Pub of the Week: The Broadfield Alehouse, Sheffield is 'unpretentious and quite a find'

One of the first things that would-be reporters (not journalists, we were all ‘reporters’ back then) learned was to “never assume, never presume”. This sage advice was always offered when the unhappy youngster (me, and others of very junior rank) dropped a clanger so reverberatingly heavy that the noise of impact could be heard three counties away. The excuse for the error would have been “Oh, but I assumed…..”, and then you’d get that four-word response. Plus an ear-bashing. It was a more-than-useful lesson that has lasted career-long.

So, we may not assume, in any particular, that The Broadfield actually once stood in proximity to broad fields, but, given that it was built (and opened) at the very end of the Victorian era, it may well be that it was then on the edge of the City of Sheffield, and reasonably near some countryside – which vanished in the next decade or so, judging by the age and architecture of the places which now surround it. Pubs of the same period were often happy ports of call for the incredibly popular bicycling clubs of the time, and also for early motorists, all seeking light refreshment, and it’s likely that this was no exception. Then as now it is on a busy main road, and the bonus today it that there are bus stops with frequent services close to the front door.

One of the exterior architectural features is that it is encased in striking blue tiles – it’s impossible not to pass this pub, and not to notice it. As for the interior, you can instantly see how it would have been configured in days of yore – divided into about half a dozen rooms, catering for various purposes. The snug, the gentleman’s smoking room, and so on. That’s all vanished now, for there is just one vary large area with a central three-sided bar, but that is cleverly partitioned off into smaller and more intimate spaces. There’s also a carefully-cared-for beer garden to the rear.

Decoration is minimal, but interesting, and the emphasis is on comfort and accessibility. There are eight guest ales on rotation (True North is very popular), and another eight kegged beers, and a good wine list. Have a look, too, at the cocktails on offer, which include a Bloody Mary with (what else in these parts?) Henderson’s Relish, instead of that other proprietary product, the name of which slips one’s mind at the moment, and a French 75, which includes “Sheffield dry lemon and cucumber gin” some other liquid dashes of this and that, and Prosecco. Looking at the bottom of this section, and at a Broadfield Zombie, you must wonder if, having knocked a couple of those concoctions back, you’d be easily able to fly back into the city centre under your own motive powers. The food menu is concise and unpretentious, and it’s served from noon onwards. The children’s section is thoroughly good value.

The Broadfield AlehouseThe Broadfield Alehouse
The Broadfield Alehouse

The clientele is a fun mix – there are folk discussing business, others doing the crossword, and others just chilling. Logs are stacked in various corners to feed the live stoves. It’s laid-back, unpretentious, and quite a find.

The Broadfield, 452 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 1FR Tel: 0114 255 0200