Cristina Stones arrived in Sheffield from Portugal in the late 1980s after getting married to a Sheffielder. As well as running a marketing consultancy business with her husband, Danny, she has recently started her own business, CAS Admin Support, which enables small and medium sized business owners to concentrate on growing their companies rather than getting bogged down with administrative duties. Cristina and Danny have two daughters, Sophia, 19, and Alexandra, 16.
Since arriving in Sheffield over 20 years ago, Cristina says she has seen it change “from a rather glum and grey industrial place to a modern, clean and exciting city”. Over the years she has come to love her adopted home.
I love to go for walks or just sit on one of many benches in the Botanical Gardens and watch the world go by. The gardens are beautiful in the spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom. The diverse colours and scents are just wonderful. The spot I enjoy most in the Botanical Gardens is the rock and water garden. This area is a real sun trap and it is so quite and peaceful. The recently restored glass pavilions which now house a variety of plants from all over the world are also very interesting to walk through. When my daughters were little, we used to take picnics and they loved going to the bear pit.
I’ve enjoyed many shows at the Lyceum and Crucible Theatres over the past few years from the professional to the amateur productions. The most memorable ones are Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, which we have seen many times as a family, Sleuth and, more recently, the superb Me and My Girl. On a more personal matter, both my daughters have been on stage several times at the Crucible in productions from June D Gill School of Dancing which they attended since they were both three years old. Some of the shows were Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and Sleeping Beauty. As a parent, I have been involved in helping backstage during the shows, making sure that the children had the right costumes on with matching headdresses and shoes and that they got ready on time for their next on-stage appearance. It was hectic but great fun. It’s amazing how much work goes on before a show arrives on stage with costumes, props, stage lighting, music and I always wonder how, with all the chaos backstage, everything comes together to produce a great show for the audience.
Cineworld, Broughton Lane
I have always been a movie lover and when I first came to Sheffield in the late 1980s there wasn’t a lot of choice so I was delighted when Centertainment was built with a multiplex housing 20 screening rooms. For a movie lover like me this was absolute heaven. I’ve seen some great movies and also some not so great. We can’t win them all! My favourite ones, in no particular order, are The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, Moulin Rouge, Inception and Amelie. I also especially enjoy watching good action movies on the big screen. There’s nothing like it.
Mediterranean, Sharrowvale Road
I love this restaurant. We usually go there for family occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries but also just for a special treat. The owners always make us feel welcome. It’s very cosy and informal. The service is great and the food is just superb and very good value. Whenever we go, we usually fill up on their delicious tapas which burst with Mediterranean flavours and remind me of home.
Forge Dam café, Fulwood
My husband and I enjoy going for walks usually on a Sunday morning. We walk down the Porter Valley from Fulwood Lane all the way back to Broomhill via Bingham Park and Endcliffe Park. Forge Dam café is a welcome break about half way through our walk. We have got used to having cappuccinos and bacon butties (my hubby only!) and reading the Sunday papers. When Forge Dam café closed for refurbishment for several weeks before Christmas, we certainly missed it! It’s nice to get out of the city every now and then and we are very lucky to have such beautiful countryside on our doorstep.
Fancie, Sharrowvale Road
Cupcake heaven! Naughty but so yummy. And now with their new healthy range, there is really no excuse not to indulge as much as possible! This is a family favourite, especially with the girls. The cupcakes are great as a gift or just to treat ourselves for absolutely no reason whatsoever other than ‘we deserve it!’
Sheffield railway station
I love what has been done with the train station. It took forever to get the restoration finished but it was well work the wait. It is now a mixture of old and new blending together harmoniously. The fountain just outside the main doors works really well and is quite an eye catcher for any new arrival in Sheffield. The train station is very special to me because that’s where we meet our eldest daughter, Sophia, when she comes home from university although it is also where we drop her off when she goes back. But such is life. On a more positive note, it’s also been the start of many exciting trips and holidays for the family!