Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog: pub
Showing posts with label pub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pub. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 February 2019

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Prince of Wales, Sheffield

The Prince of Wales, on Ecclesall Road South, Sheffield, re-opened to the public last weekend following a stunning refurbishment and overhaul of its food and drink offerings. We were invited down to sample the new menu and check our the slick and sophisticated interior a few days prior to the full opening. Here's a few words on our experience and photos that will definitely make you hungry...

Upon arrival we were quickly ushered to the bar where Laura swooned over the gin infusion station (and of course promptly ordered a gin). It's like pick and mix for grown ups - once you've got your beverage in hand, you are free to select your own garnish... and there were an abundance of things to choose from, from the standard lemons, limes and mint leaves, to exotic lychees, kiwi slices and goji berries. A BRILLIANT idea on a calm night filled with polite media and blogger types, how this will pan out on a busy weekend is yet to be discovered, but hey, we had fun. Worth noting that the bar staff were confident in suggesting recommendations, too, which was a definite bonus.

Kirkstall Brewery Virtuous IPA was the only "craft" keg beer on offer at the time of our visit, although there was a cask line ready to be used (and a cask of Abbeydale Moonshine waiting in the cellar). So despite it not being a beer focused venue, it was really nice to see that there was at least a local and an independent offering.

A selection of canapes was brought over whilst we imbibed, which were all delicious and the first indication that we'd perhaps underestimated the menu we were to be treated to, having expected a more "pub grub" offering. The words "gastro pub" and "elevated" are terms I'm not hugely keen on but it's fair to say that the food the Prince of Wales has gone for is certainly more of a style you'd expect in a fine dining restaurant. Highlights were the delicately spiced and fragrant lamb koftas served with coconut tzatziki, and crispy chilli beef with little pickled onions.

Following our nibble platter we were ushered into the dining area for our main meal. The space is large but still manages to retain a cosy feel and I liked that our table had a view of the kitchen pass - our only criticism being that the "mood lighting" made it a tad tricky to properly see what we were eating and meant we had to turn the flash on our phones as a makeshift torch to get decent photos. Ah, blogger life.

Our starter was a great big dollop of cheese - an unctuous, creamy baked camembert, to be precise, served with (slightly oily, but yummy) dough sticks and sharp cranberry dip. You can't really go wrong with cheese and this was a total oozy, messy treat.

The main menu offered up a selection of the usual suspects, pizzas, steaks, and burgers, all of which were presented with a little more refinement than the standard pub output. For example, in the case of the Wagyu beef burger (already an upgrade on the standard house burger) half a lobster can be added to the side for those inclined to such things.

We eventually selected the chorizo, crab and king prawn linguini, and the roasted pork belly with scallops. Both dishes were beautifully cooked and the scallops were incredible - wonderfully buttery, with a slight bite and perfectly placed within the dish. Great wine selection to go with it all, too.

Desserts were a bit more of a mixed bag - the brownie and chocolate pudding were both tasty but a little on the stodgy side, but the melting chocolate bomb was sensational in looks as well as flavour and Laura had the best Cointreau hot chocolate she reports to have EVER had, not words she uses lightly.

Being completely honest here, it's not the type of place we would usually choose to eat out - owned by one of the big pub chains, we were expecting a relatively straightforward food offering and a not-particularly-exciting drinks selection. However, we'd definitely set our expectations far too low, and were surprised in a very good way at what a brilliant evening we'd experienced. It's definitely somewhere we would go again, and both commented that it'd be a great place for our family members that like to go somewhere formal as opposed to uppity (again, not normally a vibe we go for when dining as a duo!) for a special occasion. The food and drinks are a little pricier than we'd generally spend hence a sense of occasion being necessary, but the value for money we reckon is still there.

If you'd like to know more, head to the Prince of Wales' website where you can also view all of their menus in full.


Laura and Jim

Disclaimer: We were provided with a meal and associated drinks free of charge in exchange for a review. However, this has not affected our opinions, which as always are completely honest and all our own.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Favourite Pubs: The Bath Hotel

There are few things we want from a great pub... namely some great cask beer, bar snacks, comfortable surroundings and the opportunity to finish the night on a "Big Drink". For us the Bath Hotel has all of this in spades.

With six cask beers on draught and two ciders served the same way, the first box is certainly ticked and with a couple of keg fonts available too there is always something for everyone. This pub is under the umbrella of brewery stalwarts Thornbridge, although at the Bath the bar manager Edd entertains a larger selection of beer than most of their other pubs around Sheffield. As there are three guest ales to accompany the 3 Thornbridge casks, the range of beers is always excellent with something new to try.

On the snacking front there is a great array of salted crunchiness including the usual nuts, pretzels, and crisps, but more importantly there are fresh sausage rolls - served warm and prepared onsite to Edd's own recipe and by his fair hands. Tick number two.

The two rooms of the Bath are separated by the bar, with both traditionally decorated, warmly upholstered and lit by large windows. The smaller of the two is quiet and cosy and catered to by a small serving hatch, with the larger being the host of the tap room. The pub itself is tucked away just behind West Street, and is a friendly haven away from the hubbub of the city centre.

The fourth and final tick is certainly a big one, both in terms of drink and tick. The Bath Hotel often has one of its fonts dedicated to a higher strength beer, that is the perfect end to a night. Our favourite example of this is the Arbor Goo Goo G'Joob (try saying that after you've had a couple) - a 12% Maple Imperial Stout and an absolute stonker of a beer. In addition, there is a small but varied and interesting whisky selection that consists of single malts and higher end blends.

The Bath Hotel also plays host to a variety of events, and we're both incredibly excited about their upcoming festival Sheffbrewfest - an independent beer festival which is the brainchild of some of the most passionate people on the Sheffield beer scene. The brewery line up is just ridiculously promising - we spent a good while mulling over which of our favourite breweries aren't actually going to be there (there weren't any). Sheffbrewfest takes place from the 2nd to the 5th of October and there's a rumour that the Mashtuns will be making an appearance behind the bar...



Thursday, 4 September 2014

Favourite Pubs: The Lochside Hotel

We're spoilt at home having The Sheaf View as a local - a mere seven minute stumble away from the door. Being on Islay is like being in a miniature, more concentrated version of the world, however, and The Lochside Hotel was about 45 seconds stroll away from our little holiday cottage! It became a much-frequented haunt during our stay in Bowmore, with an enormous whisky selection, great food, and an incredible view across Loch Indaal to boot.

Loch Indaal at sunset: view from our table at the Lochside Hotel
The Lochside Hotel, run by a passionate bunch of Ileachs and fronted by the charismatic David Brodie, has a frankly bewildering array of whisky behind the bar. Comprising drams almost solely from the island, the selection includes at least 6 varieties of Port Ellen and a bottle of Bowmore Black aged to 42 years, down to more reasonably priced whiskies, including the core range of all the Islay distileries as well as some of the great blended whiskies that have featured the peaty joys produced here.

Enjoying an Islay Mist 17 and a Bunnahabhain 12
The bar is also stocked with a range of beer from Islay Ales, the only brewery on the island, with 2 cask ales and a larger selection in bottles. This variation is great to see, as sometimes you're just not quite ready for a whisky, especially with food.

Talking of the food, the menu is ever-changing and filled with local and seasonal dishes. The starter we chose was one of the best things we ate on the island - goats cheese topped black pudding. The portions were generous throughout, so it was a good job we shared! Laura went for the steak and ale (Islay Ales Black Rock) pie for main course, with Jim selecting the lamb shank. Absolutely massive, the meat was rich, melt-in-the-mouth, and well complemented by the blackcurrant-doused red cabbage side. A dessert of Islay malt whisky cranachan completed the meal. Neither of us had tried this traditional Scottish pud before, and we were pleasantly surprised by the light creaminess of the dish, and peaty hit from the whisky-soaked oatmeal.
We enjoyed many a cosy evening in this wonderful pub, filled with locals sharing stories about their home town with the whisky pilgrims of Bowmore! Just a shame that it's ordinarily 396 miles away...



Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sheffield Beer Scene

Despite a short, degree-length gap, Sheffield has always been my home. It is a land of hills, streams and more green space than any other city in Europe.  Arguably more importantly it also has an absolute abundance of real ale houses, with an ever-growing number of establishments serving and selling excellent beer. This is a tradition that sewed its roots (arguably national) in the form of The Fat Cat, which is now in its 32nd year - the original owner of which, Dave Wickett, started the Kelham Island brewery and helped fund the now pervasive and great quality Thornbridge Brewery.

The love of real ale in our fair city is insatiable, with new pubs, bars and shops springing up serving up the godly nectar. In this, Sheffield seems to buck the national trend of closures of pubs, due to an obsession (always healthy) with beer.

Along with the opening and refurbishment of a number of pubs in the past few years, more recently we have seen two new beer shops open. As part of the new market, just before Christmas came Beer Central - a shop selling a range of local brews from city breweries such as Kelham Island and Bradfield as well as those just across the Derbyshire border including Chatsworth and Raw. Alongside these, you can find numerous releases from further afield – some of my favourites include London (Weird Beard, Camden) and Belgium (Westmalle). We’ve now got a loyalty card which is serving us well!

The other shop that coincidentally opened at around the same time is the somewhat more experimental vendor of liquid intoxicants located just out of the centre, conveniently next to another of Sheffield’s great new ale houses (The Broadfield).  Hidden in the back of a vintage shop, Hop Hideout has given a new lease of life to the old office of a long-gone bank. Now with its far more beneficial role as beer shop, the walls are lined with shelves containing a fantastic array of bottled beers. We found some absolutely superb treats for Christmas, including Rogue – Santa’s Private Reserve, and Mad Hatter – Panettone Tripel, and the selection is ever changing meaning that there’s always something new to be found.

Both of these new shops show a willingness to engage with their customers, share their knowledge of all things beer, and generally demonstrate fantastic service all-round.
Our current beer selection, running a little low 
The addition of these two shops on the liquid landscape has also encouraged established, almost complacent, beer shops around the city to increase the range and provide more for us as consumers. TheDram Shop in Walkley now stocks more previously unseen breweries, and even the Bargain Booze’s of the city have a tendency to sell one or two more than previously.

As this trend of new places opening and old places adapting continues it can only be a good thing for us beer drinkers.



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Favourite Pubs: The Sheaf View

Set comfortably next to the wonderful Heeley Millennium park and community orchard, The Sheaf View is undoubtedly one of the best pubs in the city of Sheffield. Opened in its current guise in 2000, it is a true institution for real beer - if you want a pub with fine real ale, great whisky and a smashing pork pie, then look no further.

The bar consists of eight hand pulls, with a mix of local regular beer, including Kelham Island - Easy Rider and Acorn - Blonde, and up to 6 six guest ales, always with a dark beer and sometimes the glorious addition of a higher strength ale.

Along with these cask beers, they have a selection of continental lagers as well as a few wheat beers, fruit beers and draught cider.

While the Sheaf View doesn't have a kitchen so there is no hot food, it often has a great selection of sandwiches, ranging from corned beef to polish sausage, and a staggering array of crisps and other bar snacks. The aforementioned pork pies are approaching legendary status.

Behind the bar is a mighty whisky selection consisting of over 100 bottles of Scotch, Irish and Bourbon, which caters for all budgets and palates. There's also an extensive range of other spirits to suit even the fussiest drinker. Pretty much the only thing you can't get is a cup of tea.

The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly - cosy in winter, but with a lovely beer garden showcasing a fantastic view of Sheffield on the warmer days.

Best of all, it just so happens to be our local.