team colours or large group admittance''.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
The Crucible and Lyceum: Sheffield Theatres
The Crucible is a 980-seat theatre was built in 1971 and holds the annual World Snooker Championships. The Crucible is known for its versatility and intimacy where audiance members can see what is happening on stage or in the centre no further than 22 metres.
The Lyceum is a 1068-seat theatre designed by originally opened in the late 19th Century but closed in 1968 and then reopened following a renovation in 1991. It hosts a variety of shows from West End musicals to plays.
There is also The Studio which was opened in 1971 and refurbished in 1994. This 400-seat theatre is versaitile to adjust the auditiorum to accomodate a production.
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel
Lyceum / the studio / the crucible: More than just snooker
The Crucible theatre is known the world over as the venue for the World snooker championships. They take place every year and have helped to put Sheffield 'on the map'.
The Crucible is in fact part of a complex of three theatres which together make up the Sheffield theatres, and as such claim to be the largest Theatre complex outside of the capital.
Taken with the nearby art gallery and the millenium galleries it could be said that Sheffield has a developed a 'cultural quarter' (which presumbly leaves a Philistine three-quarters'.
Whilst you will find some 'high-brow' theatre in the form of touring opera companies, most of the fare at the Theatre will be from the bums-on-seats, let's make some wonga style of theatre management. You know the sort of thing I mean : Thomas the Tank Engine Christmas Pantomine, on ice with the Teletubbies, featuring some ex-Emmedale actors and that blonde tart with the big Bazoombas from Children's BBC (to keep the Dad's happy).
Oh, that and snooker of course, the world's most pointless game.
- Theater Travel
My first clubbing experience in the UK - what an intense introduction! Held at 'Republic' venue (now 'Gatecrasher One') Gatecrasher is a 'superclub' event - kinda like a rave in a really big club. So very different to Melbourne scene, but loads of fun nevertheless. The clientele are really friendly especially compared with snootier venues in London like Fabric and the DJs rock!
Dress Code: Ummm CANDY!
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