The Chimney House

July 21, 2012 at 10:52 am | Posted in Private Dining | 1 Comment
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Available for weddings, parties, functions and what must surely be the BEST corporate meetings in the world, The Chimney House is one of Sheffield Eats’ all-time favourite venues-for-hire. Clearly, we’re not the only ones loving a bit of The Chimney House, because it recently came second in a list of the ‘World’s Most Creatively Designed Boardrooms,’ beating venues in Berlin, Sweden, Cape Town and Baltimore, to name but a few. So, we were ecstatic when the lovely Chimney House folk invited Sheffield Eats to their Summer House Party. A night of being wined and dined in a world-beating venue? Needless to say, we were a tad excited about this one.

The Chimney House is a building with a rich history. The grade-listed building, located in Kelham Island, was rescued and restored by Sally Clark and Tim Hubbard, who used recycled material from salvage yards and reclaim sites to create a quirky party venue that remains true to its roots. With its towering red-brick chimney and unique ‘industrial-chic’ vibe, The Chimney House is located next door to the Kelham Island Museum, surrounded by cobblestones and factories – it’s a striking building in a very fitting location.

We arrived fashionably late to The Chimney House’s soiree (and through the wrong door!) but the eagle-eyed hosts soon spotted us and brought our before-dinner cocktails: champagne flutes packed with a fresh raspberry puree, and a morish cocktail of gin, mint leaves, a hint of what tasted like prosecco, and more fresh raspberries. Even better, the lovely Chimney House folk were only too happy to keep our glasses topped up with this summery punch. We even spied them popping into the back and fetching glasses of beer for those who didn’t share our unquenchable thirst for cocktails, and mugs of cloudy ginger beer for anyone not on the sauce.

The Chimney House’s reception room offers a peek of what this world-class venue has to offer: a combination of homely charm and artistic flourishes.

When it was time to eat, we were shown upstairs to the main function room – which didn’t disappoint.

The room was dominated by a farmhouse-style table, heaped with eclectic decorations that ranged from Italian gunpowder barrels crammed with fresh flowers, to vintage teacups that served as tea-lights, to champagne flutes topped off with a single rose-head.

I’m sure you’ll agree, that The Chimney House’s attention to detail and artistic flair turns a simple dinner into a work of art.

There was just enough time to marvel at all the beautiful fresh flowers and flickering candlelight, before our hosts told us to tuck into the grub – we needed no more encouragement. The food, provided by local company Coco Catering, took the simple notion of a pie and pea supper, and did something magical with it. Served in big, farmhouse pots, the mash was seasoned to perfection, and so rich it could only have been laced with butter and cream. Our party simply could not get enough of the mash, ladling second and third helpings onto our plates. We could have eaten a plate full of the mash on its own, and probably would have, if the pie hadn’t been equally amazing.

The Chimney House had thoughtfully provided both vegetarian and meat pies. Instead of the vegetarian pie feeling like an afterthought, this spinach and ricotta treat had even the carnivores at the table helping themselves to a slice. The pastry was light and crispy (which left room for more mash – win!) and packed with indulgent ricotta and tangy spinach.

The meat option was just as good. The crust was slightly heavier, but it had a lovely, oven-darkened top and the meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender. Whether you’re a veggie or a carnivore, Coco Catering can provide the pie of your dreams.

To offset the guilt of heaping on the mash and helping ourselves to a second slice of pie, we squeezed some veg onto our plates. Somehow, Coco Catering’s culinary wizards managed to make peas and carrots a taste sensation.

Throughout our meal, the hostess herself kept our glasses topped up, and both the red and the white options were delicious. With our glasses never running dry, I have to admit we overindulged – but we had multiple helpings of peas and carrots, so this still counts as a healthy meal, right?

We were jokingly wondering ‘what’s for dessert?’ when The Chimney House crew called our bluff and brought out the dessert trays. Our couldn’t-eat-another-bite horror evaporated when we saw the perfect, bite-sized sweet treats.

The first was a cube of chocolate brownie topped off with a fresh blackberry. Blackberry and chocolate brownie isn’t a combination I’ve encountered before, but the juicy blackberry delivered a sharp tang that took some of the edge off the dark chocolate. How good was it? Well, I was completely stuffed before I had my first brownie, but I still found room for a second one…..

The other dessert on offer was a light scone base topped with a dollop of cream and a strawberry. These little puffs of air were the perfect contrast to that decadent chocolate brownie.

To finish off our meal, The Chimney House folk brought around bowls of marshmallows; a fittingly quirky way to end an amazing meal.

The only criticism I can level at The Chimney House is that it isn’t a pop-around-whenever venue, because this is one of those places you’ll want to visit again, immediately. Instead, we have to wait until the next birthday party, or corporate function gets booked there (boo!) The Chimney House and Coco Catering are a match made in heaven – a stunning venue, lavishly and uniquely decorated, paired with food that is both homely and absolutely rave-worthy. Judging from our night at The Chimney House, munching on Coco Catering’s grub, I honestly can’t think of a reason why you’d book an event anywhere else.

Disclaimer: we ate and drank (a lot!) as guests of The Chimney House.


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