Halloween Sheffield: Landlord of popular pub The Walkley Cottage spots ghost at the bar

The Walkley Cottage on Bole Hill Road in Sheffield is The Star’s latest pub of the week.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 1:24 pm

It has gained a reputation for its friendly service, ‘beautiful’ food and fundraising quiz nights since coming under new management last year.

The Walkley Cottage has been run by Matthew and Khatuna Begley since December 1, with coronavirus restrictions meaning they only welcomed their first customers in April.

Matthew, who is originally from Brisbane, Australia, says he has been touched by the warm and supportive welcome he has received from Walkley residents, and is really enjoying meeting regulars and members of the community.

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The interior of the Walkley Cottage, which is based on Bole Hill Road, Walkley

“It’s been a great adventure. Crazy days to begin with, with the lockdown, but since we’ve been open I’ve been extremely fortunate to meet the good community of Walkley and Crookes,” said Matt.

He added: “I’ve got no regrets and have really enjoyed meeting everyone, meeting all of the regulars and I’m glad I’ve done this, I’ve done the big gamble.”

Sheffield foodies may remember the pair from their successful stint at Ella’s Café off Hunter’s Bar between 2015 and 2019, which became known for its breakfasts and Sunday brunch offering.

The food at the Walkley Cottage is also proving popular with diners who have invariably described the food offering as ‘excellent’ and ‘beautiful’.

Matthew Begley took over the Walkley Cottage last December

The small plates menu, which has been devised by head chef Matt Wasnidge, has been particularly well received by customers and includes BBQ Korean cauliflower bites; pan-fried chorizo and Thai crab fishcakes.

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Matt, whose culinary team includes sous chef Shane Sinclair, is also about to introduce a new menu with an offering that includes seabass puttanesca; bang bang chicken salad and halloumi gnocci.

The drink offering includes a wide selection of draught and keg beers, lagers, ciders, spirits and wines.

Some of the Walkley Cottage team including sous chef Shane Sinclair (left); landlord Matthew Begley (centre) and head chef Matt Wasnidge (right).

Their regular Thursday quiz night has been a hit with residents too, and has helped to raise money for Sheffield causes including youth distance running team, the Hillsborough Harriers.

Upcoming events at the pub include a Bonfire Night spectacular on Friday, November 5, with fireworks and a barbecue; and then in the new year the Walkley Cottage will host Burn's Night event with a piper.

The pub is also set to introduce a regular food night based around the cuisine of Georgia, which is where Khatuna hails from.

Matthew has spoken of seeing the Walkley Cottage’s resident ghost, Billy, who he first saw sitting at the bar as he was preparing to get the pub ready for opening during lockdown three.

The Walkley Cottage has fantastic views of the Rivelin Valley to its rear

Other staff members and previous landlords have also reported seeing Billy.