A passion for antiques, ale and fine restaurants
Restaurant entrepreneur Michael Standerline has worked with some of the country's leading eateries and gastro pubs and has just relocated his head office to Omega Court in Sheffield. His grandfather ran Marshall Brothers of Thomas Street. They were one of the country's last surviving manufacturers of metalwork for coffins. Michael's University of Sheffield-educated father rose to become chief mining engineer for the National Coal Board which meant the family ended up living in South Wales for a long period. Michael trained as an accountant at Norfolk Park's Knowle House and qualified in 1977. He then moved into the jewellery trade before setting up his own accountancy firm in 1980. Early successes with key restaurant businesses that started using his firm led to many clients in the food and wine trade and this started his involvement with the restaurant trade. His Farley Pub and Restaurant Services has branches in Reading, Bath and South Wales, and Michael Standerline also co-owns Forbury's Restaurant and Wine Bar in Reading. He is married to Jenny and lives in Dore. He has twin daughters and six grandchildren.
Sheffield was recently named the country’s brewing capital and there’s no better representation of the city’s innovation in this field than this place. Sentinel Brewing opened only a few weeks ago and has transformed a former carpet warehouse in the heart of the city’s Cultural Industries Quarter. It offers artisan beers, stylish surroundings and top notch food from locally sourced suppliers. It ticks all the boxes for me.
There’s no doubt this place is a stand-out restaurant for Sheffield. The celebrated and award-winning Yorkshire eatery hit the headlines a few years ago following a visit from Gordon Ramsey. His involvement helped set the standard from that day forward – indeed his Tuesday pie and steak night still runs to this day and remains very popular. I am really looking forward to October when they start opening in the day for coffees and lunch.
Baileys of Sheffield
This company brings together two of my favourite things – a strong independent operator and jewellery. They’re producing bespoke pieces wholly manufactured and assembled in Sheffield. Using stainless steel, the jewellery is all assembled at Portland Works where the first stainless steel was produced in 1913. They celebrate the city’s heritage with a fantastic 21st century twist. Sheffield needs more companies like this.
I’m an avid collector of Charles Bourne porcelain – I’ve been doing it for the past 30 years. My plan is to write a book on it one day. You’ll often find me in Sheffield’s Antiques Quarter looking for any additions. Though I’m yet to discover a Charles Bourne rarity, I did stumble across a fascinating original drawing of a French frigate done by a British navel officer from the late 18th century – quite a bargain at just £5! There’s some great outlets and this is a key asset for the city.
I’ve been involved in Peak Rail since its inception. I had a few years away and now I’m back helping them with exciting plans for the future. It has massive tourist potential. It is run by a team of very passionate volunteers. It presently runs for four miles from Matlock to Rowsley South and operates a regular steam service and big events like its popular 1940s weekend.
a place for business
I think Sheffield offers more potential than almost any other city in the UK. I hear so many people say we play second fiddle to Leeds and Manchester – I don’t think they’re better at all. We’re at the centre of the country – we couldn’t be better placed.
My work in the jewellery trade always piqued my interest in Sheffield’s metal trade. One of the areas I’ve always found most innovative and fascinating is the discovery of Old Sheffield Plate. It was down to cutler Thomas Bolsover that came across it by chance in the 1740s when making buttons. He found he could solder thin sheets of silver on either side of a thick piece of copper. The end result was a sheet resembling silver that cost a fraction of the real thing. His discovery transformed the industry.
Whirlow Hall Farm
I’m a firm believer in restaurants using locally-sourced produce and in restaurant staff having the knowledge of where the food comes from. Whirlow Hall Farm can help on both fronts – they supply restaurants with produce and I recently sent some staff up there to find out how their pigs are reared!