This is Laundry: A super-cool Sheffield salon

Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield

I  was in Sheffield this weekend using up some annual leave, but being the dedicated journalist and hairdressing hound that I am, couldn’t resist the invitation to check out my home town’s latest salon; Laundry.

This stylish spot was opened a couple of weeks ago by the brains behind The Chimney House, which I haven’t had cause to visit yet but which is so beautiful that I’ve considered changing my opinion on marriage especially. Or perhaps just having a massive birthday party.

Being part of the Chimney House family, the salon is stupendously beautiful and full of cool and interesting things. Full disclaimer: I haven’t lived in Sheffield for years and maybe there are stylish salons like this everywhere. But I’m pretty sure there aren’t.

Co-owner Sally showed me around, and I tried really hard not to coo at everything like the fangirl I am – but look at it! Some highlights; flooring made from recycled school gym floors (hence the colourful court markings), amazing tiled counter, big butler sink, nice fresh meadow flowers throughout, massive comfy chairs, that awesome central concrete table rather than private styling stations, a gift-shop of cool fun stuff at the front. Oh, I just love it!

I didn’t have an appointment (roll on Christmas, when I definitely will book in) but the hairdressing side of things looks to be just as good as the OYMHGODIT’SBEAUTIFUL side. Heading things up is Mitchell Wilson; TONI&GUY trained and the man who brought their franchise to Sheffield in the first place. I saw good hair all round when I was nosying and, from a selfish point of view, was pleased to see they use Wella Professional colour as that’s what I get. And I’m clearly planning for the future.

After our look around, Sally took me next door to Tamper coffee; another cool new addition that has appeared in the last year. Tamper actually shares the same building as Laundry – a 19th century cutlery works (obv, this is Sheffield) which is Grade II listed and built around a sweet courtyard. I feel genuinely thrilled that my hometown has all this new cool stuff that I didn’t know about – it’s had the cool people long enough!

Prices for Laundry start at £25 and you can find them at 151 Sellers Wheel, Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU. Tamper is right next door!

[Pics via Laundry]

Yorkshire Day recipes (and 10% off Hendo’s)

Recipes to Relish book

In honour of Yorkshire Day, I figured I’d share a recipe from the (kinda rare) Recipes to Relish book. Those of you who a) know me IRL or b) read this blog with any regularity will be aware of my love of Henderson’s Relish; the spicy Sheffield sauce that’s variously known as Sheffield’s best-kept secret, mother’s milk and Rick Savage from Def Leppard’s favourite condiment.

The book features recipes from all manner of Sheffield restaurants, as well as words of wisdom from Rick, Peter Stringfellow and, of course, Sean Bean. What better way to celebrate this finest of days?

Henderson’s Velvet

Sugar lumps
Henderson’s Relish
One bottle of good-quality sparkling wine
Two cans of stout

Pour some sugar (on me) lumps on a plate and soak them in Henderson’s Relish. Put one in each glass – use tall glasses as they help to keep the bubbles in.

Half-fill each glass with sparkling wine then top up with stout. Be careful not to pour too quickly, otherwise you’ll end up with all froth and no wine.

Cobbler (Beef and dumplings)

750g lean minced beef
Two medium onions
25g beef dripping (or lard)
One tablespoon plain flour
150ml beef stock
Two tablespoons of Henderson’s Relish
Salt and pepper
100g self-raising flour
50g suet

This is HANDS DOWN my favourite dinner in the world and my mum makes it whenever I go home. Comfort eating at its very best and would potentially kill to eat this right now.

Melt the dripping in a large frying pan and gently fry the onions until softened. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for two minutes, stirring all the time. Gradually add the stock, stir until boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Add the Henderson’s Relish and the minced beef and season well. Turn into an oven-proof dish with a lid and cook in the centre of the oven at 180c for 30 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, prepare the dumplings. Mix together the flour and suet with sufficient water to make a firm but soft dough. Divide into eight portions and roll into balls – flour your hands before doing this. Place the dumplings on top of the mince, replace the lid, and return to the even for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 200c, uncover the dish and cook for a further ten minutes, or until the dumplings are crisp and golden.

The book then says: “Serve with mashed potatoes, carrots and buttered cabbage – and pass the Hendo’s.” TRUTH.

If you don’t live in Sheffield, you might struggle to track down Henderson’s Relish. But panic not! You can get 10% off everything – including Hendo’s – at www.yorkshirepantry.co.uk all day today… What are you waiting for? They sell it by the litre, pal.

Channelling my inner Cher with Brag Vintage

bang vintage sheffieldbang vintage sheffieldCher crochet top

All I’ve ever wanted in life is to look like Cher, so when I spotted this 60s crochet top on the Brag Vintage site, it was a done deal. Next step, black hair dye and eyelash extensions.

Brag Vintage is a new Sheffield secondhand store (you can see my round up of all of ’em here) except that they have the added bonus of being based entirely online. That’s right; all the good stuff about northern vintage shopping (cheap, great, plentiful) without even having to board an East Midlands train.

I’ll leave you to investigate the site at your leisure, but I do feel duty bound to inform you that there are loads of really nice coats on there at the moment – that’s a top vintage-shopping tip right there, btw. Always buy vintage coats online in summer, especially amidst a heat wave. The last thing any sane person wants to do is browse heavy wool jackets or fur coats (HIYA) so you always get a bargain and the best choice.

Also into: this floral maxi; this BHS logo t-shirt (why not?) and this nice knitted cami.

Outfit plans above – I do think denim cut-offs would be more Cher, but I clearly don’t have the legs for that. Instead I’ll opt for my olde faithful vintage maxi skirt (bought it on the first day at uni, wear it weekly); weird vintage sunglasses-case handbag and equally olde faithful earrings, that I got in a goodie bag at a QVC press day about five years ago and also continue to wear weekly.

Kid Acne x Pulp

KidAcne_Pulp_Tshirt_A

[Picture: Kid Acne]

As if a local Pulp gig isn’t exciting enough, I’ve just found out that my favourite Sheffield bro, Kid Acne, has designed a shirt for the merch stand! No way!

Featuring the lyrics of Jarvis’s hometown ode, Sheffield: Sex City, it’s like a freakin’ tour shirt but just with different bits of the city. My god, it’s good innit?

I do hope that Kid Acne has designed some other stuff for this one-off show – it could end up rivalling Grinderman for tasteful things to waste your drunken money on.

[You can see lots of other posts about Kid Acne here!]

Cocomaya truffles by way of Hathersage Pool

I’ve spent most of this week banging on about Hathersage Swimming Pool to anyone that will listen. The lido is a short drive from my childhood home and right down the street from my great grandma’s old place, so it was a fairly obvious choice of a place to hang out as a kid. There’s nothing like swimming outside looking out over the Derbyshire hills, even when it is cold and rainy.

I haven’t been to the pool for years, although lots of my hometown friends seemed to be putting pictures of the pool up after the glorious weekend we just had. Bastards. I’m not much of a swimmer these days – although I have mastered the art of swimming with a margarita, using one arm to propel myself along, thanks to various experiences in Las Vegas pools – but I still fancy a trip back to Hathersage for a dip next time I’m back up north. Imagine if they still had a band on the stand! How civilised that would be. Sadly the cafe isn’t licensed – and probably wouldn’t serve margaritas in novelty glasses anyway – but I can look past that, given the amazing real ale pubs in the vicinity. SIGH.

All of this is a rather long-winded way of saying that this week I discovered Cocomaya Gin and Lemon Truffles – not only a slice of delicious heaven, but a happy reminder on the packaging of those pretend summers that we all remember from our youth when it was boiling hot all the time. The pretty postcard print is the work of renowned photographer John Hinde, who was a dab hand at making seaside resorts look spectacularly picturesque.

And packaging aside, it’s gin and lemon chocolate – what a winning formula. They’re currently on offer, exclusively at Selfridges.

[Hathersage Pool pictures via the Hathersage Pool Heritage page]

Kid Acne + Barber x 2 Many Printers

Not even sure how I came across this new Kid Acne t-shirt today – I guess being in Sheffield for the weekend makes the internet magic machine spit up South Yorkshire-related things with more regulatory.

Cigarettes are a recurring theme in his work – doesn’t he just make ’em look so cute? I’m not sure fags are allowed in Bikini Bottom, but Spongebob def looks happy to have a secret supply – and who can blame him, when they all have such cheery little faces. Ah.

Kid Acne + Barber x 2 Many Printers shirt, £25

[All pictures – KidAcne.com]

A few new Sheffield vintage finds

Really enjoying Picnik’s galactic overlays – let’s hope they keep them even when NASA-mania has calmed down.

Excitingly, I am writing this in the Forum in Sheffield – one of my favourite hangouts for the past… 16 years? Back in the old days it was full of vintage, record stores and head shops – it’s a little more gentrified these days but I was really happy to see that they have got a bustling array of boutiques open again now, after a few years in the wilderness. The shops may come and go, but the bar has always been great and holds universal appeal – everyone I know likes it here because it manages to cater to everyone without compromising on its own ~vibe~. Presently enjoying a pea and chorizo risotto and glass of wine while listening to the Drifters, while students sit outside in the sun and drink pints and groups from work have lunch… etc. etc… it’s an appealing spot for anyone.

Anyway – two new shops have sprung up since I last ventured in to the Forum and I’m pleased to report that I shopped at them both. I will add them to my Sheffield vintage guide soon but here’s a quick update.

Lottiebel’s Boutique

An unabashedly feminine boutique selling vintage, nice bits of jewellery and the usual cool postcards and knick-knacks you tend to find. I bought my mysterious orange item here, as well as much more tasteful brown leather belt with snazzy horse buckle. As is seemingly always the way in Sheffield, the vintage is cheap and quality and the staff are brilliant. Swoon. The lovely owner Lottie convinced me to buy said orange item but not in a salesy way – more the kind of enthusiasm you get when you’re shopping with a friend and you get psyched because you find something awesome that you can’t quite believe is so cheap. Lottie also found me and my mum standing outside another shop the next day and advised me on their opening hours to save me hanging around like a goon, which is customer service of the highest order in my eyes.

Find Lottiebel’s Boutique in the Forum, 127-129 Devonshire Street, Sheffield S3 7SB or follow on Twitter here!

Syd and Mallory

Handily located directly opposite Lottiebel’s, Syd and Mallory also offers a wide array of vintage, modern accessories and reconstructed bits – see, chunky knits with studded shoulder pads and cut and paste dresses combining two frocks in one. Syd and Mallory also stocks furniture which ended up being the reason I visited three times in the course of my weekend visit… We ended up, eventually, buying an utterly fabulous gold and mirrored 1930s drinks cabinet for £30 with free delivery!!!!!!!111 I love Sheffield. Syd and Mallory actually occupies (one of) the old site(s) of Freshman’s, so I’m glad to see it being put to good use. Sheffield has always been green for vintage furniture and house accessories, but there’s not been much so central for a long time so I can see myself spending rather a lot of time and money there over the next few months…

Find Syd and Mallory also in the Forum, address as above, or find them on Facebook here!

Vintage shopping in Sheffield: favourite shops from a second-hand fiend

A couple of months ago a reader asked me for advice on vintage shopping in my hometown of Sheffield. I finally returned to the  motherland this weekend and took the opportunity to do a bit of shopping… all in the name of research. Sorry for the shit pictures, people in Sheffield seemingly get weirded out if you take photos in the street. Or maybe they just thought I looked weird?

Mysterious vintage shop, corner of Carver Street and Devonshire Street

Now updated to Ryan Vintage, corner of Carver Street and Devonshire Street

If this place has an actual name, do let me know. Please bear in mind that I don’t actually live in Sheffield any more so all my information is based on quarterly visits… As far as I gather, this place opened at Christmas. Loads of my friends went and raved about it, but I somehow completely missed it and didn’t have time to go before the holidays were over. I was hoping it would still be open (you know how these vintage shops appear and disappear with alarming regularity) and joy of joys, it was.

This place is basically the concrete shell of what used to be Yates Wine Lodge. There are no fittings, no floor, no décor of which to speak… in fact at the back of the shop there’s a big pile of rubble fenced off with clothes. Garments are displayed on rails and there are wooden pallets on the floor for shoes and handbags. All that said, the stock is great. Not having shop fittings (or changing rooms, or a till) really keeps costs down and if you’re a dedicated vintage rummager, you can only benefit from that.

There were piles of good things in here, sort of arranged by order of interest — i.e., stick the Barbours right by the door — and everything else was just lumped into skirts/dresses/coats/tops. Seemed to be a good amount of menswear too, but I didn’t have much time so didn’t investigate further. Lots of 90s sportswear — good Adidas track jackets, that kind of thing. I’d say coats and accessories are the strong point here, because although there were loads of dresses they were just a bit overwhelming. Still, I bought a black and red ladybird-esque maxi dress which I need to a get a picture of so I guess I should give the dresses a thumbs up too.

Easily the most annoying thing about this shop was the lack of a price on anything. I know that taking the time to price things would also add time/costs but it’s a bit of a pain. I guess it opens things up to haggling too, but I didn’t have the time or energy so just asked them what they wanted for my haul and paid and got out of there. They don’t take cards, be aware – there are plenty of cash machines around the area though, just remember to go first.

Freshmans, 6-8 Carver Street

How do I love Freshmans? Let me count the fucking ways. Freshmans is Devonshire Street”s original and best vintage shop in my opinion, and I have been shopping there most of my life. After my mum, it’s the first thing I want to see when I get home.

Freshmans used to be upstairs at the Forum, which was then Sheffield’s huge ~alternative~ emporium. If you’re familiar with Affleck’s Palace in Manchester, it was like that but on a small scale. A big old warehouse affair filled with vintage shops, head shops, piercers, record stores… God it was ace.

Anyway Freshmans took up most of the top floor and I spent most Saturdays in there picking up cheongsam and PVC coats in a bid to look like Lauren Laverne. THOSE WERE THE DAYS. Anyway, Freshmans has moved around quite a bit since then but has finally settled in this big space on Carver Street.

I have to be brutally honest and inform you that lately Freshmans has been selling more ‘refashioned’ vintage — get a nice vintage dress, chop it up, resell it — and more Pop Boutique brand stuff, but I completely understand that they need to include that kind of thing to make money so I forgive them.

Still, it doesn’t affect the quality of the vintage they do sell, in fact even if the selection is smaller, it’s better. I think it’s fair to say they have more menswear than women’s, but again, it’s such a good edit I can’t complain.

On my Christmas visit to Freshmans I picked up a pristine Barbour for £15 and they have loads in stock at the moment too. Great coats, good dresses and loads of brilliant old metal t-shirts (although it does weird me out that Slipknot is now considered vintage ha!). Also brilliant for jewellery and handbags.

I love Freshmans and even if they end up selling one dress for every 100 Pop Boutique pair of courdroys, I’ll still be there. The staff are all ace, friendly and knowledgeable. THUMBS UP.

Cow, 156-160 West Street

I feel like I’m cheating on Freshmans by even talking about Cow, but here goes. Cow is the new kid on the block, although I think it’s probably coming up to a year since I first went now. Cow is the kind of vintage shop you get in London but without the prices: really clean, quirky interior, edited collections by trend. It shouldn’t make a difference — and to the dedicated vintage fiend, it doesn’t — but if you want to get people through the door, making the shop as friendly, bright and welcoming as this does make a difference.

The downstairs has so many handbags displayed on bookshelves that I have not to this day been able to face looking at them. There are SO many. Look nice and all, but I’ve just been overwhelmed every time. The rest of the downstairs is divided equally into his and hers and I have been really impressed on my past visits at how in tune with trends they are.

This time there was a whole rail of pastel trench coats, lots of black lace items arranged nicely, floral jumpsuits artfully displayed. It all looks good and there’s a lot of choice. Upstairs is more of the same, again arranged really nice and clearly. Much as I like a rummage, it’s nice to have a clear run at things sometimes and this place definitely does all the hard work of editing out the crap for you.

I didn’t buy anything on this visit but last time I was there I got some Betty Barclay nautical trousers that I thought were a maxi skirt and a yellow lace maxi dress that I lived in on holiday in Italy. This time I was going to buy some Gucci sandals and Ferragamo flats, but I was in one of those shopping slumps where it just didn’t happen. They were about £20 I think, which gives a good idea on prices.

A new addition at Cow is the sale room where it’s three items for a tenner. There was a tonne of t-shirts in there, loads of knitwear, more Hawaiian print stuff than I’ve ever seen in my life and quite a lot of dresses. It was manic in that room, but if you were in the mood for a rummage you’d come up out with all sorts of gems, I’m sure.

I have one small gripe with Cow, and it’s a weird one. The rails downstairs are sort of rectangular. This means you can’t sweep items along for a quick scan, which is my preferred method of vintage shopping. Maybe it’s a sales tactic because you have to look at each thing individually then kind of shuffle it along, but it does my NUT in. Sort it out Cow!

Bang Bang, 19 Westfield Terrace

I didn’t take a picture of Bang Bang: unlike most Sheffield vintage shops they have a fully functioning website. With a blog! And information! I don’t know how long Bang Bang has been around but I’ve only been visiting it since Christmas 2009.

Here’s the thing with Bang Bang: it’s always really quiet. Unnervingly so. The first time I went in I took a bunch of things to try on and when I came out of the changing room there was no-one in sight. It’s creepy! No customers, one member of staff who’d gone AWOL… I found it a bit odd and whenever I’ve been in since it’s been similarly quiet.

UPDATE: Even though I received a comment from Bang Bang, it has remained unnervingly quiet on the last three occasions I have visited. I don’t like the American sales tactic of pretending to be your pal – I love a quiet browse. That said, it is a bit weird to never see anyone…

Bang Bang have really beautiful clothes with prices that are more Manchester than London vintage — £30-40 for a pristine cocktail dress, that kind of thing. I haven’t bought anything here yet but they have a really good selection of stock and it’s all ‘proper’ vintage too — none of your Clockhouse at C&A here. I’m really impressed with it and it’s a new stop on my Sheffield shopping trips.

Syd and Mallory, The Forum

A new discovery. It’s great to have vintage shops back in the Forum – as I mentioned, it used to be such a great shopping location and I’m glad they’re trying to bring that back. Syd and Mallory sells a combination of furniture and interior knickknacks and vintage clothing, as well as a few new pieces. I really like the atmosphere in this place and the staff are lovely too.

On my first visit, I bought a 1930s sideboard for £25 and on my second I bought some pristine Ferragmo flats for £8 so… say no more?

Lottiebel’s Boutique, The Forum

Right opposite Syd and Mallory is Lottibel’s Boutique, another lovely new addition to the Forum’s shopping options. Selling a combination of really good vintage and new pieces of jewellery and gift bits, prices are cheap and the picks are really good. The owner sells at a few really good vintage fairs, so I think it’s safe to say she knows her stuff.

Friendly, cheap, good pieces… Ah, Sheffield.

Brag Vintage - online vintage store based in Sheffield

Brag Vintage

Hip, hip hooray! If you can’t make it to Sheffield to make the most of our bountiful vintage shops in person, there’s no need to miss out on the good stuff. Brag Vintage is an online store founded and based in Sheffield – all the fun of bountiful, bargain secondhand stores with all the ease of online shopping. They have a seriously huge range of both men’s and women’s pieces and update the store regularly, just like sticking your head in your favourite IRL shop – seriously, we’re talking ASOS levels of new stock.

Prices are reasonable, they ship internationally and there’s a nice solid returns policy, which is always handy when you’re buying vintage online.

What with this being the 21st century, you’ll also not be surprised to hear that they have a really nice blog as well as a Facebook page where you can check out what’s new – as well as trend-related stuff, which may come in handy for those less keen to sift through the extensive range.

A word on charity shops

Sheffield used to be awesome for charity shops, but all the good ones in the town centre seem to have gone – as is the way in most towns.

There’s still the British Heart Foundation opposite the Peace Gardens and Help The Aged on Norfolk Row, but otherwise the city centre is pretty lacking. Moorgate (The Moor) used to have loads of great shops, including the YMCA where nothing was more than £2. Everything has been knocked down now for the new market development so I can’t think of any at all down that end. There are a few shops opposite the Peace Gardens worth a nose but not many more.

It’s still worth a trip down Moorgate though I reckon — there’s the great haberdashery stall on the old market and, of course, Atkinsons. Atkinsons is Sheffield’s own department store — that dying breed. It’s a real mixed bag of stuff, but always worth a look and if you need shoes reheeling or a new zip in boots or something, you can get it done here for about a fiver. Me and Charleen always save up our shoe repairs until a Sheffield visit because it’s just so much cheaper. Atkinsons also seemed to be the sole stockist in the north of the Henry Holland x Pretty Polly tights and someone (not me) might just have bought them all and sold them at a profit (again, not me)…

Back to charity shops. Head down Ecclesall Road for the student picks or, my preference, down Abbeydale Road South. Abbeydale Road is the route from my house to town and has loads of brilliant charity shops along the way. I papped them from a moving vehicle because I didn’t have much time for shopping this weekend, but I give you my word that you will find something brilliant in these ones. On that road you’ll also find lots of good antique shops for weird home bits — it’s definitely worth a wander.

The Salvation Army Care & Share Shop, 228 Abbeydale Road South

Always amazing, always dirt cheap. Good for house stuff and knick knackery also.

Wow, great shot!

St Luke’s Hospice shop, 706 Abbeydale Road

There are a few St Luke’s in Sheffield, but this is the best in my opinion. It is FULL of amazing clothes, more at the glamorous granny end of the scale. I don’t mean that badly, if you want a pristine tea dress or quality winter coat, this is your best bet.

I also think it’s worth a drive out to Derbyshire if you have a vehicle at your disposal. Bakewell in particular is an untapped goldmine of brilliant charity shops. We used to go there after trips to Chatsworth and I’m never disappointed by their stock. If you want to look like a rich old woman who has a country house, shop in Bakewell charity shops. Barbours, quilted gilets, good hats. Awesome.

I guess that’s covered all my usual haunts… if any Sheffielders have anything I’ve missed then lemme know in a comment, I’m always on the lookout for more places to waste my money.

Friday Afternoon Disco

An homage to my home town. In case you’re wondering why there’s no Def Leppard, Spotify has an alarming lack of Sheffield’s finest metallers. Before you start, I know that not all these bands are from Sheffers technically, but they all have pretty strong connections to the steel city. The pic above shows why Sheffield no longer has any good charity shops and also the scribblings of the brilliant Kid Acne.

Enjoy!