Taste of the traditional in Wortley

Wortley Arms owner Andy Gabbitas
Wortley Arms owner Andy Gabbitas

From the moment we set foot into The Wortley Arms, it’s clear that its long history and deep Sheffield roots are embraced and celebrated

Originally built as a coach house in 1753, at a cost of 188 pounds and 66 shillings, the restaurant was refurbished and reopened by current owner Andy Gabbitas 11 years ago. Its original features – a wooden revolving door at the entrance, solid oaks beams, plus exquisite fireplace and panelling – remain to this day, and are the foundations of the historic decor.

Wortley Arms

Wortley Arms

“It took 18 months to renovate the building,” says the restaurant’s manager Jamie Ellis.

“Certain elements of the decor are actually listed, like the panelling and the fireplace, so they can’t be touched anyway, but luckily Andy really liked the concept, and really leaned into the local history. It works perfectly for our location.”

As we take our seats, the tables feature heavy Sheffield cutlery and its menu boasts a remarkably local footprint, with goods from Crawshaw’s Seven Hills, Meadow Meats, Moss Valley and Fox’s Potatoes, as well as organic vegetables from the Wortley Arms allotments, which can be seen from the window.

“Our wines comes from Mitchells at Meadowhead, and many of our beers and ales are from Bradford Brewery,” says Jamie.

Wortley Arms

Wortley Arms

“The owner and chef, Andy, does his best to use local suppliers and local produce, like our lamb on a Sunday which we get from a guy in the village, just five minutes away.

“Customers can enjoy themselves in our warm welcoming environment in front of our wood fire, whilst enjoying a locally brewed ale or some excellent fresh food, like our famous Wortley Pie.

“After being here for over ten years, Andy knows what works and what sells, and while we have some staples that remain on the menu all year long – like classic fish and chips, and the rustic scotch egg – he likes to experiment and mix things up a lot too. Our dishes obviously reflect the seasons, and we have a bit of a change around every month or two. It’s good to keep tweaking.

“The allotment at the top of our carpark originally started as a bit of a hobby, but it’s really grown and is quite large now. We get some fantastic produce from it which features throughout our dishes. It’s a really great addition for us.”

Wortley Arms

Wortley Arms

We’re delighted by the fantastic mix of the menu, with everything from black pudding scotch egg, and octopus, to belly pork, and beer-battered fish and chips.

So what is Jamie’s favourite thing on the menu?

“Probably the belly pork,” he says after some consideration.

“Though the lamb is also beautiful, and I really like the scallops too.

Wortley Arms

Wortley Arms

My husband I both choose to start with seared scallops, allotment courgette, peas and broad beans, and sorrel beurre blanc.

The presentation is exquisite and the scallops are melt-in-the-mouth good, packed with flavour from the surrounding greenery. A side of bread arrives hot from the oven, salty and with a crunchy crust and fluffy middle
For the main course, I opt for a 10 oz Seven Hills sirloin steak with chips, ranch salad and field mushrooms, while the husband chooses the 7 oz lamp rump, with courgette and halloumi fritters, sun dried tomato hummus and harissa sauce. Our four year old, after happily ploughing through most of the bread, is allowed to order off the menu - a tasty portion of sausage and mash.

We're impressed with the service; both of our smiling waitresses are attentive and informed, easily answering our questions about the menu.

“This is a family business in every way,” adds Jamie, who joined the business ten years ago, shortly after it opened.

“Andy is the main chef, and his wife is involved in the business too. The head chef’s daughter is also one of our waitresses, so we like to keep things in-house, and there really is that fantastic family vibe about the place. We like that a lot; we want people to come here and feel at home, and relaxed. Our staff know the importance of treating everyone as they would like to be treated themselves, and we think that really shows in the service.”

The main course arrives in good time, and both are generous portions and cooked to perfection.
The lamb flakes away and is tender, as is the sirloin. The courgette fritters are fresh and packed full of flavour, while the harissa and halloumi give a nod to the dish’s middle eastern inspiration.

My steak comes with delicious, fat, hand-cut chips, and the tasty mushroom gives a nice umami pop.

“We do get a lot of the same faces coming back week after week,” confirms Jamie with a nod.

“We have some terrific regulars, but we’re also lucky that we seem to get people travelling to us from right across Yorkshire.”

We resist dessert, and luckily a lovely handful of flapjack pieces with our coffee is a perfect sweet finish.

At £71.15, including two glasses of wines, a juice, tea, and coffee, we can’t wait to go back.

The Wortley Arms caters for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian needs