Friday, 7 July 2017

A cultural day out in Saltaire

A few weeks ago... okay so more than a few weeks ago, I've had another one of those unscheduled breaks from blogging haven't I? So, perhaps over a month ago then, me and the Mr. went off to another one of those quaint historical West Yorkshire towns, Saltaire.

Salt's Mill

I didn't really know what to expect, I'd read various bits about Salt's Mill, and a few people had suggested it as a place to visit oh and the fact that it's a UNESCO world heritage site too, but it's really hard to visualise unless you actually go. The first place you visit when you arrive is this gigantic former linen mill. Now, when I say gigantic, you probably think I'm exaggerating, but really it was huge, beyond comprehension.

communal buildings. Once where the workers ate their shift meal, nowadays housing performances and weddings. 

Built in 1853 in the most glorious golden stone, the mill was built by Sir. Titus Salt to a previously unheard of set of building regulations that would afford the mill workers space (a commodity many of the greedy industrialists of the time were not concerned with). Around the mill and over a period of years sprung up a golden stone village with community buildings where workers would receive their shift time meals, a hospital, a beautiful church and the most glorious park.

The mill itself is pretty much a homage to all things art and craft, which as you can imagine made me and the artist jump for joy. Artists supplies, books and original Hockney artwork as far as the eye could see. On other floors were antique shops, a vast book shop and a lovely diner where we ate pizza for lunch.

I had to laugh since the Mr. usually hates a department store, but we were both happy to get lost for hours in this place, just taking it all in.

We wandered down into the village, which doesn't look real it's so idyllic, and perused tiny little indie shops before having tea and cake in a traditional tea shop. The church too was breathtaking, every detail on every building, but in particular the inside of the church, was astounding and, whilst a life working at any mill would have been hard, hard work, you couldn't help but imagine in conditions such as the ones offered at Saltaire, workers were probably far happier than they may have been in other industrial areas, working for other industrial fat cats.

Wearing: Shoes - Kickers. Bag - Gucci. Underskirt - Vintage. Dress - ? (bought in Switzerland  a few years ago); Waistcoat - can't remember, from a charity shop;
Jacket - Barbour; Hat - Barbour; Scarf - Gift

After a wander around the beautiful park, and trying to stay out of the background of the wedding photos that one happy couple were having there, we went back to the mill to take in the David Hockney exhibition on the top floor. I'd never really paid much attention to Hockney before, but after seeing his works up close I think I quite like it.

I would definitely recommend a day out at Saltaire if you are in the Bradford or Shipley area, it's quite a beautiful place to visit.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Recipe: Roasted vegetable Lasagne

I don't get to cook as often as I would like, but I've started trying to make more time to cook when I can. This recipe is one I've been doing for years, and it's one that never fails to turn out delicious. What's more, it's even more delicious the next day, reheated. It's also perfect because I'm trying to incorporate more meat free meals into my diet, and this is absolutely, 100% VEGETARIAN. Give it a try, and let me know how you get on.

Roasted Vegetable lasagne

Serves 4.


1 small butternut squash
1 large carrot
1/2 a bulb of garlic
1 large yellow pepper
2 onions
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 can of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Grated cheddar cheese (or parmesan if you want to be authentic)
pinch salt
lasagne sheets
450ml milk
40g butter
40g butter
freshly ground black pepper


1. Wash and cut the butternut squash, carrot, peeled garlic cloves, yellow pepper, sweet potato and 1 of the onions. Place them into an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of fresh chopped parsley. Place on the top shelf of the oven on gas 6 and roast for 40 minutes, or until the butternut squash has softened.

2. Once the vegetables are roasted, in a separate large saucepan, chop and fry the other onion slowly until softened. Turn the heat down and add the can of tomatoes, tomato puree, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper along with the remainder of the chopped parsley. Add to this the roasted vegetables and stir thoroughly until the sauce and vegetables are hot and fully combined. Put to one side.

3. Meanwhile pour the milk into a separate saucepan. Add the butter and heat gently until melted. Add the flour to this, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using a balloon whisk, continually stir over a low heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Be patient, this bit takes time. Continue until the sauce is slightly thicker than a custard, remove from the heat.

4. In a medium sized lasagne dish, place a layer of vegetables in tomato sauce, followed by a layer of white sauce, followed by one layer of pasta sheets. Repeat this. Then place on top, one last layer of pasta sheets, and then grate cheese all over the top of the lasagne to your preferred thickness.

5. Set the oven to gas mark 4, and bake the lasagne in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve with salad and garlic bread.

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