Café #9 :: Sheffield

I’ve found a beautiful little social haven of music, hot chocolate and fuzzy warmth in Sheffield. They don’t have a website, and I’ll not let on where it is – you’ll find it easy enough with a touch of Googling anyway!

It’s called Cafe #9 and I want to come here every day.

It’s BYOB. The main drink offerings are hot chocolate, tea or hot ribena with ginger. There are board games and instruments dotted about and occasionally Netheredge Pizza set up shop outside and feed everyone their Italian goodness for the night.

Last night I had a brief catch up with Sarah, who is Social Sheffield’s Live Music Editor and also a very talented musician. She comes here to hang out and make music. I’d planned to stay an hour or two, I didn’t leave until much later.

As a kid I grew up in a very Catholic, working class town. The best bit about this was the get togethers – lots of families, friends and friends of friends coming together for food, music, late nights and just a very comforting and warm fuzzy feeling right in the heart of your chest. There was something SO exciting about squeezing onto the sofa way past my bedtime with about ten other kids, wrapping up in a blanket, tucking in to a packet of monster munch and listening to someone play a lovely song on a guitar, just for the sake of it.

This is exactly what Cafe #9 reminded me of – that wholesome feeling of being at home or belonging somewhere – and if I’m completely honest it made me a little emotional!

After our catch up people carrying instruments started to arrive, so Sarah whipped out her violin and some very beautiful sounds followed.








A beautifully time-warping experience in a café I’m going to be frequenting.

On The Moor :: Horror Souk

Down in London is a theatre company called Theatre Delicatessen. What they do in a nutshell, is take over abandoned buildings and perform immersive theatre – performances where the audience is just as involved as the actors.

They came up north recently and set up Moor Deli – they’re currently in the old Woolworths on Sheffield’s Moor. Social Sheffield’s Stage Editor, Sarah, is part of the collaboration and last night I finally went down to explore.

Currently, the building has been transformed into a tardis-like maze of haunting immersive theatre – they’re calling it the Horror Souk.

The old Woolies, like most dated department stores, has that eerie, empty feel to it. This coupled with creepy décor leads to you to feel on edge before you’ve even really got through the door.

I don’t want to give too much away, the beauty in these performances lies in the ‘not knowing’. What I loved is that they were equally immersive and confronting, yet all totally different and unique to each other. I’m going back for more on Thursday and I cannot wait.














My favourite performance from this first visit was Did You Call The Police? which was, to be frank, effing terrifying. In a good way…!

The Horror Souk is running up until 22 November – I recommend taking a friend or five!

Dog’s Birthday At Bird’s Yard

After I wrote about Bird’s Yard last week, they got in touch and kindly invited me to an event they hosted on Monday.  It was a community event in their basement, with performances from singers and a couple of stand ups. I love going to things like this so immediately said yes.  I’m really glad I went, the decor and atmosphere were serene and cosy, and the performances absolutely amazing.

We caught the last half of a set by Neil McSweeney, an amazingly talented singer.  We also saw two thirds of stand up act Staple/face and Nat Johnson – whose music blew me away.















I really hope to see more events like this in the future.  Make sure you check out all the mentioned acts out on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.  It was a great way to spend a bank holiday Monday!

Tamper Coffee, Sheffield

As the drinks editor for Social Sheffield, I have to put myself out into Sheffield as a taster and tester.  It’s a voyage of discovery in which I need to visit as many bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs as possible to find out what’s good, what’s not and why.  Tamper Coffee is pretty much at the top of the good list.  There are two cafes, one on Westfield Terrace and one on Arundel St.  They’re owned by kiwis, which means they make excellent coffee.  They also know how to put on a good brunch.

A thing of beauty.  Eggs benedict with smoked salmon and a hash brown.  Being at Tamper makes me feel like I’m back in Melbourne, it has that lazy morning vibe that was so standard throughout Melb.  It’s good I’ve found this place, it’ll help me through the transition.  Needless to say this breakfast was washed down with a flat white.


Since it was a late brunch and since it was well into the afternoon by the time we’d finished, I decided to finally try Jaipur Pale Ale provided by the Thornbridge Brewery in the Peak District.  You can buy this ale pretty much anywhere in Sheffield and its easy to see (or taste?) why.

I can’t drink ale quickly, it’s very heavy.  But that’s fine as this is a taste you’ll want to savour anyway!

Find Tamper on Twitter here.

Where to buy books: Part Two – Sheffield

Go to Sheffield, head towards the City Hall, take a left down Division Street, continue on to Devonshire Street and then look out for a shop called Rare and Racy to your right.  This shop also sells records and is full of every and any book you can imagine.  The owners play retro music loudly into every nook and cranny, old wooden step ladders line the shelves, and the walls are decorated with vintage book pages and annual covers.  Little shops like these really broaden and enrich my experience of buying books and I hope they never die out!

I visited this lovely shop with Petites Folies who journeyed up the country to see me on my birthday.  She has kindly let me use some photos she took whilst we got stuck in to some serious book browsing.

They don’t make book covers like this anymore!


Lost in my own world.  It was here that I stumbled across a copy of Never Let Me Go – I finished it very quickly, great book!


Whilst bigger chain shops can be great for books, shops like these are really important so I always try to buy my books in places like this.  On the plus side too, it is mere steps away from all the fabulous bars of Division Street, a particular favourite of mine being Bungalows and Bears.