Another day, another chance for me to embarrass my son by taking endless photos of Universities. We’re coming to an end of a week driving him round Open Days and Campus Tours. All very exciting, but I’ll spare you Guildford.
Sheffield was a late addition, hence a second trip to Meadowhall in a week. Can’t complain, it’s a lovely autumnal city, particularly around Weston Park.
After a week of perfectly polite universities like Loughborough (no handpumps spotted) and Guildford, Sheffield comes as quite a culture shock.
The Students Union gives you a choice of four filter coffees, “Shabby chick pea” sandwiches, White Stripes on repeat, and “Boris the Musical” as the entertainment.
The guided tour round the campus is a bargain (it’s free), taking in some of the best modern architecture in the city, Henderson Relish factory, the National Fairground Library, an elevator that never stops (comments on YouTube are good), and a unique collection of Jarvis lookalikes.
At times it’s easy to forget that it won’t be you borrowing £50,000 to finance three years of relentless fun in a place like this. I wasn’t the only Dad who asked more questions than was strictly necessary.
Mirroring Leeds, the two bars in the Union both had more handpumps than in the whole of my village, so perhaps py is right after all. Disgracefully, no-one drinking at all at 2pm.
Our tour guide had given us an excellent history of the University, but fell a little short when I asked about the current guest beer range in their own pub. So we had to investigate that one ourselves.
I remembered the University Arms as an early Thornbridge showcase when it opened, but now it’s an exemplary showcase for eight excellent locals brewers served at perfect temperature with a Yorkshire head. And clearly a showcase for happy staff too. That bar with its green tiling is a typical Sheffield gem.
It’s smaller than I remember, and the bulk of visitors seemed to be fellow parents. Very much a pub, and on my last visit it was heaving at 7pm.
Mrs RM had the Thornbridge (excellent, NBSS 4), and a hoppier but weaker Acorn (NBSS 3.5), and then suddenly wanted to go shopping at Meadowhall. That’s not the consequence of good beer I was looking for.
The University Arms isn’t the key factor in my son’s decision, of course. But cheap season tickets for City AND top beer would be near the top of my criterion.
QUIZ TIME – WHERE WOULD YOU GO TO STUDY ?