Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Wanders of Sheffield

I do like a good wander. And when I say wander, I mean somat urban. See, I do my wandering alone which means that I need to feel safe AND I need some entertainment along the way. And although a pub is generally a welcome form of entertainment, cafes, delis, butchers, bakers, fishmongers and grocers work nicely too. 

My wanders have allowed me to explore different areas of Sheffield - living in town, it's good to get out and about a bit, and it means that I'm central to a lot of good wandering places. As I've said, I like to do my wandering alone - it means that I'm more inclined to stop and chat to the people I meet on the way, that I can spend as much time as I like drooling at the display of meats in a butcher's window and if I suddenly find that I'm now longer in a wandering mood, I can just admit defeat to myself and get the bus home.

Previous wanders have seen me walking the length of Abbeydale and London Road, around Crookes and Walkely and around Eccy Road and Sharrowvale Road.

In fact, just last week I took a wander down London Road. I love this little strip of town - it's home to many of my favourite restaurants - but the Turkish and Polish supermarkets make it great for a wander too. Baklava, olives, spices, smoked meats and strange looking cheeses can keep me amused for hours and Ozmen is my absolute favourite for a good nosey.

It was lunch time when I last visited so I took a little detour off the main strip and headed for South View Road. Since eating at The Three Bears Kitchen with a friend a while back, I'd been dying to return. It's a daytime cafe and only opens Mon-Fri so a bit of planning is required if you do want to go. Situated in the Old Junior School, it's incredibly informal, but the food is really good (and very reasonably priced). Go for a salad, or one of their specials.

Gnocchi with pork ragu at Three Bears Kitchen - £6
Back onto London Road and I carried on down Abbeydale Road where my attention switched from food to retro/vintage/second hand furniture shops - I had to stop myself from looking as we're about to move house and I'll be shopping for furniture once I'm in my new house, not beforehand. 

Having said that I did pass quite a few Asian supermarkets (great for big packs of spices which are good value if you cook a lot), Forge Bakehouse and, new to the scene, Mr Pickles' Yorkshire Food Emporium. I popped in to meet Mr Pickles and I was impressed by the size of the store - having only been open for a week or so, there's a butcher's counter and a grocery section as well as a load of dried goods and drinks. Essentially Mr Pickles' will soon become your local supermarket (they will shortly have a supply of Sheffield's own gin too!).

Porter Brook Deli - Thanks Nibbly Pig for the pic!
I then turned back and headed back towards town, but as I reached Waitrose, I realised I hadn't quite had enough and I strolled down Eccy Road. With Fancie, Cocoa and Pollards, there's plenty for the foodie here, but Sharrowvale Road is also delicious with Sharrow Marrow grocers (and cafe), Roney's butchers, Mann's fishmongers, Seven Hills Bakery and Porter Brook Deli amongst others. After a swift pint of shandy in the Lescar (I was thirsty) I resisted getting the bus and walked home... which was when I realised how much my feet hurt!

However, I now have the wandering bug and yesterday I decided it was time that I explored Oakbrook Road. Wanting to fit in a trip to the Botanical Gardens, I strolled up Glossop Road, onto Clarkehouse Road where I cut through the gardens onto Eccy Road. Having not been in this part of the world for quite a while, I was taken aback by the beauty of the flowers and plants, along with the incredibly calm feel to the place.

Botanical Gardens
Onto Eccy Road however, and I was soon in Endcliffe Park which, packed with kids and dogs, was the complete opposite of calm. Heading out the other end, I was at Oakbrook Road and I soon hit my first destination - La Coppola Deli.

I sat outside and enjoyed a salad of cheese and meats, an espresso and a can of Sanpellegrino - blood orange. It's a wonderful spot and I'll be returning with Gav at some point - especially as they sell the perfect ingredients for a carbonara (guanciale, spaghetti and Italian eggs). Sitting outside, it did remind me a little of holidays in Rome - although the addition of some graffiti and cheap wine available by the tumbler would really make it for me!

Continuing with my stroll I soon passed Oakbrook Tea House and reminded myself that I needed to try it one day (one of the downsides of wandering alone - had I taken Gav he would've had room for a piece of cake). My next destination was Oakbrook deli where I picked up some rather delicious green olives to have with our tea later and then to Nethergreens where I also bought a few bits.

I then trekked up Hangingwater Road (which is when I started dreaming of having the money to live on this side of town), to Fulwood Road. I somehow resisted the temptation of a glass of wine at West 10 and strolled into Broomhill where a nosey round Oxfam, a drooling at Remo's menu and an apple from Fruit-a-Peel gave me enough sustenance for my walk back to town via Glossop Road.


Future plans for wanders include Nether Edge (another excuse to visit London Road/Abbeydale Road), Chesterfield Road and Woodseats (I used to live up there and haven't been back for years), Hillsborough (I'm about to move up there) and Kelham Island (I'm hoping to nail this one today).

Is there anywhere I've missed? Where do you like to go for a wander? 

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