Sheffield is on my “frequent visit” list.
It is not entirely a matter of choice. Apart from one occasion, I have always been there to watch my son play ice hockey. It is where British Universities ice hockey has its end of season tournament, and Sheffield Universities’ team has always been in his team’s pool for the league competition.
The city suffered badly during the Thatcher era, losing a lot of its heavy industry, although steel is an important part of the economy even now. Ice Sheffield is in the Don Valley so past and present steel industry is all around.
The city centre has been redeveloped to a significant degree, and lots of it looks great if you enjoy modern architecture. A lot of it remains quite grimy, however.
Although several hotels are available close to Ice Sheffield, I almost always stay in the city centre. I could mention one dreadful hotel experience there – the Holiday Inn – and one which was disappointing – the Hilton. I usually stay at the Novotel. It is modern and stylish and it does not have a function suite, so it is quiet. It is a short walk from the railway station, so it is convenient for me too.
Finding something good to eat in Sheffield has been a problem. I have tried several places, and usually end up disappointed to some degree. A few times I enjoyed good food at Café Rouge, but it is gone now, replaced by another chain restaurant – which is what the city centre seems to attract.
On my last visit I found a great wee coffee shop close to the Novotel – HowSt in Howard Street.
I also tried a Malaysian place – Noodle Doodle – for a dinner. It was a mixed experience and I am in no rush to go back.
The end result is mixed feelings about the city. I have some good memories of the place, and some dreadful ones.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2019