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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Joanne Mateer

Our Favourite Places would be nothing without our contributors — a massive thanks to all of them!

Tell us about you...

I’m a Northern Irish exile to Sheffield. I came here to study for a film MA in 1999, and fell hook, line and sinker for the city’s seven hills, brutalist romance and terraces that look like home. I’m mad about poetry/spoken word, visual art, architecture and, erm, coffee shops. After almost a decade in the design industry, I’m now a freelance writer and communications type. And mum to two.

What does Sheffield mean to you?

Several chapters of adulthood. The only place I forgive for being so far away from the sea. Being able to walk to your friends’ houses. Singular artistic minds. Collective action, a tradition of making. Public poetry. Trees and tower blocks. Views from everywhere.

What’s your favourite Sheffield place?

I think I’m probably happiest in one of the city’s recently-blossomed crop of new-generation cafes, choosing which coffee I’m going to have next. And the view from the top of Myrtle Road in Heeley is hard to beat.

What would you do to improve the city?

No one would argue that we could do with a smidgeon more glamour from time to time. I’d like to see great local shops for every neighbourhood, Sharrow Vale-style (starting with Chesterfield Road, please). I’m also in favour of a bridge that spells out ‘Sheffield’ to welcome visitors to the city, like the one in Marbella. In concrete, of course. Oh and a poet laureate for the city would be nice.

Latest contributions

Our Cow Molly

An independent ice cream parlour on a working family farm in the gilded lands of Dungworth. With thirty flavours to choose from, the hardest decision you'll need to make is whether to plump for Ferrero Rocher or jam roly poly.

Helen Mort

A poet with one foot in Sheffield and another in Derbyshire, who finds inspiration at the top of hills, in ghost stories, pubs, friendship, the aftertaste of whisky, the miners' strike, and in lost love.

Birdhouse Tea Company

Mother-daughter duo Julia and Becky English are the Sheffielders behind Birdhouse, creating Yorkshire-inspired blends of tea. Their tea studio is part blending house, part cafe, part shop, with everything you need to become a loose leaf connoisseur.

Abbeydale Miniature Railway

This place is pure Sheffield: one-off, surprising and a real hidden gem. Climb astride a small train and whizz round the track for one of the city's best family days out.