Though I've not visited often I like this pub, that's saying a lot for me, I'm not much of a pub person. This one is a step out of the norm. I call it the dizzy academics pub. Most of the people who go there are teachers, lecturers, professionals etc and the pub quiz is a beast! Get in with a group of clever locals and you'll be fine. Reasonable selections of drinks with emphasis on real ales. Most of the fellas I know who drink their have a passion for their local or speciality beers and I'm under the impression that it's in the good pub guide. They have events on, occasionally, most recently a series of performances outside, local dancers, music and readings, which I sadly missed. A little too small and a little too hollow sounding to create the ultimate perfect atmosphere, but nearly. A pleasant evening out either way.
We have a good few Real Ale pubs near where we live in Chesterfield, but sometimes we like a little trip out. Sheffield is the obvious choice for one of these trips - we can get there direct by bus (or train) and it isn't too far to do in an afternoon. One of our favourite Sunday afternoon jaunts is to the Sheaf View. ~~~WHERE IS THE SHEAF VIEW? The Sheaf View is located at the London Road end of Gleadless Road; not far outside the centre of Sheffield in the Heeley area. We get the number 43 bus on a Sunday from Chesterfield. The 43 leaves Chesterfield town centre at 10 to the hour and goes a long way round Dronfield, Woodseats, etc and we get off at the stop just after the Ponsford shop - just under the bridge at Heeley Bottom. (On the way back the nearest stop is right outside the Ponsford shop - the 43 leaves Sheffield centre at 10 to the hour and gets to us about 5 to 10 minutes later.) Once you've got off the bus, go up the road that goes under the bridge and you will see the Sheaf at the top of the hill. The hill is steepish - but not too bad and well worth the effort to get to the pub! ~~~WHEN DOES IT OPEN? The Sheaf opens from midday right through to 11pm, Monday to Saturday and midday to 10.30pm on Sundays. ~~~A BIT OF HISTORY The Sheaf started life as a small corner pub back in the late nineteenth century. Prior to that (around 1871) the building was a Grocers, but in 1879 it is listed in the trade directory as changing its usage. At this point it became a beerhouse (the license of a beerhouse means it could only sell beers and ciders and no spirits, etc) which sold beers from the Chesterfield based Brampton Brewery. It closed down in the 1970s following a housing clearance in the area and stayed shut until it was purchased by Marstons Brewery in the mid 1980s. It operated without causing much of a stir; opening and closing down at random for the next ten or so years, until it closed on a more permanent basis in 1997. It re-opened in 2000 after an extensive refurbishment program and is now owned by the same team that run the popular Sheffield pub the New Barrack Tavern. ~~~INSIDE AND OUT The pub stands on its own in a prominent corner location. The interior can be reached via the main front door or by an entrance at the back. The main bar-room consists of a long thin room with tables at each side, opening out into a larger room with the bar at the right hand corner. This main room is the only part of the pub that allows smoking. Fixtures and fittings are basic but comfortable and, as you look around, wood is the watchword! There is a lot of wood - panelling, seats, tables and bar. The toilets in this room don't have disabled access - they are, however, kept clean and well stocked with paper (and the hand dryers are pretty good too). The conservatory is accessible through the opening at the left of the bar and is a bright airy room with glass ceilings and wooden seating around the edges. Again seating is more functional than pleasing on the eye - there are some cushions for the seats dotted around if you can get hold of one! The conservatory has a door in the corner that leads to the outside and also to a corridor that has the disabled access toilets. To get drinks though, you do have to go through to the main bar. On the walls there are some rather interesting Breweriana - the old advertisements and posters for beers and breweries are fascinating. You will also note the lack of a juke box or fruit machines in any of the rooms! Towards the rear of the pub is the outside drinking area which has views over the Sheaf Valley and also a very good view of the train line from Sheffield station. This is a raised area of which part is covered in wooden decking and some is paved. Seating is in the form of wooden picnic style tables - the ones with the seats attached. This whole area is a sun trap in summer months and can get pretty busy. ~~~THE DRINK . To start with there is a phenomenal selection of exceedingly well priced Real Ales from a wide range of both local and national breweries. There are three regulars (though these do change from time to time), which at the moment includes the excellent Farmers Blonde from local Bradfield Brewery, along with Kelham Island Easy Rider and Wentworth WPA. These core beers are supplemented by five ever changing guest beers. On our last visit there was a good split of styles and strengths - a porter, a light coloured 3.8% session beer, a medium strength bitter and a stronger beer. The prices are as good as you are going to see these days, with most beers being under the £2.00 mark. As well as the hand-pulled ales there is a wide selection of draught and bottled continental beers. The draught beers include Leffe Blonde and Bruin at £1.75 for a half pint, a couple of fruit beers, Czech and German lagers and a couple of Real Ciders. All are at similarly good prices compared with most pubs. The bottled selection is equally impressive and fills a rather large blackboard to the left of the bar. They have a few low alcohol bottled lagers for the drivers - my friend said that although he would have preferred to have been drinking a "proper" beer, the Bittberger Drive was pretty good. You will also find wines, soft drinks and a wonderful array of different whiskies - most with unpronounceable names! ~~~THE FOOD . Meals are not served at the Sheaf View. They do sell some rather good sandwiches though! They cost around £2.50 for a decent sized roll and some of the fillings are different too. My favourites are the Chilli Beef and the Coriander Chicken, but you can get a plain cheese if you prefer! To go with your sandwich they sell the wonderful Seabrooks Crisps - interesting flavours like Garlic compliment the Cheese & Onion. The pork scratchings are some of the best around at the moment and they have also just started selling some pickled eggs - the sign says that they are exclusively made for the pub and talk was that they were rather good (I didn't have any this time though because we were going out for a meal on the way home). ~~~WHAT DO I THINK OF THE SHEAF VIEW? I feel comfortable and at home when I visit the Sheaf. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable about the products they are selling and are good at keeping the bars and outside clear of empty glasses and clutter. There is always a good client mix - ranging in age and all are drinking different types of beverage. The Real Ale drinkers sit comfortably next to those supping foreign lagers from odd shaped glasses and no-one looks oddly if someone has a fruit beer in a delicate shade of pink! The atmosphere is good natured and everyone looks relaxed, happy and unthreatened! I would warn you though that some evenings can get pretty busy (especially Friday and Saturdays) and you may have trouble getting a seat during these times. Quiz nights on a Wednesday can also get a bit packed. During an afternoon though the pub is pleasant and comfortable and a there are a few newspapers around to pass the time. There is no shortage of chatter either and you will see a good few games of dominoes and cards going on. I have also seen that quite a few groups use the pub as a place to meet before or after activities. Note that although the pub is dog friendly, children are not allowed. My only other warning is that the smoking room can get quite thick with smoke as the pub gets busy. This is also the largest room so you may want to aim for the conservatory if smoke bothers you a lot. When the pub is quieter the smoke isn't as noticeable, so usually it isn't a problem for us if we have to use the main bar. The chance of drinking good priced beer in such a good pub outweighs the slight smokiness for us. So .I am certainly recommending the Sheaf View. It is a lovely, friendly and welcoming pub that serves excellent beers at very competitive prizes. Beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy and chat and a drink with a good selection of people for all walks of life. A top pub!! ~~~PUB DETAILS. 25 Gleadless Road Heeley Sheffield S2 3AA 0114 2496455