A comprehensive list of the best beer gardens in Sheffield
"You wanna go for a cig?" a friend will ask. They probably don't even have their own, they just want to steal one from you but to do so they need you to agree to go outside with them. Thus, the trip to the pub is complete – you have visited the beer garden.
Going to the pub isn't the same if you don't visit the beer garden, like going to sleep and not questioning every decision you've ever made in the process, or going to university and not questioning every decision you've ever made in the process.
The beer garden is a staple of the 'going to the pub' experience, and when it's a good beer garden, well, now we're talking.
So, here is a round up of the best gardens in Sheffield, Ecclesall Road to Kelham Island.
The Gardener's Rest
The Gardener's Rest has a beer garden that cannot be matched. The Neepsend pub is owned and run by the community, with its garden looking out over the River Don and its surrounding area. It pairs random repurposed objects with wild greenery, mismatched furniture, and eclectic designs, and is an Instagram-able dream if that's what you're into – it's certainly what I'm into.
The Doctor's Orders
Smaller than most of the gardens on the list, the Doctor's Orders is burgeoning with overgrown vines and plants under the watch of the church, now the university drama studio, next door. A sparrow tends to hang around the back of the garden and often tries to fly inside when the doors are left open, if adventurous sparrows is the vibe you're after. I mean, why wouldn't it be?
The Nursery Tavern
The Nursery Tavern beer garden is enormous, so enormous I wouldn't really class it as a garden, more like a beer acre. There's nearly always a seat and in summer it's sun trap, which is fine I guess, unless, like me, you only wear black jeans and summer is a curse.
The Porter Brook
On Ecclesall Road, the Porter Brook's beer garden is a narrow, well covered yard essentially, with the added bonus that the Porter Brook river runs alongside it. The calming cascade of the river as you sit in the garden is a unique experience for a pub in such an urban and populated environment. Just don't be a dick and throw your rubbish in the river.
The Fat Cat
The Fat Cat, home of Kelham Island Brewery, can be found at the heart of Kelham Island and is a dream for both real ale lovers and gentrification hipsters. The pub was also the first in Sheffield to offer a 'no smoking' room, which is ironic given that this article, let's be honest, is about the best places to smoke.
The garden is large and a mix of covered and uncovered areas, decorated with greenery, an assortment of signage, and normally someone else's dog, which is obviously a good thing and there is no argument otherwise.
The Lescar on Sharrow Vale Road is in a unique position on the list given that it has two gardens – one out front and one out back. Out front is pretty much just a garden, a patch of lawn fenced in by hedges, a couple of benches – if someone kicked their ball over the hedge, I would not be surprised. The garden at the rear is spacious and offers lots of seating both covered and uncovered, and on some nights you can hear the jazz performances from inside, plus you can check out the ever-changing graffiti of Jarvis Cocker next door – now that's what I call ambience.
The Blake Hotel
Getting to the Blake Hotel is a struggle, I won't lie. It's either down a very steep hill or up a very steep hill, depending on where you come from, but then we are in Sheffield, so what do you expect?
The pub itself, though, is worth the calf workout, with a large garden at the rear offering views over the surrounding Sheffield and the city centre in the distance.