Spending May in Coffee Shops

May 27th 2017

During sixth form and my first year at University, I was a frequent coffee/cafe shop goer. I spent a few hours after school or in between lectures doing work or relaxing with friends.

After a while, especially when stress started to build up, I ended up just hanging around campus or in the library with my unhealthy stash of chocolate and crisps. Oops.

Matt had recently asked me which the best coffee shops were in Sheffield to go to do work. As I was telling him a list of the ones I know from the top of my head, I suddenly remembered how much I missed the super chill atmosphere and actually looking back, I was actually quite productive.

After this conversation, I’ve been actively arranging meet-ups in coffee shops – not only the old ones that I have grown up visiting but also ones I had never been before. Despite living in Sheffield for so many years, I was still surprised by the number of places I had not even heard of!

It’s been a fun way of exploring Sheffield a bit more and in addition, finding awesome new places to chill and study when I return back for my final year next year. 📚

Today, I wanted to share the coffee shops I’ve recently I’ve been to:

Café Nero

I’ve been to Café Nero a few times already, but it’s always great finding different branches. They are essentially the same, but different. It’s pretty cool.


Couch

I want these lights in my room 😍

Hands down my favourite out of all the coffee shops I’ve been to this month. I love the decor, food and drinks they offer – although a little pricey (make use of their student discount guys! I always freakin’ forget 😶) and atmosphere. It’s hardly busy so it’s nice if you’re not exactly feeling the busy-ness and loud chatter in bigger coffee shops like Starbucks.

Matt and I have been here a few times to do work. Because sometimes, campus is too overwhelming. Couch has been our go-to nowadays! 😊

Look at the collection of couches – seems like an important meeting!


The Holt

I had one of my meetings here earlier in the month. And as the photos show, it really is as cute in real life. The atmosphere was similar to Couch – just super chill and relaxing.

Once my meeting finished at 11 am, I ended up staying at the Holt until around 4 pm – got a lot of work done and had some cheap delicious food!


Tamper

A lot of my friends kept telling me about Tamper for a few months now. I finally went early May for another meeting.

In contrast to the Holt, it was a bit busier and louder (a popular place in Sheffield – they have two in the city I believe!) but the coffee and food were great. I don’t actually know what I ordered though. I can assure you it tasted healthy 😅


Steam yard

Ah, good old Steam Yard. One of my favourites last year!

I had often gone to Steam Yard in my second year, early in the day because as soon as it reached the afternoon, it got a little busier. Again, one of the more popular independent coffee places in Sheffield but still worth a visit! Especially when it’s quiet (early in the day)

I went with my fellow CF:G instructor, Darren (who doesn’t have a friend named Darren who is freakin’ awesome?!) and had the best Nutella bagel thing ever. I had a really bad sweet tooth that day. 😂


Costa Coffee

Costa is always everyone’s go-to!

I luckily have a Costa branch near my house and this one, in particular, is very special to me – just because I did a lot of my A Level work, meet-ups with friends over the summers, and where my favourite and the most precious dates were.

Hamdah needed to interview me for her work and so we chose to meet up in Costa. I actually had been actively avoiding a Costa Coffee shop because of all the memories and emotions attached to it, but let’s be real: I can’t avoid things forever. Hamdah has really helped with this weird process and I’ve managed to go to places I’ve been avoiding for a while – sort of like overwriting a game save to the most recent Checkpoint.

Isn’t she the cutest?

You’re the main MVP, Hamdah.

My favourite drink from Costa is either the hot chocolate with marshmallows or mango passion smoothie (I am obsessed with anything mango in the summer.)


Nam Song Coffee Shop

Nam Song: the orange coffee shop I walk past every morning to work.

I had been meaning to visit Nam Song over the past few weeks but never really had the time to and whenever I did plan a meet up I’d suggest somewhere in central Sheffield. Nam Song is closer to where I live – which is a little far from the city centre.

When I was organising a CF:G instructor meet-up, I suggested Nam Song and everyone happily agreed (yay to no disagreements!)

I found on the back of the menu a little explanation as to what Nam Song actually means. I found it really cool:

Nam Song means “Five Rivers” in Vietnamese and was chosen as our business name to represent it’s rooted both in Vietnam and in Sheffield, as Sheffield is said to be built on five rivers and seven hills.

Why is everything orange?

Whilst travelling around Vietnam we learnt about the effects that the Chemical weapon “agent orange” had and is still having, on the Vietnamese people. The chemical was dropped on thousands of square miles of jungle to kill off vegetation so local people don’t have anywhere to hide.

Agent Orange has inadvertently caused genetic mutations in generations of both Vietnamese and American people such as missing limbs, learning difficulties and other life debilitating illness.

Therefore a major goal of our business is to raise awareness of these tragic effects that are still taking place due to a needless war that happened so long ago.

I am always one to ask why so when I was reading this, I felt a lot more knowledgeable and was keen in giving Nam Song a regular visit especially with charity at the heart of where their profits go to.

I ended up ordering chicken Pho (first time I’ve ever had Pho – where has it been all my life?!) and Thai strawberry Fanta (which made my tongue very pink! 😝)


💭 Do you like working in coffee shops? Which are your favourites?


Posted under: Food, Hamdah, Life


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17 comments

  1. Eena says:

    This is such a good list of coffee shops/cafes! I’m a huge sucker for cafes that are like this.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way! I’m loving yours 🙂

    cabin twenty-four

  2. These coffee shops look amazing. They have such beautiful decor and the I can definitely be relaxed and inspired to do some work there. I usually do my work at home, but I am planning from next school year to start going to coffee shops and libraries to see if I can get more productive there <3

  3. Nice says:

    I love coffee shops! I got to agree that they have a good ambiance not only for work, but also in studying. In our city, Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines, we also have lots of them: the most popular one is Starbucks, then we also have Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Bean Voyage, among others. There are other coffee-shop-like places though such as Krispy Kreme and JCo where they serve donuts but they still offer pretty much the same ambiance as coffee shops.

    Thanks for sharing your sharing your list! I got to learn more about coffee shops in your place. 🙂

  4. Chynna says:

    I adore coffee shops. They’re great places to chill. Our closest name-brand coffee shop is Caffe Nero and I absolutely love their milkshakes.

    Couch looks and sounds great, I love the lights! Places with quirky decor are my fave.

    Nam Song sounds interesting and I love that there’s meaning behind their name and the way they decorate the place! ALSO FIRST TIME TRYING PHO!?!?! God, I LOVE PHO. I would die for pho. Pho is life. Nomnomnom.

    My fave coffee shop is Blue Mountain Cafe that do really good food and drinks and play chilled out reggae music. It’s great!

  5. Gillan says:

    Coffee shops’ ambiances are just so conducive to studying and productivity! These ones are especially lovely. Cafe Nero looks so polished yet comfortable.
    The Holt looks so quaint and homey! And I love coffee shops that aren’t crowded and noisy.
    That is such a great story behind the Nam Song cafe. I like how they incorporated Vietnam’s history in their coffee shop. It’s interesting and it pays tribute to the country.
    Your post reminds me how good it feels to work somewhere that’s comfortable and peaceful but you’re still going to get the job done and not sleep lol Thanks for reminding me!

  6. Nancy says:

    For some reason, my productivity is at its highest whenever I work out of a cafe. I like the idea of meeting people at a cafe because it’s cheap and you don’t feel rushed to get out compared to some eateries. It’s cool when there are soft chairs for people to lounge on. Extra cushion is good for the soul XD.

    The food you ordered looks delish!

    When it comes to places that are packed with certain memories, I say go back and make new ones to replace it ;).

    I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Vietnamese people being affected by genetic mutations. It’s very unfortunate and Nam Song is doing the right thing by raising awareness about Agent Orange.

    I love working out of Taiwanese coffee shops. Their drinks are 💯💯💯💯💯.

  7. Amy says:

    I’ve never actually worked in a coffee shop! I did all my uni work at home or in the library. I don’t think I’d find it very easy to concentrate in a public place. I have always wanted to try it though, so maybe I’ll give it a go on my next day off!

    I rarely go to independent coffee shops, which is a shame, really. I’m always in Costa, because I like knowing the drinks menu before I go in. Couch sounds fantastic. I’ll definitely have to visit if I go to Sheffield!

    The story of Nam Song is so interesting. I can’t believe everything means so much, down to the colour of the walls. It’s great that they’re trying to raise awareness!

  8. Tara says:

    I love coffee shops. I’ve been frequenting them since my sophomore year of high school (15-16), and I’ve not looked back since! Coffee shops have these great atmospheres. It’s so chill and relaxing if you find the right one. I spent many hours reading, writing, and socialising in them. Being in them makes me so productive. Though I can do a lot of my tasks on my desktop PC at home, when I’m out and about in coffee shops, I feel like I have less distraction. That’s why I like coming to them when I know I have something to work on.

    Of all the coffee shops you shared, I really am loving Couch! It looks like a place I’d frequent myself 😀 Even though it’s pricey, if it’s not as crowded, then I’m willing to pay for that along with the good coffee and food.

    Thanks for sharing your faves! I enjoyed seeing some English coffee shops!

  9. Georgie says:

    It is kinda cool that Nam Song is a coffee shop but also has food like pho. I love when coffee shops have food too. Even if you don’t want the option, it’s there!

    I find it a little difficult to work in coffee shops sometimes. It depends what I am working on and how busy the place is. I usually tend to work on something that doesn’t require much brain, like reading or responding to emails and stuff. It is definitely better than university/campus though. I didn’t do that enough when I was still studying.

    I think I only went to Costa Coffee once when I was in London 😦 I can’t remember what I ordered.

    I used to have bad memories attached to some places, too, but I’m glad Hamdah has helped you move on from that. I actually believe that it’s far better to go to visit these places again and “reclaim” them – whether that be on your own, with a friend, or with someone else you care about. It’s one of the only ways we can get closure and move on when we tie our memories to physical places.

    If I’m ever in your side of town you can bet I’ll be checking back on this post 😄