The Holt – the city centres hidden gem

I’ll be the first one to admit that the first dozen times walking along Arundel street, I didn’t notice the hidden gem that is The Holt. Hiding among surrounding workshops and student flats, you wouldn’t think from the outside that it could be such a great place to hang out with friends or get lost in a good book for a few hours.

Walking in will fill you with a sense of calm. The quaint music and the quirky décor are welcoming and relaxing. The design of the place is certainly unique, with almost everything being recycled or second hand. It makes for a lovely setting as you enjoy some of the best tea and coffee in Sheffield.

 

Second-hand couches fresh from the set of ‘This is England’ and ceiling decorations give off a cool vibe to the place. Hanging above you is seemingly everything from light bulbs to carnations, plant pots and even a bicycle. Empty bottles and bean bag chairs, not to mention the funky artwork give this place a cosy ambience and a quirky feel.
Once sat down, you can fully appreciate the wonderful decor as you take notice of all the magical little features around you. What’s even more impressive than The Holt’s intriguing interior, is their menu. They boast a fine selection of teas and coffees, as well as interesting sandwiches and soup.

Two personal favourites of mine have been their ‘Fully Monty’ breakfast tea along with some very heart-warming ‘Roast Spicy Parsnip Soup’, served with coriander and fresh bread.

What made my tea and soup taste even better, is the fact that almost everything they prepare is locally sourced. Coffee beans are roasted on site, their tea comes from Birdhouse Tea company, as well as their milk being freshly delivered daily, from their cow Molly in Dungworth.

 

In terms of customer service, the staff were wonderful! So wonderful in fact, I even got a chance to talk with the owner, Gareth, who took time out his work to tell me a little bit about The Holt.

Not even a year old, The Holt was based on Cafe’s seen in Germany. “The Holt was inspired by some of the places in Berlin”, Gareth told me. “We liked the way they used industrial spaces to hang out”

Having always dreamed of running a cafe, Gareth and his partner Jess designed the place themselves. The couple regularly host exhibitions supporting local artists as well as selling amateur photography. “We set it up to have somewhere to call our own and enjoy being”

All in all, I would definitely recommend visiting The Holt when you are next have a gap in your day and you’re around city campus. It’s certainly worth the visit! Great Tea, great food and a cosy atmosphere! Don’t miss it!

10 things you never realised you’d learn at uni

You came to university expecting to leave with a good degree, a small village-worth of multinational friends and the mental capability to take on any profession you desire. You naturally thought that once you were at uni you pretty much had your life together.

You are now at uni, eating spaghetti hoops from a mug and wondering if your parents would disown you if you dropped out tomorrow.

But wait– before you drown in a soup of self-pity and vodka – remember that you will (probably) finish university with a degree but that’s not all you’ll have to show for the last three years.

Here are 10 things you hadn’t even REALISED you’d learnt whilst being at uni:

  1. How to get on with almost anyone.

This seems obvious, but think, how many different types of people have you met because of uni? How fewer people would you know right now if you hadn’t bothered applying in the first place? You pretty much learn how to make a connection with almost anyone you meet. And this is a priceless skill. You shouldn’t undermine it.

  1. The true meaning of “I have no money”

Now, this sounds negative but it’s not. At uni, having no money is pretty depressing because you REALLY don’t have any money. In fact, you might (will) be in negative figures. Yes, Santander lives for these mind games. However, having no money will make you appreciate it so much more when you finally have some; that £20 large domino’s pizza was totally worth it. This will stay with you when you’re older too; you’ll value your earnings much more.

  1. How to cook without killing everyone:

This is always a plus. Unless you have a fetish for microwave meals or starvation, cooking is a pretty crucial skill. I mean, if you don’t learn to cook whilst at uni, when will you? It’s the perfect time to learn because everyone else is either learning too or lives off pukka pies. And to be honest, pukka pies are not ok.

  1. That adults are basically little kids with wine:

A realisation that can be difficult. I blame lecturers.

  1. How important tea/coffee is:

Before I came to uni I thought these two were mere drinks to be enjoyed with friends or with breakfast. I now know that coffee is life and motivation in liquid form. It is the liquid from the Fountain of Youth and has powers beyond anything you could imagine. If there is no coffee available in a morning, this means you are unavailable to interact with other beings. These hot beverages have serious implications.

  1. Not all alcohol is OK:

Previously, the phrase “free shots” was music to your drunken ears. Now, you know that if you consume said free shot there’s a 50/50 chance you won’t live to tell the tale. Or you’ll just be really sick – again. Either one is possible.

  1. How to work a washing machine:

Don’t even try to tell me you knew how to work one before. Washing machines are complex creatures. It takes a good year at university to learn it’s ways and how to use one.

  1. Exercise is such a good idea:

Exercise makes you fit in every sense of the word. It really does. You feel better, you look better, you even think better. Exercise is your best friend at uni (a friend that gives you muscle cramp and asthma attacks). This point is debatable within some groups of uni students.

  1. General housekeeping:

OK, so you might not be a domestic god/goddess. But you know when to take the bin out before it starts to smell like someone’s died. Or, not to light your cigarette using the toaster. Or, how bleach kills everything it touches. You even know how to get the hair out of the shower plug hole without throwing up.

  1. You get to know yourself a bit better:

Coming to uni lets you learn more about yourself. You know which drink makes you drunk-text your ex. You know your favourite way of chilling out after a long day. You’ve learnt that if you want a nice cup of tea, you have to make it yourself. Seriously, you can’t trust anyone with that sh*t.

So, next time you’re sat in your 9 am thinking, “what am I doing here”, remember everything you’ve learnt because of being at university. Even if it’s something as little as not lighting a cig on a toaster. All this knowledge is useful.

In the iconic words of the crazed warthog and his equally disturbing friend Pumba, “Hakuna-Matata” (said whilst living in a warm jungle free from student loans and gas bills)

Have a nice year.