'Sheffielders are just as friendly as Geordies!' What a newcomer loves about our city

I came to Sheffield in July to start working for the Sheffield Telegraph, so have had less time than some to find my favourite things about this city.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 6:00 am
Sheffield Telegraph journalist Steven Ross at Sheffield Winter Gardens

Yet when it came writing this piece, I realised the difficulty would come not in producing my list of Sheffield favourites but in having to narrow it down to fit in 700 words.

I grew up in East Yorkshire and moved to Newcastle for university, and then on to Manchester briefly to pick up a Journalism qualification before finally finding a place to live in Broomhill. In the time since and thanks partly to my job which involves visiting a lot of local hot spots and hidden gems, I have found a few places across the city that I love.

Notty House

A favourite among Sheffield's students, the Nottingham House's pies are famous. Cooked fresh every day with a limited number of servings, indulge yourself and go for chips instead of mash alongside your choice of pastry filling.

Before moving here for work I had been to Sheffield exactly once about five years ago to visit a friend when he was studying at university. We went for a pie and pint and I remembered that it was an exceptional meal.

After moving in and meeting my flatmates we all went out for a meal at Nottingham House, our local, and I realised it was the same place I had eaten that lovely pie several years ago. Nottingham House had to make my favourite things list because in the three months I have lived here I’ve probably had about eight pies there, and whenever someone comes to visit it’s the first place I will recommend for a meal.

It’s an ideal place to eat because there’s no fuss, they only serve pies so you’re not going to spend much time worrying about what to order. Just pick your filling – steak and Guiness is a personal favourite – choose mash or chips, grab a bottle of Hendo’s and you’re all set.

Urban Green Spaces

It might be quite an obvious choice, and perhaps locals don’t notice how blessed they are to live in a city which is so green. But having spent one lockdown in Newcastle and another in Manchester, where green spaces could be counted on my thumbs, Sheffield makes such a refreshing change. Whether I’m reading a book in the Botanical Gardens on a Sunday afternoon or relaxing with a bottle of beer at Bolehills on an evening, it is just so good to have outdoor spaces within walking distance that are free to enjoy. I’ve been out for walks most weekends that I’ve been living in Sheffield – through High and Low Bradfield, down the Porter Valley and around Heeley too – and I doubt I’ve even scratched the surface of parks and woodlands to explore.

Next Chapter Books

There’s a few things I enjoy more than a good book and one of them is a good second hand book shop. Next Chapter Books sits just outside Endcliffe Park and has an fantastic range of rare and second hand books on offer. It’s not the biggest bookshop I’ve come across but it has a massive range of stock. There’s a bookcase full of old Folios for a fair price, many works on local history, special interest books and more common modern bestsellers. I find it a very calming activity to wander in, have a browse through the titles, enjoy the old book smell and walk out with a couple more books to add to my to-read pile. With it being in a prime location by the park, you can pick up a book and then find your way to Endcliffe Park Cafe, order a coffee and have a read in the sunshine.

Beer Central

This little bottle shop is tucked away in The Moor market. It is a favourite place to stock up on a few bottles of craft beer and cider after payday. The Moor is a nice place to do a bit of shopping anyway but Beer Central is what draws me there. The woman behind the til is always very friendly and happy to help with recommendations. That’s something else I love about Sheffield – everyone is so friendly, perhaps even more so than the Geordies. Beer Central stocks most of the Thornbridge beers as well as many from Abbeydale and Bradfield Breweries, and the ultra luxurious Dessert in a Can variety from Amundsen. The latter go for about £6.95, which is pretty steep even for craft, but they are truly gorgeous. Sheffield is a great place for beer and most good pubs, of which there are plenty, are well served by the brilliant local breweries. But you won’t find a range of great quality craft beer in one place that outshines this bottle shop.