Archive for the ‘Sheffield’ Category

Sheffield Cheese Masters

September 3, 2019

On my way to The Depot Eatery at Kelham Island I came across a cheese maker, Sheffield Cheese Masters.

I looked in, then headed to The Depot Bakery for late lunch and a coffee, with a promise I would be back.

When I looked in earlier they were preparing experimental blue cheeses. Now gone.

I raise the same issue of cleanliness that I had thought of in The Depot Eatery, how to keep clean in a warehouse? They have built a sealed unit within the warehouse.

The girl I talk to knows little about cheese. She apologises and explains she is new and has only been there a few weeks.

I recommend she reads Reinventing the Wheel, excellent book on all aspects of cheese.

She offers me a sample of their cheese. It reminds me of Cornish Brie. She tells me it is a Camembert style cheese.

Not made from unpasteurised milk. A big mistake if trying to produce quality cheese. But nevertheless an excellent cheese. Would be even better if made from unpasteurised milk.

The cheese has a sticker Gold Winner 2019 Great Yorkshire Show. Of what merit I do not know, but cannot be worse than the meaningless Great Taste Awards.

I ask of of the cows. She does no know, other than the farm local and claims the cows are grass fed.

Sheffield Cheese Masters the only cheese maker in Sheffield.

The Depot Eatery

September 3, 2019

The Depot Eatery in Kelham Island, a bus ride or tram ride away from Sheffield city centre.

No idea where catch a bus.

I eventually found the correct bus, long wait, 20 minutes for next bus, I wandered off to Winter Garden, only then to learn a different bus due.

I head back, catch No 7, I was earlier waiting for No 8 or 8A.

I asked bus driver, he tells me he does not know where he is going. He then tells me there is a diversion.

I follow the route on Google maps, alight at correct bus stop.

Kelham Island a desolate area. Red brick abandoned foundries and warehouses, but I see has potential if the buildings are renovated not demolished.

I find where I need to be, but first look in a cheese dairy, Sheffield Cheese Masters the only cheese maker in Sheffield.

I do not stop, head next door to The Depot Eatery.

Do they serve food food? Yes. Kitchen is now closed. I ask when does it close. Three. It is on the dot of three. This is Sheffield service.

Contrast with (from The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide):

Owner Jon’s Kiwi heritage shines through in the emphasis on quality food and drink, along with nothing-is-too-much-trouble friendly service.

That The Depot Eatery is featured in The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide is no surprise. It is little more than a scam masquerading as an independent guide to coffee shops, the coffee shops pay to be listed and write their own entries, hence the overblown bullshit.

I settle for a sandwich. Roast vegetables adulated with some vile tasting gloop. The bread was interesting.

I asked of the bread. I was told brioche bap. It was not.

Next door a bakery. But open warehouse, not ideal for a bakery, or food preparation, as impossible to keep clean.

Coffee is Ozone and Has Been. Ozone a big mistake.

Tamper (the same owner) used to use Ozone and Dark Woods coffee. Big mistake ditching Dark Woods and replacing with Has Bean. It should have been the other way around, ditch Ozone and replace with Has Bean.

I order a cappuccino. It is served with chocolate.

Why oh why does no one know how to serve a cappuccino? It is not served with chocolate.

Cappuccino ok, better than I expect for Ozone.

Something I have not seen before, Ozone produce what appears to be an annual magazine.

Not busy all the time I am there. But hardly surprising, middle of nowhere, and not somewhere would go out of the way for.

On walking in I was superficially reminded of The Barn. I say superficially, The Barn quality.

Vietnamese pop up kitchen Union St

September 3, 2019

From my experience to date no great fan of Vietnamese food, at least not that served in England and what I have tried in Berlin only marginally better.

Pho, a chain of fake Vietnamese street food restaurants, not only the food not good, bad service to match.

Mama’s Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin, the food to say the least not very good.

For September, no ShuJu Kitchen Taiwanese pop up kitchen at Union St, I decided to try the Vietnamese.

Union St was the reason for my visit to Sheffield, or at least Monday for the Vietnamese pop up kitchen.

Oh what a disappointment. I have never been impressed with Vietnamese food, but never this bad. Noodles and tofu, both were stone cold, not even lukewarm, stone cold as though served straight from a fridge.

Myself and a fellow customer complained. We were given our money back. There was then an offer to hot it up. Plate was hot, food not even lukewarm.

But even had it been hot, it would still have been a very poor offering.

What though was reasonable, was the potato and pork soup. Not listed, and I only had because I asked what it was. And then perversely they offered to pour it over the stone cold noodle and tofu. I stopped them, obtained a take away cup, a and drank it from the cup.

Union St need to replace these guys.

I like the idea of a pop up kitchen, to try different food, to give the chefs an opportunity, but Union St need to exercise quality control.

There is also a need on the board, to at the very least list a twitter account to enable their offerings to be checked out. And for those running the pop up, to list what they will have available, or if not there.

Cappuccino at South Street Kitchen

September 3, 2019

A detour to South Street Kitchen. Stunning view across Sheffield.

South Street Kitchen easy enough to find if know how.

Take the back way out of Sheffield Station, cross the tram lines, follow the path up the slope to South Park Flats, nestled at the foot of the flats, South Park Kitchen.

South Park Flats used to be a no-go area, now renovated or in the process of renovation, South Park Kitchen the jewel in the crown.

My cappuccino weak and insipid. Could be many reasons, poor extraction, low quality coffee.

A big mistake using Dark Woods for espresso. Their single origin coffees are usually excellent, espresso blend not. A Great Taste award sticker no guarantee of quality, indeed usually the exact opposite. No self-respecting roaster would wish to adorn their coffee with such a sticker.

Though I usually get an excellent cappuccino off Motore Coffee, who use Dark Woods, but a different espresso blend. And the last visit to South Street Kitchen the coffee was excellent.

Second time I have made a mistake visiting South Street Kitchen, though not sure if the mistake is the visit or not staying to eat the food as always looks great.

Diners I have spoken to have always been very complimentary of the food.

South Street Kitchen featured in Vegan North, a guide to vegan places to eat in the North.

Now Then issue 132 had an interesting article on Park Hill Flats in ‘Struggle For Space’ on urban resistance.

Afternoon in Sheffield

September 3, 2019

A cool Monday afternoon in Sheffield.

Train into Sheffield delayed several minutes as approaches station. No explanation.

A detour for cappuccino at South Street Kitchen. Stunning view across Sheffield.

South Street Kitchen easy enough to find if know how. Take the back way out of Sheffield Station, cross the tram lines, follow the path up the slope to South Park Flats, nestled at the foot of the flats, South Park Kitchen.

My cappuccino weak and insipid. Could be many reasons, poor extraction, low quality coffee.

A big mistake using Dark Woods for espresso. Their single origin coffees are usually excellent, espresso blend not. A Great Taste award sticker no guarantee of quality, indeed usually the exact opposite. No self-respecting roaster would wish to adorn their coffee with such a sticker.

Though I usually get an excellent cappuccino off Motore Coffee, who use Dark Woods. And on a previous visit to South Street Kitchen their coffee was excellent.

Second time I have made a mistake visiting South Street Kitchen, though not sure if the mistake the visit or not staying to eat the food as always looks great.

A detour to Sheffield BID to pick up copies of The Heart of Independent Sheffield a guide to indie businesses in the Devonshire Quarter, then through Winter Garden to Union Street.

Union St was the reason for my visit to Sheffield, or at least Monday, for the Vietnamese pop up kitchen.

Oh what a disappointment. I have never been impressed with Vietnamese food, but never this bad. Noodles and tofu, both were stone cold, not even lukewarm, stone cold as though served straight from a fridge. Myself and a fellow customer complained. We were given our money back. There was then an offer to hot it up. Plate was hot, food not even lukewarm. But even had it been hot, it would still have been a very poor offering.

Union St need to replace these guys.

I like the idea of a pop up kitchen, to try different food, to give the chefs an opportunity, but Union St need to exercise quality control.

Once again no Now Then. Should now be September issue out. I asked. I learnt not published in the summer. Yes, there should be copies. Something going very wrong with distribution. Last week, when I could not find the August edition, I asked of Now Then where to be found. They lacked the courtesy to reply.

It was then head to The Depot Eatery in Kelham Island, a bus ride or tram ride away.

No idea where catch a bus. I eventually found the correct bus, long wait, 20 minutes for next bus, I wander off then learn a different bus due. I head back, catch No 7, I was earlier waiting for No 8 or 8A. I ask bus driver, he tells me he does not know where he is going. He then tells me there is a diversion. I follow route on Google maps, alight at correct bus stop.

Kelham Island a desolate area. Red brick abandoned foundries and warehouses, but I see has potential if the buildings are renovated not demolished.

I find where I need to be, but first look in a cheese dairy, Sheffield Cheese Masters.

I do not stop, head next door to The Depot Eatery.

Do they serve food food? Yes. Kitchen is now closed. I ask when does it close. Three. It is on the dot of three. This is Sheffield service.

I settle for a sandwich. Roast vegetables adulated with some vile tasting gloop. The bread is interesting.

I ask of the bread. I am told brioche bap. It is not.

Next door a bakery. But open warehouse, not ideal for a bakery, or food preparation, as impossible to keep clean.

Coffee is Ozone and Has Been. Ozone a big mistake.

I order a cappuccino. It is served with chocolate.

Why oh why does no one know how to serve a cappuccino? It is not served with chocolate.

Cappuccino ok, better than I expect for Ozone.

Something I have not seen before, Ozone produce what appears to be an annual magazine.

Not busy all the time I am there. But hardly surprising, middle of nowhere, and not somewhere would go out of the way for.

I then look back in the cheese maker, Sheffield Cheese Masters.

Earlier they were preparing experimental blue cheeses.

I raise the same issue of cleanliness. They have built a sealed unit within the warehouse.

The girl I talk to knows little about cheese. She apologises and explains she is new and has only been there a few weeks.

She offers me a sample of their cheese. It reminds me of Cornish Brie. She tells me it is a Camembert style.

Not made from unpasteurised milk. A big mistake if trying to produce quality cheese.

I ask of the cows. She does no know, other than the farm local and claims the cows are grass fed.

I am given rough directions where to find a bus. She does not know of tram as is given a lift in.

I stand at the bus stop in a deserted road. I begin to wonder, diversion, but nothing at the bus stop to say.

A guy comes along. I ask. He says there is a bus now due, but sometimes wait 30 minutes for a bus to turn up. Once on the bus he advises me where to alight for the railway station

Whilst waiting for the bus, I voice my thoughts of The Depot Eatery empty, no one would trek out to. He says because of the businesses around, they do well at lunchtime.

I am at the station early, fifteen minutes before train due. I wander off, detour to Tamper Sellers Wheel. A coffee is tempting, but I will miss the train.

I make it in time for the train, only to find train is delayed. Luckily only by a few minutes.

When it pulls in, packed, many waiting on the platform to board.

Another overcrowded two coach Northern Fail.

A refurbished Northern Fail wifi and usb charging. Only wifi does not connect to anything.

I mention to the guard. He is surprised to learn the train has wifi, let alone knows how to reset it. He says they are not even able to adjust the air conditioning. If too hot, they have to open the windows.

Afternoon in Sheffield

August 28, 2019

Sunny and warm in the morning. As train sets off, dark clouds.

Sheffield, cool, wet and raining.

I stop of at Motore Cafe coffee kiosk for a chat. I shelter under the large brolly and have a cappuccino and a chat.

I notice I am standing in a stream flowing down the street. I drop my light jacket not on the wet street, that would be bad enough, oh no, I drop in the flowing stream.

Now have a soaking wet jacket.

I head off through the Winter Gardens via Millennial Galleries to Sheffield BID, as from there walking back through the Winter Gardens to Union Street.

Sheffield BID often has useful publications. I pick up a copy of The Heart of Independent Sheffield.

It is a pity they do not stock Now Then. Something they must address.

Very disappointed no Taiwanese pop up kitchen at Union Street as that was my only reason for visiting Sheffield on a cool wet Wednesday.

No Taiwanese for September. I will have to try one of the other days, different food, maybe Vietnamese Italian or American Soul Food.

Neither do hey have Now Then.

I decide even though out of my way to visit Upshot Espresso and have a coffee.

I look into Tamper Westfield Terrace on the way, but no time to stop.

Long walk to find a bus stop. Why?

I hop on the bus. I do no understand the bus driver. Not helped by a barrier between driver and passenger.

I ask a couple of passenger. What I want is a parade of shops past Sheffield University Student Union.

Roots a zero waste shop appears to have closed down.

No Now Then in Upshot Espresso they do not recall having received August edition. I find tenth anniversary edition April 2018.

Chat with barista, recommend a few excellent roasteries from where to source their guest coffees.

I catch a bus, get off too soon. Look in an Oxfom Bookshop. I learn why stock Faith in Nature shampoo. Sourced from Oxfam projects.

I walk past Tamper Westfield Terrace to Steam Yard. Excellent coffee shop, No time for a coffee, no Now Then.

I pick up The Essential Journal. I had also seen at Union Street. I am surprised either stock as pretentious crap.

Make station with seconds to spare. Train not sown on main departure board. I head to where I expect to find the train. In Luck.

ShuJu Kitchen

May 1, 2019

Taiwanese pop up kitchen Union St

I was heading to Union St, a co-working space, coffee shop and pop up kitchen. Each day Monday to Friday different food. On Wednesday Taiwanese food being swerved by ShuJu Kitchen.

So far I had not had much luck. My first two attempts, no food left. My third attempt they were not there.

Fourth time lucky, Taiwanese food was being swerved by ShuJu Kitchen and it looked popular as people queuing, and even better looked good.

I tried stir-fried chicken, and better still tasted good. Generous portion size.

My only criticism the rice was nearly cold and brown rice is healthier than white rice. Otherwise excellent and I can see why popular.

There was a choice of four options, and when I had finished, only two options left.

I thanked the two Taiwanese girls and said it had been worth making the effort to find them. I asked of street food. Not currently as they lack the mobility, and Lincoln would be too far.

I was thanked for my compliments on their food, and given a tiny little origami figure in appreciation of my kind comments. I remarked the last time I had been given an origami figure was when travelled by train from Bassano del Grappapa to Venice with Japanese friends. I then learnt, Taiwan heavily influenced by Japanese culture as had been occupied by Japan for many years.

Pop up kitchen at Union St on Wednesday lunchtime and house parties.

They have a good deal with the coffee guy, he supplies the coffee, he gets in return a dish.

I learn that the coffee kiosk Motore Cafe had run a pop up coffee stall for several months, I had actually learnt from the coffee stall, when they left, such was the popularity of their coffee, Union St was requested to supply the same quality coffee, hence support from Dark Woods.

Union St, co-working space, coffee shop, pop up kitchen Monday to Friday.

Designing cities for people not developers

April 10, 2019

What I have seen and spent what seems to be a lifetime fighting, is corrupt town halls pandering to greedy developers, fast bucks, palms greased, with result every town looks the same, the same corporate chains dominate the town centre, the same corporate chains find in every ghastly shopping centre.

This neither brings in visitors nor is popular with locals who see familiar landmarks destroyed, lose their sense of place, money is drained out of the local economy, then large chains close, go bust, expanded on debt, leaving behind desolation, as we have seen with BHS, House of Fraser, Debenhams and many other zombie companies kept afloat by their banks.

Corrupt town planners who have not a clue what constitutes good town centre planning or how local economies function love big development. Big development lots of money sloshing around, some of which finds its way into the wrong pockets.

A few examples illustrates failure of good town centre design and planning.

Sincil Street runs parallel to the High Street in Lincoln. A street of Victorian buildings, local indie businesses, or was. Up until a few years ago, Sincil Street between the hours of ten in the morning and four in the afternoon was busier than the High Street, the High Street the same corporate chains find anywhere and everywhere. Now Sincil Street is being destroyed, the local council acting in cahoots with the local coop, local businesses driven out, chains brought in, Victorian building destroyed.

Enter the picture Lincoln BIG and Visit Lincoln. Both are hyping the chains, it gets worse Visit Lincoln being paid to do so.

Many towns now have businesses development groups, accountable to no one, act for and controlled by big businesses, not one vote per business, based upon the size of local business tax.

Experience Guildford employs Town Rangers, no one knows what purpose they serve other than to deliver a glossy A4 newssheet to local businesses which goes straight in the bin. They also subsidise the town centre car parks at Christmas, the one time of the year when the car parks are full to overflowing.

Latest examples of Lincoln BIG, take selfies and post on instagram, install an app that has access to data on phone and if use default facebook log in access to facebook data and that of friends

Ask any local businesses what is killing them. High rents, high local business taxes. The local coop owns the properties hikes the rents, Lincoln BIG exacts a levy on top of the local business taxes. Local businesses see no benefits.

Visit Lincoln masquerades as a tourism body, acts as a quasi-PR agency, is paid to hype the corporate chains moving into and destroying the character of Sincil Street.

Fake-Left Guardian had an article describing the dire state of Sheffield. The local council responded with eight tweets, big development taking place, corporate chains listed, same chains find anywhere. The same Sheffield City Council that destroyed thousands if not tens of thousands of street trees, harassed and criminalised protesters.

Empty two-coach Northern Fail train Lincoln to Sheffield, hour and twenty minutes only starts to fill as nears Sheffield passing through small towns like Worksop, making the point, not worth visiting for corporate chains find anywhere.

One of the chains mentioned, 200 Degrees, a small coffee chain serving mediocre coffee, the same chain hyped by Visit Lincoln and Lincoln BIG.

Oh the irony, when Sheffield has a thriving coffee scene and 200 Degrees empty.

In Sheffield Union St, coffee shop, co-working space, pop up kitchen, community hub located in an occupied building, Now Then, an interesting magazine, supported by local community and local businesses, published by a not-for-profit.

Farnborough destroyed half its town centre for a superstore, an estate of social houses surrounded a grassy green destroyed for the car park. A 17th century inn destroyed for a drive-thru McDonald’s.

Wastegate, chain eateries and a superstore on the edge of Aldershot town centre, destroyed the town centre now boarded-up retail units and the chain eateries pulling out from Wastegate.

In the centre of Guildford Tunsgate Quarter, a sterile shopping centre, boarded-up units, same crap cooperate chains find in every ghastly shopping centre across the country, devoid of people. The only use, provides a handy short cut. One of the crap corporate chains Cosy Club, a fake 1930s bar, so fake a Monty Python parody of fake, Visit Guildford promoted on twitter over a dozen times.

Contrast with North Laine in Brighton, three long streets, similar Victorian street scene as Sincil Street in Lincoln, local indie businesses, butcher, baker cheesemonger, bookshops, music shops, coffee shops, restaurants, worker coops, not a chain in sight, always busy.

When all places look the same they become soul destroying, we lose our sense of place, alienation sets in.

We need to green our cities, protect our existing green spaces.

In Farnborough they are destroying the remaining green space for development, in Sheffield tens of thousands of street trees have been cut down.

City centres should be pedestrianised, delivery vehicles park on the periphery, deliver by hand cart and trolley.

Cities generate data, the data should be used as a common good. Citizens may consent to access to their data receiving benefits in return, the data randomised and made available to local businesses.

The city should support and encourage local businesses and local coops, encourage to network with each other

Citizens need to seize control of their local Town Halls, open to public participation, network with other citizen-controlled Town Halls. No more one party states.

There is not a conflict with locals and tourists. There is only conflict when lose businesses serving locals and replace with businesses selling overpriced tourist tat, when AirBnB moves in, rents are hiked, but that is a problem of over-tourism lack of regulation, rather than tourism per se.

At the time of the English Civil War, the Diggers asked the question: who owns the space? The space they were asking of was land, who owns the land?

They saw God created Man and Woman as equal, the land was owned by everyone and no one, it was a common wealth. 

The question is as pertinent today. Who owns the space, who owns the public parks, public space, the empty buildings, the data we generate?

Space is not static, something to be owned. It is dynamic, only has meaning if used, lived on, shared, enjoyed. Derelict buildings we must occupy, put to use on behalf of the community, fight the loss of community space.

South Street Kitchen

March 27, 2019

South Street Kitchen is easy enough to find if know where, a few minutes walk out the back of Sheffield Railway Station, follow the path up to South Park Flats, stunning views over the city.

The main entrance from Sheffield Station leads to the city centre. I wished to leave by the back entrance, was there a back entrance as I wished to be at the other side of the tracks?

I asked at the Information, I wished to get to the other side. They said no, only leads to trams, and signage only points to trams. They added, as if to say no one would wish to go there, leads to the estates.

When leaving by main entrance, can see flats across the valley.

I headed out to the trams, carefully crossed the tram lines, and walked up the slope towards the flats.  Luckily when I crossed the tracks, there was a sign pointing to South Street Kitchen.

South Street Kitchen is a hidden gem. Easy enough to find if know to follow the path up the slope, to find at the top nestled below the flats.

I was reminded of Puerto de la Cruz, always find a bar-cafe often more than one at the foot of a block of flats.

Very new, a little over a year old. Open, light and airy. Seeing the barista disappear, and wondering where, I followed, to find a flight of stairs, and a much larger area on the first floor.

Coffee excellent. Food looked good too, but no time to stay as I was heading back to the station, then to Union St for Taiwanese pop up kitchen.

Coffee sourced from Dark Woods, who appear to have something of a local monopoly in Sheffield. My only criticism, single origin old coffee and Dark Woods need to put roast date on their coffee, Best By is meaningless.

Occasional evening events.

South Street Kitchen is featured in The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide.

Now Then issue 132 had an article ‘Struggle For Space’ on urban resistance on Park Hill Flats.

Afternoon in Sheffield

March 27, 2019

Refurbished Northern Fail worse than before.

Empty two-coach Northern Fail train Lincoln to Sheffield makes the point, why travel from Lincoln to Sheffield for the same crap chains that can be found everywhere? A point lost on Sheffield City Council when responded to a criticism in fake-Left Guardian. Why hype Sheffield has 200 degrees a chain serving mediocre coffee at best when Sheffield has a vibrant coffee culture of independent speciality coffee shops serving excellent coffee. And why not mention Now Then, an excellent indie magazine. Train only starts to fill when nears Sheffield.

The main entrance from Sheffield Station leads to the city centre. I wished to leave by a back entrance, was there a back entrance, as I wished to be at the other side of the tracks?

I asked at the Information, I wished to get to the other side. They said no, only leads to trams, and signage only points to trams. They added, as if to say no one would wish to go there, leads to the estates.

When leaving by main entrance, can see flats across the valley.

I headed out to the trams, carefully crossed the tram lines, and walked up the slope towards the flats through South Street Park.

Luckily when I crossed the tracks, there was a sign pointing to South Street Kitchen.

South Street Kitchen is a hidden gem. Easy enough to find if know to follow the path and it is at the top below the flats.

I was reminded of Puerto de la Cruz, always find a bar-cafe often more than one at the foot of a block of flats.

Something I did not know until later that evening, the flats featured in an article in Now Then March 2019.

South Street Kitchen very new, a little over a year old. Open, light and airy. Seeing the barista disappear, I followed, to find a flight of stairs, and a much larger area on the first floor.

Coffee excellent. Food looked good too, but no time to stay as I was heading back to the station, then to Union St.

The coffee Dark Woods who appear to have something of a local monopoly in Sheffield. My only criticism, single origin old coffee and Dark Woods need to put roast date on their coffee, Best By is meaningless.

I wished to try the pop up kitchen, today Taiwanese, but to my annoyance too late, already packed up even though only lunch time.

Having a pop kitchen is a great idea, but they must get their act together.

I picked up copies of Now Then, a local freebie magazine, highly recommended. Not the usual glossy that goes straight in the bin. There is also an associated app.

— to be continued —-