#letthecultureshine: The Idea of the Brain – with Professor Matthew Cobb

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24 Hours in Sheffield

Image credit: Shane Rounce via Unsplash

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Peak District National Park, Sheffield is a fantastic city to spend a day in. Once one of the country’s premier industrial hubs, the Northern city now boasts a thriving cultural scene, plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants, and the title of the UK’s Happiest City 2013. Make the most of the city, with our guide to the best things to do, see, eat and drink.

Morning
 

Image credit: Forge Bakehouse/ via Facebook
 
Start the day with breakfast at Forge Bakehouse. Originally an artisanal bakery selling some of the city’s best freshly baked bread, the recent addition of a café has further cemented the Bakehouse as a favourite local haunt. With terrific coffee, and breakfast fare ranging from granola to the heartier Huevos Rancheros baked eggs and decadent French toast, it certainly isn’t hard to see why.
 

Image credit: Andreas Mortonus/ via Flickr
 
After you’re well fed, head back to the city centre to marvel at the Sheffield Cathedral. The Medieval building is an astounding feat of architecture and, in addition to regular services, hosts various events throughout the year including a Christmas Festival of Music. For those eager to learn more about the Cathedral, the guided tours are brilliant and offer visitors access to the Tudor Shrewsbury Chapel and Medieval Chancel and Sanctuary.
 

Image credit: Museums Sheffield/ via Facebook
 
Of course, no visit would be complete without visiting Millennium Gallery, Sheffield’s premier destination for arts, crafts and design. Located in the centre of the city, the art gallery and museum boasts a range of excellent exhibitions, unique Metalwork and Ruskin collections.
 
 
Midday
 

Image credit: Tamper Sellers Wheel/ via Facebook
 
Hungry? Head to Tamper Sellers Wheel for a stellar lunch. The popular New Zealand eatery offers a range of daily specials and a Kiwi-themed menu – try the “all black” burger or the “mince on toast” (beef chilli, poached egg, toast) - in addition to excellent coffee and craft beer. The menu also caters for all dietary requirements, with plenty of vegetarians, vegan and gluten free options available.
 
Alternatively, escape the city centre and join the inevitable queue at Sheffield institution Two Steps Fish and Chips. Serving the ‘finest Fish and Chips since 1895’, the extensive menu features all the classics, as well as terrific pies and meat-free options - the mushy pea fritters are a must. Make sure to check out the specials menu as well, which features an incredibly cheap mini fish and chips deal popular among the local students.
 

Image credit: Wojtek Gurak/ via Flickr
 
As one of the largest temperate glasshouse in the UK, and the largest urban glasshouse in Europe, the impressive Winter Garden is a must visit. The multi-award winning garden boasts more than 2,500 plants from around the world, and is something of an oasis from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
 
 
Afternoon
 
Having a pint at Sheffield’s first real ale pub The Fat Cat is a great way to experience the city’s gritty, industrial past and an essential stop on any ale trail. Naturally, the award-wining Victorian corner pub boasts an array of fantastic real ales, as well as a lively atmosphere and team of friendly staff.
 

Image credit: Rutland Arms/ via Facebook
 
Just off the beaten track, the Rutland Arms is another highly reputed spot to enjoy a drink or two. The traditional, dog-friendly pub offers an excellent selection of real ales and a constantly changing array of guest beers, as well as a juke-box and brilliant beer garden to while away an afternoon during the warmer months.
 
However, if you’re in need of an afternoon pick me up and crave something slightly sweeter, stop by Steam Yard. Order a "Steve McQueen" and you’ll be treated to a cup of the café’s seriously delicious coffee and a killer doughnut.
 
 
Evening
 

Image credit: Rafters Sheffield/ via Facebook
 
Unwind with a stunning meal, and superb glass of wine, at VeroGusto. Nestled away from Sheffield’s high street, enjoy a cosy dining experience at the authentic Italian restaurant, with dishes ranging from freshly made pasta and pizzas to a selection of seasonal dishes and homemade desserts.
 
However, if you’re after a blow-out meal or the perfect spot for a special occasion, book a table at Rafters. A short bus or car trip from the city centre, the Michelin starred restaurant offers two distinct tasting experiences designed to take guests on a journey of the chef’s childhood to present day and beyond.
 

Image credit: The Leadmill/ via Facebook
 
End your day with a show at Sheffield’s iconic theatre venue The Crucible. Seating just 980 people, watch an incredible performance in an intimate setting, or head next door to the theatre’s candy-coloured sister venue the Lyceum, which hosts West End musicals, panto, opera, and most of the city's dance productions.
 
If theatre isn’t your cup of tea, check out Sheffield’s nightlife at The Leadmill. A hotspot for university students and locals alike, the city’s longest running live music venue and nightclub has hosted everyone from the Arctic Monkeys and The Killers to Muse and Oasis.
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