I thought I'd share some of the best of Yorkshire with you tonight. I've been meaning to write this post since last Thursday, when I met Lucy for coffee at Salts Mill, which is about half an hour from me. But I was too busy, then it was too sunny and I was too busy enjoying the sun, then I was too busy again.
Salts Mill sits slap bang in the middle of the picturesque village of Saltaire, on the outskirts of Bradford. Founded by Victorian industrialist Titus Salt, it is built on the money from wool and spinning, yarn and textiles, and the huge old mill now houses shops, galleries, cafes and office space. If you ever find yourself in this part of West Yorkshire I really recommend a visit, it's an inspiring and calming place.
The mill itself is a monolithic structure, magnificent and forbidding. The proportions are vast. There are four flights of stairs between each floor, which gives you an idea of the ceiling heights and the sheer scale of the building.
But inside - oh wow. The space and industrial feel make for a striking gallery/retail space. This is the 1853 Gallery which houses a lot of David Hockney's work, among other things. Those windows! I had to tear my eyes away from them to look at the art.
My destination is always the second floor, home to Salt's Diner, an interiors shop called The Home, and the book shop. The book shop is completely, utterly gorgeous, full of friendly staff and well chosen stock which is beautifully merchandised. Dangerous on the wallet!
The picture windows are immense, framing views of other industrial buildings and the surrounding Yorkshire hills. I spent as much time staring out of the windows as I did browsing stock.
All things considered, I exercised tremendous restraint (in my opinion - John might disagree) and bought this book, which I've wanted for ages, and a selection of postcards of Hockney's Yorkshire watercolours.
I left the old mill and walked over the road into Saltaire village. I wanted to look around Rad Studio. Last time I came to Saltaire, with Jen, it was closed. What a treasure of a shop, so full of colour and personality.
I love the way the shop windows frame the surrounding scenery so well, so symmetrically.
It was a lovely morning, a few hours of calm in a hectic week, time to chat with a friend and time alone to wander and browse. Coffee, shopping, art, conversation - food for the soul.