Rafters: Paying tribute to a Sheffield dining institution

Rafters is a Steel City icon. Guided by the Bosworth brothers, it burst onto the restaurant scene in the 90s, and has long since been the go-to venue for that special occasion.  

Good friends Tom and Al bought the restaurant back in 2013 from Marcus Lane, who had previously built up the Rafters name for 10 years. After starting out in the industry when they were just 16, the pair were eager to run a business for themselves, committed to bringing the finest European and British cuisine to Sheffield’s hungry locals.

Rafters co-owners Alistair Myers and Tom Lawson. Today the restaurant holds 2 AA Rosettes and listings in the Michelin Guide, Waitrose Good Food Guide and Harden’s Guide.

The restaurant focuses on the complete package: food, service and drink. For Tom and Al, a good meal is simply not enough; it requires excellent service and quality drinks as an accompaniment, and their goal is to consistently deliver the best of the best. The kitchen brings a range of seasonal surprises, changing up their dazzling six-course menu in line with the times to add an element of curiosity every time customers return. In recent years, the restaurant has been given a makeover, with new solid oak tables made in the area and adorned with Sheffield Cutlery from Carrs, fusing the Steel City with the art of fine dining.

“A good meal is simply not enough,” say the Rafters team.

Rafters loves to work with local suppliers and during lockdown a collaboration with Sheffield favourites Locksley Distilling and Bullion Chocolate led to the creation of their newest signature cocktail: The Bullion Chocolate Orange Martini. The key ingredient is a chocolate liqueur, served both in the restaurant and Rafters Neighbourhood Bar. Looking for a boozy treat at the end of a busy day? Here’s a quick and easy guide on how you can make your own!


50ml Bullion Chocolate Liqueur
25ml Cointreau
12.5ml Dolin Dry Vermouth
1 orange slice
Cocoa powder

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktails shaker over ice and stir for 1 minute.
Rim a glass with orange, then dip into the cocoa power.
Strain the cocktail into the glass and serve.

Read about more of Sheffield’s finest independent businesses in ‘The Little Book of Sheffield’, available to purchase online here.

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