Lyrical streets or a lunchtime pint
A few weeks ago a Guardian journalist got in touch and asked whether I would contribute to a feature about what someone should do with an hour to fill over lunchtime in different cities around Britain.
They were after ideas for what to do in the centre of Sheffield, so I asked a couple of friends and we came up with – and dismissed – several possibilities:
- the bear pit (too far out of town)
- one of the museums or the Peace gardens (too obvious)
- Paradise square (very nice but not enough to do)
- one of the parks (not very original)
- a coffee at Bragazzis or the Rude Shipyard (again, both a bit out of town)
- a walk past the Hendo’s factory for a sniff of the good stuff (highly recommended but all over far too quickly)
In the end I submitted the suggestion of a stroll around town to take in the poetry that can be found on various buildings. This is what appeared in Saturday’s paper:
Sheffield: lyrical streets
You don’t need your head buried in a book to appreciate poetry on a lunchtime wander through Sheffield. Visitors are welcomed with Andrew Motion’s What If? … on the side of Sheffield Hallam University’s Owen building (Howard Street). Emblazoned inside the Winter Garden (90 Surrey Street) is Roger McGough’s affectionate ode to a revitalised city. There are three pieces by Benjamin Zephaniah on the metal plates of Rockingham Street student residences. Slightly further away, in brushed steel on the side of the Forge building off Boston Street, are Jarvis Cocker’s musings on student life.
I also sent them another option, which was the (perhaps slightly less culturally stimulating) idea to go down to the Kelham Island Tavern for a pint:
Sheffield: a lunchtime pint in Kelham Island
The idea of a lunchtime pint after a morning’s work might seem unremarkable but when you’re drinking local ale in the sunny beer garden of CAMRA’s national pub of the year you know it will be special. Sheffield is home to several independent breweries that proudly keep the pubs all over the city well stocked with award-winning beer, and there is always a fine range to be found at the Kelham Island Tavern. Located in Sheffield’s part-industrial real ale heartland, this lively pub is worth the 15 minute walk from town for its wonderful beer garden, good food and most importantly, a changing selection of excellent beers and ciders. Just don’t forget to go back to work later.
What would you suggest as a good idea for a lunchtime activity? Did I miss something really obvious that would have been much better?