New Project-21

10 things we can’t wait to do again in Sheffield

An ode to the Steel City and ten things that we’ll never EVER take for granted again. In no particular order, here’s a short snippet of the stuff we can’t wait to do once restrictions are lifted…  

Visit a traditional pub

If Sheffield does one thing well, it’s ‘proper’ old-school pubs – and for the love of Sean Bean have we missed them. What we’d do right now for a foaming pint of Guinness in the snug at Fagan’s, or an afternoon session in the Kennedy Room at The Grapes; to be popping a couple of tunes on the Rutland Arms jukebox, tucking into a pork pie and Pale Rider combo at The Fat Cat, sampling the latest offerings on cask at The Bath Hotel… *Sighs*

“Time for another? Ah, gu on then.”

demolish a pub lunch

The ol’ Sunday Yorkshire pud cravings have kicked in, so shall we head out to the Peaks for lunch with a view at Fox House? Or hit up the Broady and wash it down with a few choice ales – see if we can bag a booth for the afternoon? Can’t go far wrong with The Beer Engine or The Old House if you’re thinking more towards town. Either way, bring on the carbs and conversation and collective sense of post-roast contentment. Relax and take that belt down a notch. Don’t scrimp on the gravy, like.

“‘Ere, you done wi’ that relish or what?” Pic: Broadfield

See a gig at The Leadmill

Remember gigs? Loud, joyous, wonderful live music and a merry sense of communal abandon. They’ll be back, dear reader, along with Sheffield’s most iconic live venue, not to mention many other beloved gig spots dotted around the city (we’re talking about you Picture House Social, Washy, Delicious Clam, Yellow Arch, Foundry, Corporation, Sidney&Matilda et al). Hang in there. We need ya.

“Grab us a Red Stripe, will yer? Just go now while queue’s oreyt and I’ll keep yer place.”

Brew and a bake at Steam yard

Picture this: you’re tucked away in a corner of a picturesque little café in the heart of the city, you’ve got some interesting reading material on the go, or perhaps you’re just milking the ambient sounds of daily human hustle and bustle for all it’s worth. The Steam Yard coffee is hitting the spot as per, but centre-facing is the main event – a fresh kronut about the size of a baby’s head. Time to settle down and bon appetit, mon amis.

“Proper nice in ‘ere, innit?”

Visit an independent retailer

There’ll be a time soon when Saturday nights mean something other than your comfiest pair of joggers and Netflix. Imagine spending an afternoon browsing garms at city centre indies like Freshman’s, COW, Vulgar, Thrifty Store and Glass Onion to pull together an outfit for a *real-life* social occasion that doesn’t require a meeting ID. Honestly, it will happen. Afterwards you could swing by Bear Tree Records and Record Junkee for a flick through the latest vinyl releases or see what’s on offer from local artists and creatives at Bird’s Yard. Maybe a mooch down Abbeydale Road is more of a vibe, so after bagging a bargain at the Picture House flea market you can nip into Gravel Pit, have a natter with Danny and purchase a soul-nourishing post-lockdown plant to liven up your gaff. It’s warm in this prophetic vision, obviously, and as you leave you see groups of carefree people laughing and lounging outside the sun-kissed cafes and bars. Happy days.

“Absolute bargain, that.”

Peak District Walk (Pub Crawl)

“Why go on a fancy holiday when yer’ve got all this on yer doorstep?” generations of thrifty Sheff dads would oft cry on a family visit to Chatsworth. To be fair, it is quite lovely out there in God’s Own Country. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and there’s even more reason to take your old man’s sage advice and stick local when it comes to sightseeing. Top post-lockdown tip: combine a wholesome walk with some pub-based frivolity by strolling out to The Norfolk Arms in Ringinglow via Forge Dam, then nip over the old Roman Road to The Fox House (wrap up warm because it doesn’t half get blustery up there at times), before making a beeline for the bright lights of Hathersage to finish off. Once you’ve had your fill of the great outdoors, hop on a train back home for a welcome nightcap at The Sheffield Tap.

“Oh aye. Breathe it all in, it’s good for yer.”

Visit the Theatre

Even by their usually high standards, Sheffield Theatres were on one hell of a roll pre-pandemic. Innovative productions of Standing at Sky’s Edge, Coriolanus and Julius Caesar wowed sell-out crowds at The Crucible Theatre, while it was non-stop party time next door at the Lyceum with the award-winning Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Mamma Mia and Guys & Dolls taking centre-stage. Down in the cosy confines of The Studio the smaller-budget plays were packing a punch, and biting social commentary from the likes of Steel, Chicken Soup and What We Wished For showcased exciting work from up-and-coming northern writers Chris Bush, Ray Castleton and Kieran Knowles.

Thankfully, the largest theatre complex outside of London has managed to weather the storm and will be there to welcome us back once they can safely reopen their doors. Plenty of performance venues haven’t been so lucky, however, so make sure to check in on your local theatres too when restrictions are lifted.

“Tell you what, that final scene almost had me rooerin’.”


One day, in the hopefully not-too-distant future, this city will reunite once more for a blissful weekend of music, art and live performance. We’ll sing together, dance into the wee hours, eat and drink ’til our hearts are content, discover new music, visit new venues, argue with our pals about who to see next, forget to book the Monday off work, suffer hugely the following week as a consequence – but most of all, we’ll tell each other just how much we’ve missed making lifelong memories at Sheffield’s biggest party. No, *you’re* crying.

“Oof. What a weekend that were. Paying for it now, like.” Pic: Simon Butler

explore an exhibition

Ah, those lazy but insightful days strolling through the latest exhibitions at The Millennium Gallery. Remember it wasn’t too long ago we were ogling at some of Da Vinci’s drawings there? Just across the road Graves Gallery is always a fantastic spot for a bit of quiet reflection, a true oasis of history and culture. The refurbed Site Gallery will also be back with its brilliant on-site café Kollective Coffee & Kitchen, while up on Div Street Forum’s Artcade space look set to continue hosting installation pieces and artist showcases. Weston Park Museum, The National Videogame Museum, Kelham Island Museum, S1 Artspace – they’ll soon be back to provide us with a much-needed dose of culture.

“Says here from around 650BC, t’owd lass.”

Hit the Dancefloor

“I bet that you look good on the dancefloor,” opined a raspy-voiced Alex Turner back in the days when sweaty nightclubs and late bars with banging tunes and DJ sets were very much a thing. Truth be told, we’re a little bit rusty on the ol’ moves, Al, but we’ll certainly be having a bash once our favourite spots reopen. Late-night boogies in the Gatsby and Washy, cheesy emo-pop classics at Firepit Rocks, schitbombs and Mustang Sally at WSL, red hot salsa at Cubana (“mind me toes, love”), jigging to the Irish Rover circa 2am in Molly Malone’s, raving in one of the city’s underground nightspots, drunken bog selfies at Picture House Social – it may all seem like a distant dream at the moment, but the sexy little swines of Sheffield will be getting on their dancing shoes again. You can count on it.

Better start working on those shapes now, we reckon…

“What. A. Tune. Mate.”

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