I asked the manager what the Florentine is. A hotel? Restaurant with rooms? Without a trace of irony or punctuation he said 'we're calling it Pub/Kitchen/Room'. What it actually is is Behind the Candelabra as Lewis Carroll would have designed it under the influence of a mind-altering substance. I mean that in a good way. It's HUGE, and I remember it as a sticky carpeted, nicotine drenched underage drinking destination about 150 years ago. Last November it was completely stripped and in an unimaginably short time, a Through the Looking Glass palace was created.
Barnsley based designer Laura Lowe was given free rein and she ran with it, to strangle a metaphor. In one corner, country house hotel. In another, SoHo loft. Turn left and it's vintage/re-found/pre-loved, sourced no doubt from one of the many emporia on Abbeydale Road. Birds in cages. Mid century modern chairs. Napkins made from Irish linen tea towels. Books on ladder racks. Pigs flying. I might have made the last one up.
Whatever it is they've chucked strong money at it. As well as an imported Italian wood-fired pizza oven the size of my front room is a Josper grill, the must-have piece of kitchen kit du jour. So it's a steak and pizza joint, although there's lots more on the menu (tea smoked duck with wild mushrooms, Hendrick's Gin cured salmon with wasabi mayo and er fish & chips in home brewed beer batter). All this and cocktails, espresso, and 25 wines by the glass. So something for everyone, particularly the young, cool Sheffield crowd who will doubtless flock here in droves. Good for them.
Upstairs the head trip continues with sexy bedrooms big enough to throw a prom; vast beds dripping in snowy white cotton, free-standing baths, full length Venetian mirrors and crystal chandeliers. It's enough to turn a girl's head on a wet Wedesday in January. I've just come from a greasy spoon caff in Crosspool and it takes some adjustment.
They're just finding their feet so the rooms right now are cheap, so head on down and have some fun.
How Much: From 60 pounds for the room per night
Kid's Stuff: They've a family room so it's not just for hedonists
Good Grub: As well as the various options downstairs, head for the Cricket Inn at Totley for posh pub grub, the fabulously kitsch Mediterranean on Sharrow Vale Road, the Wig and Pen on Campo Lane in the city centre and The Milestone at Kelham Island. For fabulous chocolate and cake, Cocoa on Eccleshall Road is a must. And if it's an old-school, proper pub with the best beer, pies and sausages (made on the premises) it's The Broadfield Ale House you need to find.
Tapton Park Road, Sheffield S10 3FGTel 0114 230 8692
Part of Stay South Yorkshire
Review by Mandy, 10 January 2014blog comments powered by Disqus