I suspect that the University Arms, housed in a Victorian detached red brick, was originally a private house. If it has been adapted for pub use, then it has been done very well, to offer a set of lovely little snugs that all lead off each other with panel and glass divisions. There’s a great conservatory, a big bay window and a beer garden that must get packed in summertime.
By the time that half past five rolls around, it is fair buzzing. And it’s a great mixed crowd, of academics and students of all ages. The decoration is pretty sparse, but the central main bar is beautifully tiled, the upholstery is nice and fresh and there’s a carpet on the main floor with a pattern which your granny would have thoroughly approved of, a sort of turkey swirly-whirly design.
There are open mic nights and live performances, and the staff are lovely and helpful, but it is the beers displayed along the gleaming bar top that triumph. Pale Rider is a particular favourite hereabouts, and it isn’t hard to comprehend why. But all the local brewers are well represented, with a list that includes Kelham Island, Thornbridge, Acorn and Welbeck Abbey.
There are also 30 whiskies to sample, and the indications are that someone knows their stuff in this department. However, while the wine list is adequate enough, it does err on the pricey side.
Food is served all day, and the prices are competitive. Don’t pitch up on a Sunday though – the University Arms is closed all day, presumably because the local students don’t get up until late.
• The University Arms, 197 Brook Hill, Sheffield, S3 7HG. 0114 2228 969.
DRINKS SELECTION 5/5