A weekend trip up to Yorkshire for a family christening provided an excellent opportunity to head back to Salts Mill.
Saltaire was founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, philanthropic industrialist who had made his fortune in the textiles industry, mainly through the spinning of alpaca fleece. The village’s name comes from both the founder’s surname and also the river Aire on which the village is located. In building Saltaire, Titus Salt consolidated his 5 separate mills, re-locating them from nearby Bradford to the new site near Shipley in West Yorkshire. Having seen the dire conditions his workers lived in, he set about building a model village with a school, municipal buildings and terraced stone houses for his workers. Salt provided strict rules for the workers in Saltaire and this included not hanging washing outside the properties and inebriated workers faced eviction. Saltaire is now a UNESCO Work Heritage Site and is definitely worth the short trip on the train from Leeds.
I visited Salts Mill Diner last year and had been impressed with the fact they offered gluten free cakes although on that visit I’d eaten a ham hock salad. Mightily fine as my salad was, it didn’t really warrant a blog post. Fast forward to last weekend, a stressful trip up from London, a wander around Saltaire’s Victorian streets and the beautifully laid out Roberts Park and we were all ready for a cup of tea and slice of cake (maybe).
Having perused the excellent high ceiling-ed ground floor book shop full of art books (local boy David Hockney’s work features prominently) alongside highly scented lilies and the sounds of classical music (possibly my ideal Saturday afternoon) we headed upstairs to the diner. The good news is that the gluten free cakes are still on the menu. The bad news was that the day’s gluten free special, carrot cake, contained nuts. In this case they were walnuts which I am not allergic to. However, since being diagnosed with a nut allergy I sometimes feel reluctant to eat nuts, even if I know I can. I’d spotted they had a daily soup special and so asked if the soup was gluten free (it was). Just for fun, I asked if they had any gluten free bread. Fortuitously, they did! Aside from the gluten free cakes, there were a number of other naturally gluten free menu options such as salads and a risotto.
Sometimes the simplest meals can be the most tasty and satisfying.
Salts Mill Diner Details
Opening times: Daily except 25 & 26th December and 1st January. Check the website here for opening times
Cost: Approximately £5 for bowl of soup, gluten free bread and pot of tea.
Rating: 9/10 (big well done to Salt’s Diner for offering gluten free cakes, bread and other naturally gluten free meals)
Other suggestions: Recently renovated Roberts Park is well worth a tour around. Make sure you walk up to the pavilion above the bandstand to read the history of Roberts Park.