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RECOMMENDATION | JÖRO, Sheffield – 12 Course Heaven

By Vicky Jones – 28th September 2018

Diagnosed by the doctor as “too fat to fly”, my husband and daughter jetted off for a week with the in-laws in France, leaving me with a week completely void in my calendar to do whatever I pleased. Sounds great, but the reality was I was heavily pregnant with twins, so reliving my youth in the Leadmill was out of the question…. queue best mate visiting for what we intended to be a weekend of indulgence.

Sheffield’s JÖRO has been on my food bucket list for quite some time, so a twelve course tasting menu for late lunch was booked. Sounds extravagant? Yes absolutely. But for £65 we were getting a tasting experience which apparently is on the cusp of a Michelin Star, so definitely worth giving it a go. Particularly as my days of eating in places without a rabble of kids around my feet are definitely going to be few and far between over the next few years.

Located in the vibrant and ever expanding Kelham Island, JÖRO is aptly located on the ground floor of a stack of corrugated iron shipping containers – you can see why the area is being badged “the Shoreditch of the North”.Inside, the décor is a far cry from the gritty, industrial exterior – its cool and calm – a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere and a proper treat for my ever-expanding cankles on such a blistering hot day. With only dietary requirements and dislikes requested by the  JÖRO team and no menu provided, we had no idea what was on the culinary cards. We were excited though!

It wasn’t long before the 18-year-old Barnsley lad training to be a qualified sommelier popped over to our table to talk us through the wine list. He did so with a great deal of passion and a great level of depth. He walked us through each course and described the wines that would compliment this culinary adventure that we were both about to embark on. Obviously I couldn’t drink, but I say and listened with a great deal of interest. It was refreshing to see staff with such passion.

Taking into consideration all the aperitifs and pallet cleansers, we lost count of all the delicious dishes that were put in front of us. The humble tomato was taken to another level, the duck melted in our mouths, and the burnt butter parfait is something that still makes my toes tingle and my mouth water when I think about it.

The seeded parmesan crisps were out-of-this-world delicious – I would happily return to JÖRO just for a plate full of them.

Every last morsel of food was delicately presented in small dishes – at no point did we feel over-faced and our excitement and anticipation for each course remained strong – we couldn’t wait to see what would be put in front of us next. The icing on the JÖRO cake? For me it was the ingenious use of blackcurrants. Home-grown in JÖRO’s backyard, sprigs were used to decorate the table until they were ready to use, then transformed into jelly, jus, sorbet – even bark made it into one of the dishes – a great and very memorable attempt at minimising the restaurant’s food waste.

I can honestly say it was THEE best foodie experience I’ve ever had in Sheffield during the 16 years of calling this wonderful city my home. The quality of ingredients and the impeccable service gave it the WOW factor.

Although kids are welcome at JÖRO, I’d say keep this culinary encounter in your back pocket for when you are child-free. One needs to be fully engrossed in the experience with no interruptions from the little people. Deffo one for the Sheffield bucket list. For more information visit JÖRO’s website –  CLICK HERE

Why I love it: It starts in the much loved Endcliffe Park, so a great meeting point if doing the walk with others. It’s a really straight forward path and you end up on the cusp of the Peak District, so feel a long way from the city.

Kids will be entertained throughout the walk with a river, ponds, woodland paths, stepping stones and bridges, and will enjoy a play in the Forge Dam park at the midway pit–stop. The café at Forge Dam does a mean bacon butty (all their food is good) and the ice cream keeps the kids happy, but there is loads of space to picnic too.

You can choose to go beyond Forge Dam café into the Peaks, if three miles is too short for zap the energy of your beloved kids, or you can park at Forge Dam on Brookhouse Hill and do a smaller woodland walk if you don’t think the little legs will make the full three miles. Very versatile and easy with kids.

Distance: 3 miles

Route: You can pick up the walk anywhere within Endcliffe or Bingham Park, and follow the main park path away from Ecclesall Road. If driving, parking on Rustlings Road or Oakbrook Road is your best bet, but you can easily get to the park via a bus, or like me, walk from home.

Walk throughout Endcliffe, past the café, play parks and numerous ponds into Bingham Park. Bingham has a brilliant stretch of double pathway, perfect for kids practising their scooter skills or getting their balance on their bike, but after that the concrete disappears into woodland paths. Lots of bikers still use the path, but it’s not for kids lacking confidence on their wheels.

Follow the path throughout Bingham along the riverside, past the Shepherd Wheel, and when you cross over Hangingwater Road the path forks. Right takes you across stepping stones, left on a path. There are two paths from this point to Forge Dam, and they join every so often by a bridge, so if you are walking in a larger group it can add a little adventure to split up. The woodland paths are absolutely fine for buggies, wide with a few roots and bumps but nothing too off-road.

A little further along you cross Whitely Wood Road and continue on the woodland path which brings you to Forge Dam. Forge Dam is a great place to take a picnic or eat at the popular café. There are toilets, baby changing facilities and the play park caters for a variety of ages, with the slide built into the hill being the most popular feature. A great midway point to refresh and let the kids have an ice cream and play in the park.

From this point you can choose to walk further, beyond the Dam or return back along one of the paths. Even though it’s not a loop, it’s still an enjoyable and peaceful walk back towards Endcliffe where you can finish your walk with a cuppa at the cafe.

Terrain: Fairly flat and wide woodland paths, with a river running alongside the whole walk.

Pram friendly? A buggy will be absolutely fine. Tried and tested with a double and single buggy.

What to look out for: The resident crane in Endcliffe Park, and the Shepherd Wheel in Bingham, a Grade II water-powered knife grinding workshop.

Facilities along the way: Both the start at Endcliffe Park and mid-way point at Forge Dam have a café, toilets, play park and parking.

Car parking and cost: Free street parking, best places to park are either Rustlings Road or Oakbrook Road if starting from Endcliffe Park.

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