As frequent users of the railways will know, there are two types of station pub. Most people are familiar with will be the chain pub, making its money selling pints of Fosters to haunted travellers who have just been given some bad news about the wrong type of leaves and have a long wait ahead of them.
But just occasionally, you stumble across a rarer breed.
Certain stations are renowned among beer-lovers for being home to proper, old-fashioned ale houses, serving both the local community and the steady flow of passengers.
These kind of pubs are actively sought out by those in the know – witness the popularity of the TransPennine “real ale trail”, for example, where drinkers make the most of a cluster of delightful station pubs along the same.
The Sheffield Tap falls firmly into this latter category, a grand, century-old Edwardian refreshment room with an air of real refinement within its polished panelled walls. Criminally, it was used as nothing more than a dusty storeroom for 40 years.
Now it has been restored in all its elegant glory, with a huge mahogany bar, ceilings which stretch up far into the sky and vast windows looking out across Platform One.
The beer itself is fantastic – eight real ales, including four regularly-changing guests, offer a fine selection, and an impressive lagers from around the world.
And come closing time, the final great appeal of the station pub is also self-evident – it is only the shortest of staggers to catch the last train home.
The Sheffield Tap, Sheffield Station, Sheaf Street, Sheffield S1 2BP. Tel: 0114 273 7558