Sheffield in 24
An action packed city adventure
Despite having visited Sheffield twice before in the past it took an invitation from the Mercure “St Pauls Hotel and Spa” for me to truly discover what this oft overlooked UK city has to offer.
I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of travel and lifestyle bloggers to be invited for an action packed 24 hour city visit.
St Pauls Hotel and Spa, being Sheffield’s only 4 * Hotel, is the perfect spot to stay, being centrally located, and as if that wasn’t enough, it also boasts doors leading directly onto the fabulous Tropical Winter Gardens. Having stayed at the Mercure in the past I arrived early, check in is 2pm, in order to take full advantage of the hotels Spa and Pool, free to use for hotel guests, it also offers a range of therapies and massages at an additional cost. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the spa area has had a makeover, with both the steam sauna and dry sauna benefiting from a complete overhaul, this is the perfect way to unwind before heading out for the evening.
For anyone on a first time visit to Sheffield the Winter Garden is a must visit place, open to the public its full of pop up shops, cafes and a museum. It also offers seating areas in amongst the lush tropical planting where locals come to have their lunch, or to just sit awhile and relax. I was also reliably informed it is used as the location by TV crews carrying out interviews of snooker starts competing at the world famous Crucible theatre, again just a stone’s throw from the Mercure and visible from the gardens.
Top Tip: Of course if you stay at the Mercure it’s on your doorstep!
We enjoyed a fabulous pre dinner drinks reception at the hotel where we got to sample a number of bespoke local gins, gin seems to be very much the drink of the moment, and these local distills didn’t disappoint. This was followed by a very good 3 course meal, but what really made the evening special was meeting fellow bloggers, Tracy from “The Naughty Forties Diaries Blog” @naughty_forties accompanied by her wonderful friend Sue, who spends most of her life moving from one fabulous house to another all over the UK in the name of house sitting, think I’m in the wrong job. Also met the wonderful Asma of @jetsetchick fame, accompanied by her wonderful husband Mo. All in all we had a blast and made some great new friends along the way!
Breakfast the next morning is served in the hotel restaurant, which, benefiting from a view directly onto the winter garden, you could almost believe you were in the tropics. The Saturday morning we were there would have proved a real treat for football fans, as the entire QPR first division team were staying at the hotel and all in the restaurant having breakfast. Must admit though, I thought they were cricket team until Tracey set me straight, no pun intended.
Following a leisurely breakfast we headed into the winter garden for a quick wander, before heading off on a Hotel arranged guided tour of the city center. Although the tour was led by the charismatic and dapper, in grey long coat, hotel concierge Philip, Tracey and Sue, being locals, proved an invaluable source of information on Sheffield’s history, both past and present. In fact, they proved so knowledgeable I would encourage The Mercure Sheffield to employ them to give any future planned tours of this vibrant and dynamic city.
In fact some of the streets reminded me of San Francisco with their quirky boutique shops and local craft brewery bars. Sheffield also has a hill or two, in common with SFO. They also have thing about elephants.
If this visit achieved anything for me it was the happy realisation that I really need to arrange a return visit, and a longer stay. There is just too much to see and do, too much even for an action packed flying visit. When I do, I know where I’m staying !
If you are looking for a city break, as UK destinations go I can heartily recommend Sheffield as deserving of your Stay Local City break.
We took the train from Manchester Piccadilly links for timetable and tickets click this link
Use the hotel specified NCP carpark for a hefty discount on the list price 24 hour parking.
Mercure St Pauls Hotel & Spa click this link for info and reservations
Great Blogs you should read and follow
To read Oliver’s blog click this link
To read Tracey’s Blog click this link
To read Asma’s Blog click this link
#StayLocal #Staycation #Sheffield