Sheffield – Gardeners Rest

This understated little pub was busy even in the afternoon, but the welcome was friendly and there was a relaxed atmosphere in the venue. It’s run as a community pub and that local feel was evident, no doubt essential after floods caused significant damage in 2007 and closed the premises for some time.

The Porteresque from Hophurst Brewery, which was frankly, quite brilliant. Rich and long-lasting flavours of salted caramel in a beer, there can’t be many better flavour combinations. Although when a brewery finally gets around to launching a chicken bake porter, that might be the ultimate taste sensation.

The bar billiards table, where Nathan managed to narrowly beat me, although it was strange playing on a table with different rules to what I’m used to. Liam and Ross powered to a 0-0 draw, one of the worst games I’ve seen, but I was fortunately happily distracted with the beer.

Back to the service in the pub, which was impeccable, with the staff being interested in their customers and willing to answer questions. They were conversational, engaging, friendly and all the other elements which makes me like a pub just that bit more. And with everything else stacking up, this was my favourite pub in Sheffield. And indeed, one of my pubs of the year, being the fourth to be added to my list.

All very lovely.