CoffeeBeer >> Pint Pleasures >> Previous Beer Columns >> 2 Pubs in Broomhill, Sheffield


Previous Pint Pleasures - July 14, 2003

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The Place, Nile Street, Broomhill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

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Nottingham House, 164 Whitham Road, Broomhill, Sheffield

In a university city like Sheffield you expect to find pubs throbbing with students consuming mass quantities of cheap food and neon-coloured drinks. Although most pubs in Sheffield cater to both the student and the nonstudent populations, there are a few that immediately scream out STUDENT PUB as soon as you walk through the door. The Place in Broomhill is one of these. The modern brick building houses a large polished-wood space furnished with those sofas that students always seem to like. The atmosphere is trendy, bright, and uncosy, even with the sofas. Although some students have described it as "living-room-like", it reminds me of the vast couch-filled rooms of my alma mater's student union building. Ah, yes, I composed many term papers and took many naps in those rooms...

The first time we visited the Place there were 5 cask ales available. Our pints of Castle Eden Ale (4.2% ABV, Castle Eden Brewery, Hartlepool, Durham) were pleasantly velveteen, which helped to offset the garish purple and blue pool tables. On our next visit the Castle Eden wasn't nearly as good, and those tight and nasty pockets on the pool tables seemed even tighter and nastier. Ah, well, I have to give the Place credit for offering cask ales to a predominantly student crowd.

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If you prefer a more mixed clientele, head across Fulwood Road to the Nottingham House. This more traditional pub led a former life as the Fitzooth and Firkin, part of the student-popular Firkin pub chain, only recently returning to its original identity as the Nottingham House. This is a large, open, very basic pub with wood floors and an inviting bar with 9 hand pumps. When we visited we had pints of Madonna's favourite, Landlord (4.3% ABV, Timothy Taylor & Co. Ltd., Keighley, West Yorkshire). On a frustrating day when bad news seemed to be arriving in numbers, especially sixes, this was a very very nice drop which helped to rinse all those nasty 666s right out of our mouths.

When we visited the Nottingham House we were surprised to see friends who usually go pubbing in Walkley and Crookes. Apparently the pub draws people from all over, including our very own neighbourhood Background Man. You know the sort from pub scenes on TV: the rather ordinary-looking cast member who stands at the end of the bar and laughs at other people's jokes but never actually says anything audible. There he was, in the middle of the bar, doing an Oscar-winning performance of looking like he was talking to other background cast members. Yes, there seemed to be a number of background players in the pub. Is the Background Players Union Local located nearby?

If you drive to the Nottingham House I have one important word of advice: don't drive up the street on the right side of the pub if you're looking for a parking space. Erroneously called Parker's Lane, a more appropriate name would be Cat's Tongue Lane, because if you drive up it you'll end up like a mouse on a cat's tongue. It's a very narrow dead-end with no opportunities for turning around. And I would hate to see you disappear down a cat's gullet when all you wanted was a nice pint.

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