No pubs on my Wednesday stop in Sheffield, which seems a bit of a national scandal. Just a long drive back from The (true) North with a veggie curry, a hot chocolate and an 1-0 win in the Cup.

Hefty journey

When you see it like that, it doesn’t seem very far to deepest Scotland. Only 7hrs 24.

To be fair, the motorways are holding up fairly well at the moment; I just wish there was an alternative to Starbucks (17 on the A1 alone) and McDonalds.

I had a couple of hours to admire Sheffield before heading off to Hillsborough. Mrs RM is contemplating retirement there now, rather than Preston or Stockport. Women are so decisive.

So I parked up at the Meadowhall Park & Ride and hopped on the tram, which is a good and original name for a beer festival that you’re free to use.

Weird weather

I popped in the Institute of Arts and the Graves Gallery.


and became the FIRST ever person to spot the goblin in the tree in the Botanic Garden.

Goblin not actually BRAPA

As the clouds cleared to acknowledge my arrival, the Town Hall shone.

The fountains where I got told off by sailing my water bottle down the flow

James is coping with the University Lecturer strike at the moment. Can he tell the difference ? you ask. Apparently yes.

My role as a parent is to supplement his meagre diet with occasional splurges like the Bombay Frankie from Chaat Cart in Kommune, Sheffield’s answer to Mackie Mayor.

Freash AND good for you. Except the chips

There’s a craft beer section in Kommune but I stuck to posh water from Mansfield, and we decided to walk the 2 miles out to Hillsborough to avoid coming into contact with ill people from Ranmoor and Stockport on the tram.

YELLOW tram line shown in blue

A few days before the Old Codgers trip to the home of craft brewing, it was good to see some targeted advertising.

Burton’s finest

I’d promised James pudding in the Spoons closest to Hillsborough but it was standing room only. So we took in the local views of broken flood defences and sunset over Malin Bridge, one of the bits of Sheff without much GBG action over the years.



James is one of the few people on earth who can keep up with my walking pace. Stafford Paul is the other one; James at least stops for cars.

So despite stretching our walk to 4 miles we arrived at Hillsborough with 40 minutes to kick-off and joined a queue for hot chocolate (hipsters).

You’re in Yorkshire now

Reader, we never made it. 5,000 City fans behind the goal, staffing seemingly planned for 50.

Handwritten menus, folk trying to borrow bottle openers, pies sold out at 7:30. James has seen football in some of our top stadia; the Etihad, the Emirates, Anfield, Walkers Stadium, Goodison, Rushden & Diamonds. He was shocked.

It’s so OLD

When they were younger the lads were indignant about having to stand at City away matches (US readers- home fans sit, away fans stand in front of their seats), but he’s all grown up now.

Here’s the match highlight. See if you can spot Peter Hook in the photo.

Parkas back in fashion, BeerMat

A well-placed smoke bomb after Aguero’s goal that South Yorkshire Police blissfully ignored. That’s how little the FA Cup matters these days. Unless we win it.


  1. “I just wish there was an alternative to Starbucks (17 on the A1 alone) and McDonalds”.
    Starbucks is the worst coffee I’ve ever had and I avoid it like the plague.
    Having never used them I can’t comment on McDonalds.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They seem knackered in Starbucks to be honest.

        At least they’ve completely replaced dreadful Little Chef.

        Come to think of it, when did you last see a Little Chef.


      2. When did I last see a Little Chef?

        I ate at one for breakfast, in around 2009, when staying at the adjoining Travelodge at Amesbury.

        Is it a pork sausage? No. Is it a beef sausage? No. Is it a chicken sausage? No.

        Ah…it’s a…catering sausage – for which there is no translation into most other languages, incidentally.

        On the other hand, the New Inn’s garden was quite pleasant, in Amesbury on a summer’s evening as I recall.


      3. Oh well, that proves it, no point in looking on websites.
        Maybe that’s where Martin goes wrong before finding pubs shut.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Starbucks house filter (aka Pike Place) is my favourite when it’s freshly brewed. Like real ale, lack of turnover is the problem, and they stop brewing it early.

      My favourite chain is the Welsh Coffee #1. I’m in the Gloucester one now. Very good.

      Also rate Cafe Nero highly for staff and cleanliness.

      But, Naples if you really like coffee.


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