Weekends are sacred family time for us here and this weekend was no exception.
Despite show invites and designers who kindly wanted to dress me (ooh lala), I decided on Friday to miss London Fashion Week and just chill with my favourite people. There’s always next year right?!
The sun was shining in Yorkshire and despite the cold, its rays brightened us all up and helped me to feel well again after literally a month of bug after bug!
I grew up in the tiny, picturesque town of Ilkley in North Yorkshire, where my brother and I had an idyllic childhood really, surrounded by the Yorkshire moors and pretty countryside. Returning always takes me right back to those happy days and there’s something quite special about playing in the park who enjoyed as a child yourself.
It’s funny too, that you think you know a place then go and discover something new.
Outside the Box is a fabulous little vintage-style community cafe five minutes from the park which actually makes a difference while serving super food.
They’re committed to supporting and enabling people with learning disabilities to lead more independent and fulfilled lives offering work to those who might otherwise struggle to find it.
This happy-maker of a place, bold and vibrant, bursting with colour-and toys, board games and books for the kids, papers for the adults, a bright but relaxing environment with a wide range of homemade, delicious food on offer.
Now coveting these pretty lights-
Saturday is our indulgent day so we tucked into jacket potatoes and dipped chocolate gingerbread men into pretty cappuccinos in between forkfuls of thick victoria sponge. Yum!
Too cute to eat (almost)!
Another place we stumbled on literally was the Manor House Museum. I’m surprised as it’s one of Ilkley’s oldest buildings (it is tucked away from the high street), one of Ilkley’s oldest and has been converted into a compelling little museum and art gallery.
On the ground floor visitors are given a glimpse into Ilkley’s past while the first floor galleries host temporary exhibitions.
While being a major exhibit in itself, the Manor House stands on the remains of the Roman fort of Olicana.
Only a small section of defensive wall remains at the back of the building, but Roman artefacts from the fort and closeby are on permanent display inside, together with prehistoric artefacts and insight into development of Ilkley as a Victorian spa town.
There were arts and crafts available downstairs too, a chance to build a Roman wall with soft bricks and enough to keep Oliver’s questions coming which made me wish I paid more attention in History lessons to be honest!
I did love that he exclaimed, ‘wow that’s impressive’ about the frowning clock. ‘Sad clock’ Xander shouted.
Check out the gold brogues!
What I’d do for a ruby-adorned compact and matching earrings too!
Then back downstairs, we built a Roman wall of our own!
Back by the car before the drive home, I spotted these red and yellow doors and we grabbed a shot, Xander was adamant he wanted us to shoot him too. I’ve created a monster 😉
…Sunday saw me cooking for most of the day, I love how I can utterly lose myself in food. I truly ‘relish’ in experimenting in the kitchen and really need my blog to catch up with my life and get posting more of my recipes on here.
I made a hearty Italian minestrone soup, hake fillets in a lemon sauce and this bad boy below, salmon with chilli, garlic, red onion and lots of kale.
After a long lunch, the boys washed their hair which believe me takes hours with those two and their manes- and then Tinkerbell, Tarzan and episodes of Horrid Henry played as I baked some coconut chocolate cookies and gluten-free pancakes with my little chief tasters ‘helping’ (read, making a mess) and approving as I went!
How sweet are these post-shower pics?
Dressed and ready to play!
A chance to relax, regroup and recharge.
It was rather perfect, really.
Linked up to fabulous-joy spreader Michelle’s Sharethejoylinky