The University Arms.

197 Brook Hill.
0114 2228969.

Formerly 197 Bar, the University Arms is a rejuvenated public house which has been open to the non academic public since 2007. Currently managed by Tom Delaney, this pub has gone from strength to strength as it continues to incorporate a wide range of Real Ales - as many as 35 different ones per week - as well as a variety of ciders. The building itself is wonderfully lit from the front by green tiles which instantly add an atmosphere of cosiness and tradition to the main bar.

The University Arms also has its own house beer, Thirst Degree, which is brewed by Acorn Brewery. It's an easy session beer at 3.6 abv and would certainly be our recommended first pint. The University Arms also hosts a great selection of fresh, locally sourced pub foods ranging from your traditional fish and chips - the batter of which contains Thirst Degree itself - as well as our personal favourite, the Steak and Ale Bradford Stout Pie. The staff are also able to recommend an ale to go with each meal you choose, adding a further uniqueness to a relaxed and easy dining experience.

If you're looking for a livelier experience, head down to the pub on a Saturday evening and you'll likely chance upon one of its live music nights, featuring local jazz, blues and folk specialists. Tom Rodwell was down in July and played an absolutely exceptional show.

Perhaps one of best things about the University Arms is the extensive beer garden, certainly one of the biggest and best kept secrets in city centre pub land. We'd recommend getting down and experiencing a pint or three within its relative serenity while the sun still lasts.

If you're a promoter or event organiser in search of a venue, the University Arms is also more than capable of providing you with some choice in the matter, with three separate function rooms to choose from. Chat to Tom about availability and we're sure you'll find an amicable host.

It's on the 52 & 120 bus routes and just a short walk from the University tram stop. Don't miss out.

Gardeners Rest.

105 Neepsend Lane.
0114 2724978.

The Gardeners Rest is a haven of a pub. Based in the Neepsend area of Sheffield, slightly apart from the Kelham Island district and opposite Sheffield Skate Park, it lies nested, comfortable and unassuming. The pub is located with its back to one of Sheffield many waterways, and so in the heat of summer one is able to rest with a pint in the garden surrounded by the sounds of the river passing by. Tranquil indeed. Part owned by Sheffield Brewery, the Gardeners Rest is one of the few places in Sheffield you'll be able to purchase the full range of beers they produce in comfort and at very favourable prices. If you tried Tramlines Ale during the festival, that was made by these folks. A personal favourite of ours is the award-winning Sheffield Porter. Get down there and check em out.

While ticking the proverbial boxes of great beer, great service and a lovely atmosphere, the Gardeners brings an extra element to the ale table with its regular live music events, often fresh from the Sheffield blues circuit, as well as rotating art exhibitions and photography competitions for the regulars.

Perhaps one of the most unique things about the Gardeners is its claim of ownership over the last bar billiards table in Sheffield. If you've not played the game, it's a little like pool meets croquet, except with pockets instead of hoops. Probably the poorest description of a traditional pub game ever, but let's hope it inspires you to check it out yourself.

As autumn approaches the Gardeners Rest will be also be hosting their annual beer festival between the 6th and 9th October. From tales of past revelry this is definitely not one to miss folks, so if you like your ale and you like it virtually fresh from the brewer then this is the place for you.


34 trippet lane.
0114 2760 475.

Just a brief jaunt from the hectic crowds of West Street, Cubana is a highly recommended tapas bar with a vibrant atmosphere, top quality cuisine and authentic Cuban surroundings. Serving hot and cold dishes, some with a Spanish/South American twist, Cubana's menu includes fried calamari, braised rabbit, ovenbaked aubergine, spare ribs and the classic patatas bravas. Every weekday night they also treat customers to a strong line-up of live music covering all bases, from tango, flamenco and rumba to soul, blues and bossa nova.

On top of all of this goodness, Facebook users who 'like' Cubana can get themselves a voucher for 30% off all tapas.


Sheffield Union.

Flash is a series of events put on at the Union, hosting talks and performances from inspirational people from all walks of life. There will be a number of Flash events taking place in October as part of Off The Shelf Festival next month, but one which might not receive quite as much coverage is The King's Speech with Mark Logue and Peter Conradi. Mark is the grandson of Lionel Logue, the speech therapist who helped the Duke of York overcome his stammer. Peter is an author and journalist who helped compile a book on the subject. The story was recently made famous by the Oscar-winning film version.

The talk will include excerpts from Logue's unpublished diary, as well as archive material and other unique insights. A fascinating topic.

Juniper Cafe.

32-40 bank street.
0114 346 3034.

Bank Street Arts is an exhibition space hosting some of Sheffield's finest emerging artists, including a recent show of street art with many previous Now Then favourites. It is also home to one of Sheffield's finest purveyors of fairtrade coffees, homemade cakey treats and organic sandwiches at amazingly reasonable prices.

The ladies cater for both vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as getting all their meat and some veg from around the city centre and supporting independent traders, with a proportion of their vegetables home grown by family and friends. The airy atrium seating area and adjoining Juniper Gallery make for a convivial environment to enjoy a seat and a snack while taking in the exhibitions and, with autumn seeing the first phase of renovations to the outside courtyard space, it's only going to get better.

A Day in the Life.

a month of sundays.
0114 263 1000.

From the third of September, the gallery home of Sheffield legend Pete McKee will also be the lodgings of a new exhibition of work from We Live Here creator Jonathan Wilkinson. Even if you don't know his name, you know Jonathon's work. His almost architectural images of iconic structures in Sheffield are as distinctive as they are bold.

Moving away from the strict blue, black and white colour pallet of We Live Here, new show A Day in the Life features paintings which re-imagine everyday scenes in colourful and atmospheric ways. When asked to compare this new style with his previous works, Jonathan said: "The main difference between the two is that the inspiration for the Britarama artworks (featured in A Day in the Life) are more personal and evoke something that is more poetic." He's not wrong.

Mental Health Week.

Following the rip-roaring success that was Sheffield Wellbeing Festival on 29th July, we're happy to say there's more to come. Sheffield Mental Health Week officially begins on World Mental Health Day (10th October) and will include a wide variety of events. Ranging from a pie and peas games afternoon at the St Wilfrid's Centre, to an art exhibition, to a comedy night and a DVD screening, there's sure to be something for everyone.

Taking care of our own mental health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated. It's just as important as physical health. With that in mind, Sheffield will be raising awareness and promoting simple positive steps people can take to safeguard their own mental health.

Keep an eye on the website, search for Sheffield Mental Health Week on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @SheffieldMHW.

Sheffield Independent School of Art.

the old junior school, south view road.
peter: 07749 216291.

As highlighted by the inimitable Alt-Sheff in last month's Localcheck, these are tough times in the world of education. With colleges and learning centres being run increasingly like corporate businesses, where do you turn for quality adult learning? Well, one such place has recently been created by Peter York and Marion Thompson.

Both veteran teachers of art and design at local colleges, they decided to set up an independent art school for people of all ages to join for workshops, discussions and lessons in art practices, from screen printing to etching. An exhibition featuring the work of some of Peter's students is running this month at Bank Street Arts, where you will also be able to meet the team and discuss your options for a future of independent learning.