"Nether Edge attracts all kinds of different people"
Having lived in Sheffield for most of her life, Tess Bocking loves all things Steel City, and can often be found out exploring the various urban and green spaces around her home.
She’s lived in Walkley, Greystones, Ecclesall, Kelham Island, Abbeydale, Woodhouse, Sharrow, and has recently bought her first home on the very edge of Nether Edge. Working in marketing, she is a copywriter and creative, and writes about her home city on her blog and Instagram site @TheSheffieldBlog where she delves into a multitude of Sheffield-related stories, including her favourite places to eat and drink, the best places for a walk, and anecdotes relating to the communities she finds herself in; dog ownership, home renovation, running, foster families, and females, to name a few.
Fiercely proud of her Sheffield heritage, Tess is keen to share all the wonderful things our vibrant city has to offer.
When Cafe #9 first opened, it claimed to be the first coffee bar in Sheffield, welcoming celebrities and average Joes alike. Today, Cafe #9 is certainly not the only coffee bar in our Steel City, and as for celebrities and average Joes? I believe there’s no difference as you enter through the leaf strewn doorway of this neighbourhood beacon. It is in fact the fame and friendliness of each of the coffee-drinkers that keeps attracting me back to Cafe #9 like a magnet. On one of my first visits, I observed a man enjoying a coffee and a cigarette. Shortly after I arrived, he began talking to a passing gent, who, minutes later, was chewing on a biscuit and sipping on a latte by his friend. A couple finishing off their walk, a shopkeeper strolling by and even the barista himself all joined in for a quick chat in the time I spent there, making it completely apparent that the community cafe lives on, despite there being plenty more competition these days. In normal times, stepping through the double doors of this humble haunt means being greeted by books, crosswords, and games. It’s comforting to know that you’re not supposed to hurry back out (usually). Enjoy your coffee, meet a friend, play chess, catch up on your emails, finish that chapter, and maybe even have a second coffee. Cafe #9 is about three things; coffee, community and comfort, and I can’t think of anything else you could ever want from your local coffee bar.
Country in the city
I am the proud owner of a very big, VERY excitable Hungarian Vizsla, and so finding great places to walk is always a win. A couple of years ago, I challenged myself to the Round Sheffield Run, which manages to showcase many of the green spaces at our disposal, all whilst making a half marathon actually rather enjoyable. Now, I’m thrilled to find myself living directly on the route, which means we have very easy access to Meersbrook Park, Brincliffe Edge Woods, and Chelsea Park, all of which provide grass, sticks, smells, friendly humans, and even friendlier dogs. A short drive, or a slightly longer walk and we’re at Ecclesall Woods or Millhouses Park, both of which are full of interesting paths, space to run, and lots of exciting things to sniff and chase (for the dog, mostly).
Culture and community
Nether Edge offers up some charming shops, excellent coffee, and beautiful homes to have a nosy at (we all do, don’t we?). Abbeydale is the home of cosy pubs, ‘Instagrammable’ bars, and amazing food. Sharrow is the epitome of neighbourhood camaraderie with it’s down to earth vibe and friendly faces. I feel lucky enough to live on the edge of all three. As we head out of the door to walk the dog, the neighbourhood kids indulge their fascination with our four-legged creature, before going back to their game with the kids over the road. Brothers have lived next door to each other for twenty years. People nip to the bin or next door in their dressing gowns. Others head to work in their suits and blazers. Next door might bring round something delicious they had spares of for tea. Other times a new takeaway is on the cards, and hopefully, some time soon, even a fancy cocktail. This area attracts all kinds of different people, from all walks of life, and I absolutely love it. This diversity is what our city is all about, and I think we should all be rather proud of it.