The Red Deer, Sheffield: The Yorkshire pub with no Wi-Fi so its visitors actually talk to each other

There’s a notice up on the wall, quite near the open fire, as you come through the front door.

It reads: “Sorry, we don’t have wi-fi, talk to each other, pretend it’s 1995”. And that just about sums up this unpretentious, cosy little place that is trapped in a curious but very comfy time warp.

There’s a huge mural on an exterior wall, and a pair of very well-worn steps into the building. Inside, it’s an L-shape, with a snug on the left, and the long side of that letter ahead of you.

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In the middle is the only bar, which makes this part pretty narrow, and it is, naturally, where a lot of customers congregate.

The Red Deer in SheffieldThe Red Deer in Sheffield
The Red Deer in Sheffield

Onwards, there are more steps up to the rear drinking and seating areas (with lots of old-fashioned Edwardian wrought iron tables), and the beer garden.

There are piles of games of all descriptions, and plenty of books. The quiz night is on Tuesday evenings.

The management must own a pretty tall ladder, because two of the ceilings are plastered with decorative beer mats, and the light fittings probably date from the early fifties.

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The “art” collection on the walls is eccentric, and – here’s a sign of almost vanished times – there’s a splendidly robust and highly polished brass bell behind the counter, used to call “time”. Time, by the way, is at midnight, but an hour earlier on Sundays.

The roasts on that day are something of a legend hereabouts, but the regular menu is also something special, and exceptionally good value.

The popular ales include Black Sheep, Landlord, Farmer’s Blonde and Oakham Citra and the house wines are a snip at a tenner a bottle. There’s also popular function room.

Not so far away from the pub is one of the city’s main routes (leading up from the cathedral) with bus and tram stops, but there is also ample nearby parking.

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The Deer is not, at first, that easy to locate. But, once you’ve found it, it’ll go onto your “well worth a return” list.

The regulars who enter from about 4pm on a weekday, clearly know when they are onto a good thing. Follow their shining example!

Welcome 5/5

Atmosphere 5/5

Drinks choice 4/5

Prices 5/5

The Red Deer, 18, Pitt Street, Sheffield, S1 4DD

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