Festival of the Mind

15-25 September

After the successes of 2012 and 2014, this month sees the return of Festival of the Mind, one of Sheffield’s most celebrated festivals, to venues across the city.

Taking the newest and most innovative research conducted by the University of Sheffield and blending it with the creativity of local artists and makers, Festival of the Mind provides a unique way for the public to be enlightened with the most engaging and thought-provoking ideas of Sheffield’s greatest academics and thinkers.

The 11-day festival tackles academic subjects ranging from engineering and science to music and health through films, talks, workshops, exhibitions and performances. With the activities themed around Making, Journeys, Virtual, Local & Global, Activism and Utopia/Placemaking, there will be something for everyone.

With such intriguing activities and subject areas on offer, the venues which hold them must match this greatness. From the Spiegeltent on Barker's Pool and the Millennium Gallery to Bank Street Arts and various pop-up venues, the festival will span a large portion of the city centre.

There is a lot to be excited about this year, with projects like Futurecade exploring virtual reality, technology and the future; a Yorkshire Health Study exploring Sheffield’s lifestyle habits; Lost Voices bringing a performance which combines slam poetry, acrobatics and dance, and much more.

This celebration of ideas, culture and creativity is free and open to everyone, so take a look at the programme and get stuck in.

Off The Shelf Festival of Words

September - November

Sheffield isn't short of good festivals, but this year local stalwart Off The Shelf celebrates its 25th anniversary.  This is a gigantic achievement for such a small team. Since starting to collaborate with this celebration of the spoken and written word in 2010, we have been continually bowled over by the calibre of events they host.

It's a pleasure to be working with Off The Shelf again by linking the autumn season of Opus & Now Then's Festival of Debate with the OTS programme. We don't have space to list all crossover events, but in particular we encourage you to come along to talks from journalist and filmmaker John Pilger (Thu 27 Oct, Crucible) and writer Melissa Benn (Fri 14 Oct, Diamond LT3). Word Life, the spoken word arm of Opus, will again host the Off The Shelf Slam Party (Fri 28 Oct, Theatre Delicatessen), and has also commissioned local singer-songwriter Nat Johnson to write two songs about the Brontë sisters on behalf of OTS, which will be set to short films which will be projected onto the frontage of Upper Chapel (Fri 14 Oct, 45 Surrey St).

There's so much more in the OTS brochure, so pick up a copy around town or get on the interwebs, where you can find more info and book tickets.

Street Food Chef

90 Arundel St,
98 Pinstone Street & 343 Glossop Road

Serving up our favourite Mexican dishes, from mouth-watering burritos to scrumptious nachos, Street Food Chef is easily one of our favourite food spots in Sheffield.

Only coming into our lives in 2011, it has quickly become our go-to spot for its tasty beef brisket burritos and its chicken mole tacos. With four canteens and bars now stationed around the city, Street Food Chef has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Starting up as a catering service in a van, it has become a huge success thanks to its fine cuisine, which is like no other in Sheffield. Along with its authentic Mexican beers and sodas, it’s no wonder this place is rammed all the time.

Established as a fast food place with a healthy twist, Street Food Chef's dishes are locally sourced and freshly made, packing a punch and a delicious fusion of flavours. Open from 10am to 10pm, you can enjoy its much-loved burritos for breakfast, lunch or dinner, making it great as an early-morning hangover cure or post-work indulgence.

The Sheffield Candle Company


Bringing a warm glow to the folk of Sheffield and beyond, The Sheffield Candle Company dwells in a 200-year-old cottage on a hill. Established in 2015, they lovingly pour each creamy, scented candle by hand and all of their candles are made from natural, readily renewable and biodegradable soy wax, which isn’t tested on animals and contains no animal or genetically modified ingredients.

With delightfully nose-pleasing scents, from Sheffield Spice to Bakewell Tart, Vanilla Toffee to Fresh Ont’ Line, their candles are the best we’ve had the pleasure of lighting. They’ve also recently launched a brand new range of glass tumbler candles and September sees the arrival of their essential oil home scent sprays, massage and bath oils. Lovely stuff.

You can find their stalls regularly at the Nether Edge and Sharrow Vale markets, and they’ll also be popping up at the Chatsworth Country Fair from 2-4 September and at the Sheffield Christmas Market from 25 November.

Brocco On The Park

92 Brocco Bank

As one of Sheffield’s only independent hotels, Brocco on the Park offers a comfortable home away from home with a splash of class. Beautiful bird-themed rooms and clean and comfortable decorated interiors are complemented by a restaurant offering food that’ll leave you watering at the mouth.

Brocco isn’t just for those who are travelling from far and wide. It's also a treat for the surrounding community. With supper clubs, artistic classes and jewellery making on offer from September onwards, it’s cementing itself as the place to go for unique eats and social meets.

Until the end of September, it’ll be the place to relax on a Sunday with a glass of fizz and some relaxed jazz, and as Christmas inevitably draws closer they'll break the norm of afternoon tea by adding a festive flare.

Whether you’re flying far from your nest or fancying swanning down for a laid-back Sunday evening, you should definitely add Brocco to your list.

Martha and Hepsie


Martha and Hepsie place beautifully illustrated, nature-inspired designs on everyday household items. From lampshades to cushions, note cards to Christmas sprout gift tape, everything bursts with colour and character. Brightly-coloured animals cover their products and bring a splash of vibrancy to even the darkest nook or cranny.

Beginning the company in a makeshift fashion – the sisters originally made designs in any spare time they had outside of working hours – they finally took the plunge to work on the company full-time in 2014. Designing everything in her studio, Martha works from Sheffield, while Hepsie works from Devon.

Exclusively using UK manufacturers to make their products, Martha and Hepsie have recently been selected as part of a Made Locally project that will see their products sold in Leeds in one of the UK’s most successful cooperative department stores.

And with the recent launch of a range of aprons and new products just around the corner, their homeware and stationery make perfect presents for birthdays and - dare we say it - Christmas.