Favourite Things: On the friendliest, and bluntest, people around

My favourite things -  Andy Flowers in his favourite place, Ecclesall Road in Sheffield.
My favourite things - Andy Flowers in his favourite place, Ecclesall Road in Sheffield.

A career in the leisure industry took Sheffielder Andy Flowers across the country working for major national hospitality companies and brands.

He is glad to be back in the city as General Manager of Halifax Hall Hotel and the about to launch Jonas Hotel, a new hybrid model offering short and flexible long stay accommodation, the first in the UK to be created by a university.

Both properties are owned and run by Unicus, the commercial subsidiary of the University of Sheffield.

The city was praised for its 'quirky' cafes such as Tamper.

The city was praised for its 'quirky' cafes such as Tamper.

Andy lives in Deepcar with his wife Gail, three children and his BFF, his English Springer Spaniel Barney.

On beautiful downtown bramall lane

I was born into a family of Wednesdayites, but at an early age I was taken to Bramall Lane and the rest, as they say, is history.

I was there when the first Premier League goal was scored but I’ve also endured the long trips to Wembley for heart-breaking play-off final defeats.

There have been more lows than highs, but that’s part of being a Blade.

The atmosphere at games is incredible and for me the fans at the Lane typify what being from Sheffield is all about.

On Ecclesall road

This is the one road in Sheffield that seemingly offers you everything.

As well as the vast and varied shopping opportunities, the food scene is great.

Be it a pint in the Nursery before the game, a quick lunch from any of the numerous local or national eateries, a burger with the kids in Uncle Sam’s or even dinner followed by a flutter in Napoleon’s, Eccy Road offers the lot.

The best thing is that it’s only five minutes from the hotel where I work in the Endcliffe Village Campus.

On Tamper’s sellers wheel

I love something different, a bit quirky - and Tamper ticks the box.

The décor is very industrial but complimented by handmade furniture which gives real authenticity to the project. On top of that, the food and coffee are amazing.

Tamper is fantastic for that lazy weekend morning with the paper, a brew and to watch life go by. I only wish I had more weekends like that.

On the people

Maybe I’m biased when I say we’re the friendliest people about, but we are.

Random strangers smile at you and say good morning. The terminology we use daily means the word ‘love’ becomes ingrained in our everyday vocabulary. And then there’s the fantastic Northern bluntness we’re all seemingly blessed with.

I’ve travelled extensively in my life and as friendly as some people say they are, you can always tell a Sheffielder in a crowd of people. Recently I was on a University of Sheffield study tour in Rhode Island and met an inhabitant who originated from Sheffield.

The rest of the room thought we were old friends, the way we greeted and chatted to each other.

On Endcliffe Campus

I am blessed to work on a campus based in one of the leafiest suburbs of the city.

Endcliffe Campus, while housing several thousand in its halls of residence, is seamlessly integrated into the neighbourhood of one of Sheffield’s loveliest areas. I arrive at work and see rabbits running on the lawn at Halifax Hall and listen to the ducks splashing in the pond.

All of this is only two minutes from the Botanical Gardens and five minutes from the hustle and bustle of Ecclesall Road.

On junior football

Sheffield offers one of the best provisions for junior football across the country and operates under a fantastic league system run by volunteers.

Both of my sons have played in the league and my youngest is just entering his under 12 season. I’ve completed my Level 1 FA teaching badge and have helped out a bit on the coaching side.

On Broomhead’s fish and chip shop

If this is not the best fish and chip shop in the country, then it’s in the top one.

The quality of the produce, and more importantly the quality of the chat and banter when you go in, makes it a fantastic chippy. It was the base for all football away-days in my youth. I can smell and taste them now.