The more time I spend in Sheffield the more I warm to it.
Look hard enough you will find good independents in amongst the chains in every city. I often visit Sheffield due to work and this limits exploring to a 1.5 mile radius of the office during lunch time.
Despite these restrictions, as of late I have found a couple of gems hidden within this city. There are far more to be found and quite predominantly around the Nether Edge and Kelham Island regions of the city, unfortunately both are a little too far out of reach for my lunch time strolls, but if you should visit make a beeline for these areas.
I have developed a plan of action for finding a good lunch in recent years, when in a city that isn't my own I research the best places to get coffee. Doing this tends to lead me to (not only good coffee) good food that can be served in a short lunch timeframe. Often when I google 'The best coffee in...' it comes up with a blog or a website that promotes independents, rarely are Starbucks, Costa and Nero featured in the best places to get coffee so it's relatively safe research tool.
My research in Sheffield brought me to this website independent-sheffield.co.uk
It was on here that I spotted Marmaduke's. It wasn't too far away from the office, it served food and it had a picture of a pretty cup of coffee.
It was fairly busy when I arrived and I was greeted by a waitress behind the counter, she asked if I was looking to eat and I replied with "a table for one please". I was directed me upstairs advising that there should be room for me up there. The first flight of stairs found nothing for me but on the top floor there was a table sandwiched between two couples or space on the end of a long table of which a couple of guys were only sitting at one side of. I made a beeline for the long table clearly becoming too accustomed to places of similar irk (stripped back look with vintage features) and thought this was perfectly acceptable.
|Mind the gap|
Unfortunately for me it seems it wasn't as I was overseen by the waiter and when a third guy turned up (I suspect he had been to the gents) it all started to feel a little uncomfortable as the guys clearly didn't feel I should be intruding on their table.
Eventually I grabbed a waiter's attention by bobbing my head above the men on the table and I was finally offered a menu. Feeling that time was quickly slipping away from me I knew I'd have to make a decision quickly and grab the waiters attention as soon as he appeared again.
I ordered a flat white and a club sandwich that came accompanied with chips.
My flat white turned up within 5 minutes or so and things started to feel a little better. The sun was shining through the windows and having something to stare in to was taking my attention away from the men who eventually paid up and left.
40 minutes after arriving however I still had no food and according to google it was a 10 minute walk back to work, it had taken me around 13 minutes to get there and as time was quickly dwindling on my 1 hour lunch break, I started to get panicky. I had a meeting I needed to get to and the sun that was once so lovely was starting to make me overheat and then a couple arrived and were sat at my table. I was now shadowed again from the waiter. I tried to grab his attention but he kept disappearing down the stairs. I was frantically texting D telling him of my dilemma, I was going to have to leave, I was going to have to throw my money at the waitress at the counter downstairs and make a dash for it. The couple didn't feel comfortable on my table either and asked to move, adding more tension and anxiety to my situation.
I'd slimmed down the walk to 8 minutes of speed walking to the office and with 5 minutes to spare my food turned up. I literally had to through it down my neck and only managed a couple of chips before giving up hope of eating any more. It really wasn't worth the wait either as the grease from my sandwich was so intense it literally soaked my napkin through as I desperately tried to not make a mess of my face or fingers.
With a mouthful of food I beckoned the waiter over and asked if I could pay, he asked cash or card, I replied cash. He turned up with a card machine as I presented my cash to him. I told him I'd pay on my card as it was quicker that way and made a run for the office indigestion following my tail.
I probably won't be going to Marmaduke's on my own again, I'd recommend it as a place for coffee (and perhaps cake) with friends as I couldn't fault the coffee at all. The decor within is beautiful, as mentioned it's stripped back to its original features and has some beautiful furniture and tiles (home owning has made me literally obsessed with decor).
Lunch was around £12.