Sunday, 6 December 2015

A Weekend in Sheffield

Readers of my other blog and those who are familiar with my work will know that I'm a bit of a fan of Sheffield. My now husband went to University there (20 years ago - eek!) and when we started going out I used to visit every few weeks. Its a place we've popped back to pretty regularly ever since and last weekend we went for our 11th wedding anniversary (which is apparently steel so very apt!).

I thought I'd take the opportunity to share some of my favourite bits should you ever find yourself at a loose end in the Rome of the North (it's built on 7 hills...). Sheffield is in South Yorkshire, right on the edge of the stunning Peak District and it takes 3-4 hours to drive there from London (but there are lots of regular/fast-ish trains nowadays - more than there used to be). It's right in the middle of the country so pretty easy to get to from most places. As with many northern cities it used to be known for it's manufacturing industry and in particular steel production. The city has a compact centre which you can easily walk around (but beware those hills, they're pretty epic), a wonderful friendly atmosphere and lousy weather (do not go to Sheffield for the weather - bring a raincoat and prepare to mourn the loss of your umbrella after the first day!).

On this occasion we arrived shortly before lunch on Saturday and checked into our hotel The Leopold - we've stayed here before, and in my old job I used to send people to stay in this hotel all the time. It's a nice, small hotel which has been open for quite a few years now - still lovely but perhaps in need of a lick of paint. Very comfy bed though so we slept really well.

After checking in we went for a walk to stretch our legs after the long drive - first stop Division Street - lots of small independent shops and bars - the shops themselves may have changed in the last 20 years but otherwise it's pretty much the same as it always was.

I popped in to MoonKo to take a look around - I've been following them online for ages and the shop really is beautiful - lots and lots of Rifle Paper Co. stuff and a whole corner of Donna Wilson alongside lots of smaller local and national designer/makers (I may have gone back after lunch and shopped a little!).

We headed down to the end of the street and had lunch in The Forum - this is one of the first places Mr M took me to on one of my early visits - the food was pretty good then and it still is now. We shared some lovely large tapas style plates and had a glass of wine.

Which fortified us for our post lunch, horizontal rain, march up to Park Hill. Again, if you're familiar with my work you'll know that Park Hill features regularly. This was actually the first time I'd ever walked right up to it. 20 years ago it was a bit of a no go area - it's now a mixture of the redeveloped flats and the derelict old ones - masses of photo opportunities! One day I'll buy a flat here...

After Park Hill we wandered around the shops a little more popping into Birds Yard and the shop at the Millennium Gallery (where they have a great separate room with a pop up fearturing work from upcoming designer/makers too) and hid from the rain in the Winter Garden.

Then back to the hotel for a rest before our night out! We had an early dinner at Marco's New York Italian (a fairly casual restaurant run by Marco Pierre White) then headed back to Division Street for a quick drink in Bungalow and Bears - I like it in here as the crowd is usually a little older (showing my age again!) - and then The Leadmill. The Leadmill is my favourite place in Sheffield - they have the best indie club night I've ever been to and it's been on every Saturday night for as long as I've known about the place. This time it was made even better because we went to see The Enemy first - never seen them before and they were fantastic. We stayed afterwards to have a dance (or as much of a dance as is possible on the world's stickiest dance floor!) and made it back to the hotel at about 1am - which was pretty civilised!

Sunday morning and I had a lie in while Mr M went off to walk up some of those hills! After breakfast we went to see the substation on Charter Row...

Then took a stroll up to the University and the famous Arts Tower - it's the tallest university building in the UK with the largest surviving paternoster lift in the UK. I wasn't brave enough to go in and ask if I could have a ride on the paternoster!

For lunch we went to Piccolinos in Millenium Square where we've been before - a nice Italian restaurant where I filled up on pizza before the long drive home. Really not there for long enough but we still had a lovely weekend!

Are you local or a regular visitor to Sheffield? Anywhere you'd recommend visiting?

No comments:

Post a Comment