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Monday, 8 October 2012

A day out in Sheffield


Last Tuesday , my best friend Janette and I went oop north on the train from Nottingham to the city of Sheffield for a fun day out. For the most part the weather was good with bright sunshine showing off the modernised city at its best. Apart from a recent trip in the summer for the presentation of my NVQ award, I hadn’t been to Sheffield for years and back then it was a mass of building sites and towering cranes. This visit Sheffield presented itself as a very modern city especially around the city centre Hallam University. The new student year had just started and the Hallam University was bustling with students. Like Birmingham, there was also a fascinating mix of the new old architecture. I particularly liked the area called The Winter Garden.
 
 
 
‘Sheffield's impressive multi award-winning Winter Garden is one of the largest temperate glasshouses to be built in the UK during the last hundred years and has created a stunning green world with more than 2,500 plants from around the world. With direct access from Millennium Galleries and Millennium Square, the Winter Garden is the perfect oasis in the heart of England's fourth largest city.’

 
We had some loose plans about what we would do to entertain ourselves and they included having a ride on their tramway system, find a Café Rouge for lunch and visit a second hand bookshop in the outskirts.



 

The Supertram took us to the Meadowhall shopping centre, a screaming toddlers Hades if ever there was one. As soon as we tentatively approached the hellish shopping centre entrance we steeled ourselves and forged a high speed mutual decision to do an 'about turn' and head back for the safety of the tram. I didn’t know I could run so fast! The return tram journey back into town wasn’t unlike a tame roller coaster ride and the pure novelty of travelling through unfamiliar places made the trip an interesting one.  The canal area (seen from the tram) looked an interesting historic area to discover another time.
Some nutcase went and sat next to Janette.
Lunch was had at a modern Café Rouge venue near to Millennium Square with its dancing fountains and newly married couples photographing each other and Janette and I reminisced about the newly closed Nottingham branch. This spacious branch in Sheffield was in modern glass walled building with typical Café Rouge stylisation in the décor.  There weren’t many customers this particular lunchtime and the food whilst ok wasn’t anything to get excited about. En effect I was rather hoping for a Pouding de Yorkshire to go with my sausage n' mash. Mais non.
 
 

The high street delighted us with some chappies in chaps on horseback and a chance to pose by a green police box. Could this be a Yorkshire Tardis?



 

Janette loves to haunt second hand bookshops so after lunch we enquired about buses to take us to the ‘The Rude Shipyard Bookshop and Café’. After getting slightly misdirected to Abbeydale Road we finally found the venue, a grubby little bookshop with local regulars eating dubious looking food at wobbly small tables very close to the cruelly limited amount of tatty second hand books. We walked in, accidently woke up a few dozing regulars and once upstairs Janette got a multiple double D eyeful of ladies in a side room all breast feeding their babies. Once again we scurried for the relative safety of the outside world and shaking our damp heads in gross disappointment we caught a bus back into the city as it started to rain. Plus,  by eck as like, I think I can officially say that the two  bus drivers we encountered were the grumpiest in Yorkshire.
 



Time for relaxing over a cup of Yorkshire tea and hot chocolate in the reasonably priced, contemporary Millennium Gallery café, connected to the city art gallery. The rain continued to stream down the café windows as we drank our hot drinks and contemplated going back home to Nottingham on t’ train. On the journey home we both agreed that it had been an interesting and fun day out in a great city in South Yorkshire
 

We would certainly go back to Sheffield one day as there seemed lots to do and see and of course it is very accessible to Derbyshire.
 

3 comments:

Christopher Frost said...

Looks like you have a lot of fun wherever you go Phil, and having a lady friend to enjoy the experiences with just adds to it.

I can't think of a worse place to go either than the giant shopping mall. No wonder it's called Meadowhell!

Janette Jones said...

A most enjoyable day, Mr LowE! I'm off again the beginning of November so we will have to do another road trip somewhere!

Karen said...

I also agree with your description of Meadowhall. Horrid place - we had a very brief visit there in January, & will not return. Sheffield is a lovely city though, with lots to photograph. The theatre is good too.