"The indie vibe Sheffield’s always had is kind of personified in edgy Abbeydale Road"
Marc Riley was born and raised in Sheffield. Originally from Mosborough he moved to Ecclesall and did most of his growing up there before moving away for university, living in a few places in England and then travelling the world before settling back here 13 years later.Coming back was the best decision he ever made! He now lives in Woodseats and loves it.
Marc is one half of a small, Sheffield based award-winning tea company called Batch Tea Company that likes to do things differently. As well as selling a range of quality loose teas, they also have their own mobile Tea Bar service, serving up delicious tea-infused spirits and cocktails, and are even currently crowdfunding for a new recipe book featuring some of your favourite independent businesses from Sheffield and across the UK!
Donate, or find out more about the Crowdfunder, here
Marc tells us his favourite things about Sheffield.
After moving away to university in 1999, despite always telling everyone how great Sheffield is and how it has the best folk in the world, I didn’t know if I’d come back to live permanently.
But, as my thirties beckoned the lure of our beautiful city and the stunning surroundings brought me back from my marketing job in London, and it was the best thing I ever did (marriage and children aside, obviously!).
My favourite place in Sheffield has to be Bradfield. I spent the Saturdays that Wednesday weren’t playing up there playing tennis at Low Bradfield and it always stuck in my heart. A sunny afternoon watching a cricket match with an ice cream, surrounded by beautiful countryside is about as good as it gets. There’s a real feeling of days gone by there and it’s always a lovely family day out.
Then at the top of the hill you’ve got the beautiful High Bradfield and the Old Horns Pub – the best views of any pub in the world! Good homecooked food and the freshest Bradfield beer from the brewery about 100 yards away.
And there’s so many walks you can do from there, up on to the moors or through the woods down to the reservoirs.
Continuing the countryside theme, Burbage Bridge has always been really special for me. We always take visitors either out here or to Castleton and they’re always astounded that this incredible place is so close to what they always think of as a dirty, industrial northern city.
Walking the path underneath Burbage Edge to Fox House, up the track to Higger Tor or over the top to Stanage there’s beautiful scenery everywhere.
It’s always fun taking a picnic and trying to find somewhere sheltered to eat it as it can get a but windy up there!
I love the vibe down Abbeydale Road. Growing up my best mate lived at Nether Edge so we were often down that way catching a bus to town or at the Broadfield.
It wasn’t much to write home about in those days and I just love seeing how it’s become such a vibrant part of the city with bars like Barrow Boy, Gin Bar and little places like Pop Up Sarni at Broadfield corner. Then further down you’ve got great places like Forge Bakehouse, Turners Bottle Shop and Bragazzis.
The indie vibe Sheffield’s always had is kind of personified in this little stretch and it gets better every time I’m down there.
I love Sharrowvale Road too - another place I spent a lot of my teens - with the independents down there, but Abbeydale Road is just a bit more edgy.
Proper Chinese food
After travelling in China I fell completely in with love with the spicy, fragrant food of Southern China and I’ve not found better Chinese food anywhere outside of China since. When we were deciding whether to move back up to Sheffield from London I went to Mandar-Inn (now just Noodle Inn) and it decided it for me. We moved back about a month later.
Since then, loads of places have opened up too, like Yep Yep Hot Pot, Wa Ding at West One and so many others! Having so many Chinese students in the city means there’s such great, authentic Chinese food and it’s been amazing.
We get around
I just love how, no matter where you are in the world, you’ll always bump into someone from Sheffield and you’ve got an instant bond.
I lived in the States at uni for a year and I bumped into a lad from school there on my first day! And no matter where I’ve travelled, whether it’s on holiday in Europe or backpacking round Asia and Australia, I’d turn a corner and see a lad with a Wednesday shirt on or just hear one half of a conversation in front of me in an unmistakable Sheff accent. And they’re always chuffed to chat and usually give you a hug even if you’ve never met them before.