To me, The Carlton is a bit of a ‘wink and you’ll miss it’ pub.
It’s on the way to IKEA, Meadowhall and Centertainment on Sheffield’s “golden sex mile” and admittedly never struck me as the best place to stop for a pint.
However, when I was stuck in the lights one day, I looked at the Carlton and saw it advertise itself as a ‘traditional’ boozer as well as a ‘friendly pub with a cozy atmosphere’.
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Having discovered another pub in Sheffield last year with a complementary slogan boasting of being a ‘nice pub for nice people’, I was intrigued to see if the Carlton lived up to its bill.
Went here for a quick pint with a friend on a Tuesday night to see what the fuss was about.
When I walked in I could see that the pub was quite dated in terms of appearance and unfortunately there was nobody at the owner’s bar.
We were surprised – but there was an explanation. The pub is popular with Sheffield Wednesday supporters we were told, and they had all just deserted to go to the game we were told by the owner.
It was really a shame, because I would have loved to soak up the atmosphere full of punters.
However, that didn’t put me off and instead gave me a good chance to walk around the place and wander around.
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It was surprisingly large inside and I immediately fell in love with the Sheffield nostalgia on the walls.
Leadmill gig posters, album covers for CDs like The Pulp and Def Leppard, to name but two, adorned the walls and there was a cool map showing a Sheffield pub crawl – similar to the one that I have at home, so the pub clearly tastes good!
I honestly could have wandered around the whole pub for half an hour looking at every detail of the walls.
It was quirky, retro, and contributed to the traditional, warm vibe that the Carlton aims for.
Realizing we would be waiting a long time for punters, we sipped our drinks and headed out, but not before having another little chat with the owner who was incredibly friendly.
He told us he couldn’t go to the game that night as he was on bar duty and I really hope the post-game customers come back to give him something to do!
Although we didn’t manage to experience the pub in all its glory due to the lack of punters, I enjoyed my experience there.
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In terms of publicity, it ticked all the boxes. Was it traditional? Yes. Was it friendly? The owner certainly was. And was it comfortable? I definitely got that vibe and with some locals I’m sure it would have only added to the atmosphere.
After walking past the Carlton several times before having to admit it, I looked at it and decided it wasn’t for me.
But if I’ve learned anything, it comes down to that age-old phrase – don’t judge a book by its cover.
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