Page 1 10:15 18/4/12 01 Cover May 2012
Ideas for inspiring people in Yorkshire
MAY 2012 Issue Sixty Four
SWYP Smoking DPS
Spring into a h Living a healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying early.
Make this your lastâ€Ś
SWYP Smoking DPS
a healthier you! A healthy lifestyle allows you to enjoy more aspects of your life.
Want to Stop Smoking? Smoking is the main cause of avoidable illness and premature death in Barnsley. Giving up smoking is the single most important thing anyone can do to improve their health.
• Advice on nicotine replacement therapy and other stop smoking medications
Give yourself a better chance of quitting and talk to Barnsley NHS Stop Smoking Service based on Eldon Street in Barnsley town centre and in the Outpatients Department at Barnsley Hospital.
What we do… • Free weekly one-to-one sessions throughout Barnsley • Tips on how to deal with cravings and break the habit • Help you stay motivated
• Information about local sessions in your GP practice, pharmacy, hospital or other community venues.
If you are a mum-to-be, we can help you stop smoking. You can be seen on your own or with your partner or other family members if they smoke too and you want to quit together before your baby is born. There can be few better times to stop smoking than when you are pregnant, both for yourself and your baby.
and place to suit you. The support we offer is confidential. We work with schools and colleges making it easier to use the service. If you would like more information about any of these services, advice on stopping smoking or to make an appointment, please contact the Barnsley NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01226 737077 or email barnsleystopsmokingservice@ swyt.nhs.uk.
Alternatively, you can call in and see us at our one stop shop on Eldon Street, Barnsley, the Hospital Quit Shop, Outpatients Department, Barnsley Hospital or you can speak to your GP, pharmacists, midwife or health trainer for more information.
The service makes it easier for you to get help to quit at a time
You can also visit us at www.stopsmokingbarnsley.nhs.uk
Did you know you are more likely to quit successfully with help from your local Stop Smoking Team!
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6 LAND MARKS Ibbeson gems Sculptor leaves permanent mark on townscapes
PROPERTY Bramble Barn: Taking a look at a dream home in a good area
23 PAINT Colour match: Great storage and designs for your dining kitchen
FURNITURE: Desk options: Whatâ€™s available when setting up an office at home.
26 ADD VALUE Make space: Ways to create some interior space.
MOSAIC Ideas for inspiring people www.mosaicmagazine.co.uk
Published by Acredula Group 47 Church Street Barnsley South Yorkshire S70 2AS Printed by Buxton Press
WELCOME TO MOSAIC
There’s an intriguing mix of humour and heritage in this issue of Mosaic. The humour comes in permanent form courtesy of artist Graham Ibbeson. We find out how he was influenced by this part of Yorkshire and why he’s seen as the people’s sculptor. Meanwhile we celebrate heritage in Elsecar where funding totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds has been secured to help save an 18th century beam engine. Restoration of the mechanism will attract thousands of vistors to the village, it is hoped. Elsewhere landscape designer John Plant passes on some advice about how to create a perfect small garden to be enjoyed. We take a look at fashion and and find out what the trends are for the spring and summer. And we go cooking with Indian chef Amrad Rahman, who teaches us how to make the perfect curry. Time and patience are two key ingredients. If all of that sounds too sedate, join Mike Cotton as he takes a range of powerful vehicles off-road.
Adam Civico, assistant editor
FASHION Catwalk trends: A look at what’s hot for the summer months.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE LITTLE INDIA Dishing curry tips
THE PANTRY Food and drink
PIECE OF HISTORY Newcomen Engine
33 Editor Andrew Harrod firstname.lastname@example.org 01226 734205
OFF-ROAD THRILLS GARDENING Little gems: How to create and enjoy the perfect small garden.
Reporters Adam Civico Rachel Parry Paul Nizinskyj Kate Pickles Mike Cotton 01226 734262
Production Editor Jill Lowe 01226 734203
MOTORING Car with attitude
LAST WORD Adam Civico
Page editors Fran Sykes Ben Robinson 01226 734202
Graphics Alan Billingham Barry Spence Claire Carr 01226 734734
41 44 47 54 65 74 Sales Executives Helen Chadwick Richard Storrs Jillian Kendrick Susan Johnson Jim Phillips Karen Gregory 01226 734330
The people’s sculptor Sculptor Graham Ibbeson has left a permanent mark on more than 30 townscapes across the UK. He has also made people laugh.
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raham Ibbeson has not done bad for someone who left school without qualifications. He was born in 1951, went to Cudworth Secondary Modern until he was 15 and then worked as an apprentice at the National Coal Board workshops near his home at Shafton. His artistic ambitions soon surfaced, however, and for a time he studied at Barnsley Art School before getting married and moving to Derbyshire
where he had a few menial jobs. Then he went back into full-time education, while bringing up a family, and received a BA (Hons) Fine Art (First Class) at Trent Polytechnic and an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. Turning his back on London – which surprised some people – he returned to Barnsley in 1978. “They say it’s grim up north but I say you can grin up north.”
He opened a workshop and produced a series of zany works of art, drawing on the humour he had heard in the mining villages and on his maternal grandparents’ domestic antics which were etched into his imagination. He was also influenced by cartoon characters, courtesy of Hollywood’s ‘That’s All, Folks’ animated films, TV comedians, comics and saucy postcards from the seaside.
His heroes and heroines became formidable char ladies with big bottoms, urchins, sporty bulldogs and domineering women with quivering little husbands. This colourful work has been exhibited and sold all over the world, particularly in Europe where the middle classes seemed to enjoy his Northern sense of humour. Today, perhaps, he is better known for his public sculptures.
Humorous: Graham Ibbeson and some of his sculptures.
MOSAIC ART 7
Works of art: Graham with his statues of Hollywood funny men, Laurel and Hardy and sculptures, below.
He is best remembered for the bronze statue of comedian Eric Morecambe, unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen in Morecambe in 1999, and which is said to have revived the resort’s ailing economy. A statue of Hollywood funny men, Laurel and Hardy, has done the same for Stan’s home town of Ulverston in Cumbria, where the economy was wilting until Ken Dodd unveiled Graham’s tribute to his celluloid idols. An image of Les Dawson, the comedian, is frozen in time at Lytham St Anne’s and Hollywood heartthrob from the 1930s and 40s, Cary Grant, graces his home city of Bristol. Sporting heroes Freddie Trueman and Dickie Bird adorn Skipton and Barnsley respectively, while Don Revie, the former Leeds United manager, is awaiting unveiling in Leeds. Graham says his biggest achievement has been ploughing his own furrow and remaining an independent spirit. “Some of my best sculptures have been those that have created laughter. “I have been inspired by all kinds of people, from Laurel and Hardy (I
8 MOSAIC ART
watched them at the Rock Cinema at Cudworth) to cartoon characters like Tom and Jerry, violence and all.” His family have been connected with the mining industry for generations and in his work has drawn on the camaraderie in coal mines. He’s also paid tribute to their way of life, courage and struggles by sculpting mining memorials in South
Kirkby, Barnsley, Conisbrough and in Nottinghamshire, often using members of his family as models for the figures. Graham’s biography, ‘Graham Ibbeson: The People’s Sculptor (Bronze, Clay and Life) is published by Wharncliffe Books, 47, Church Street, Barnsley. The price is £15 from the publishers and the Barnsley Chronicle.
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Original features have been retained and enhanced at Bramble Barn. Rachel Parry went to view the results.
MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS 11
Lurking in the brambles
urtis and Clair Paxman had no intention of moving house when they discovered Bramble Barn in 2005, but a desire to bag a dream property in a dream location proved too hard to resist. The attractive barn conversion, which was completed in 2001, would have once been part of the Shepley Carr House estate serving the farm and its workforce. Today, however it forms part of a quaint hamlet which enjoys private access, lush open fields and far reaching views. When Curtis and Clair found the property it ticked all the boxes – location, setting, privacy, security and space to entertain – but they craved fresh decor. “We had just finished completely renovating a property when I spotted a for sale board for Bramble Barn on my way to Shelley Garden Centre,” says Clair. “Being nosey I went onto Right Move and saw it was in our
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price range so we decided to view it. “The location sold it to us as soon as we came down the tree-lined driveway – we just knew we wouldn’t find another property like it in the same area. “It had a lovely feel to it but the decor was very traditional and we love the contemporary look so we knew we would redecorate throughout to put our mark on it.” With a keen eye for interior design it was Clair’s aim to enhance the building’s natural features whilst incorporating contemporary fixtures, fittings and furnishings. Visiting Bramble Barn, it is clear to see this has been achieved. The kitchen provides a perfect example of how Clair has fused contemporary design with traditional features to create the wow-factor. Where once stood an orange pine farmhouse-style kitchen there are now spectacular high gloss black units
topped with granite surfaces. An exposed stone wall sits alongside the modern fixtures, serving as an attractive reminder of the barn’s origins. “I love interior design so I’ve really enjoyed renovating the barn,” says Clair. “I’ve tried to be consistent throughout with the style of decor, using natural tones and encouraging lots of natural light.” Further examples of Clair’s style can be found in the entrance hall where a full height barn arched window and exposed stone wall are complemented by sumptuous cream and green curtains and natural oak flooring. Feature beams sit alongside modern furnishings in the living room while opulence has been created in the dining room with the use of Osborne and Little wallpaper and James Brindley silk curtains. Upstairs the four bedrooms and family bathroom are equally well
New and old: Interior and exterior shots of the renovated Bramble Barn at Shepley.
presented. The master en suite boasts a bold feature wall in black, charcoal and magenta paper completed with co-ordinated bedding and accessories. Meanwhile the couple’s two-year-old son Jacob selected his own colour scheme – turquoise – though he finds this is a little hard to pronounce so he calls it ‘Curtouise’. Having completed Bramble Barn, Clair and Curtis are now looking to
take the next step on the property ladder. “We love Shepley, it has a great community spirit which we feel part of,” says Clair. “We are keen to remain in the village but feel we might struggle to find a property we love as much as this one in the same area.” Bramble Barn is on the market with Yorkshire’s Finest for £475,000.
MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS 13
Lose pounds... barnsley
Little changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference to your health and can be rewarding and fun! If you have decided it’s time to lead a healthier lifestyle and shed some pounds then Barnsley Change4Life Weight Management Service is on hand to help. With hectic work schedules and demanding family commitments, it’s easy to develop bad habits like grabbing fast food on the go and relying on ready-meals or takeaways when it comes to eating at home. By the time we reach middle age, the majority of us could do with losing at least a bit of weight. Being overweight isn’t just about the way we look, it can lead to aches and pains and problems sleeping. People also report a loss of energy and confidence, along with the increased risk of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. But it’s not too late to make changes. Barnsley Change4Life can show you lots of small, easy to take steps to make being
healthy easier and assist in losing weight. The team can offer advice and support to make long-term changes to choose healthier foods, enable you to stay in control of your eating habits and be more active, leading to a healthier, leaner you for life. Our free, fun groups are delivered by our friendly NHS trained healthy lifestyle advisors. They are run in community venues at various different times and days in the week, including evenings. Each week we discuss new topics along with how to make healthier changes. In addition to this we have a team of specialists (dietician, doctor, physiotherapist) on hand to provide extra support if you need it. If you are over 18 years old, have a Barnsley GP and you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 you can come along. (If you are not sure what your BMI is you can ask your doctor or practice nurse.) If you would like to attend as a
family you may be suitable for our children and families programme, ring 01226 737060 for more information. Barnsley Change4Life also helps pregnant women. Having a baby is a special, life-changing experience, but unfortunately for many women it is a time when they gain a lot of weight which they struggle to lose, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Losing weight isn’t advised during pregnancy, although if you are already overweight when you fall pregnant, Barnsley Change4Life are on hand to advise on healthy lifestyle changes. We can help to avoid excessive weight gain and make sure your growing baby gets everything it needs to grow and develop healthily. Children’s sessions also available, 2-4, 5-7 and 7-13 years old. If you are ready to change today then give us a ring on 01226 737060. You have nothing to lose but the weight!
We can help you make lifestyle changes that can last
For more information contact us on:
01226 737060 or speak to your GP or Practice Nurse
• Children’s sessions also available, 2-4, 5-7 and 7-13 years old • Free to join and attend • Lifestyle change course • Run by NHS trained Healthy Lifestyle Advisors • Suitable for men and women aged 18 years and over • Suitable for people with a BMI over 30 • Groups run all over the Barnsley area evening and daytime • Relaxed and fun group sessions
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Joe and Bev Kissane have helped maintain the beauty of The Stubbings for the past 14 years. Rachel Parry was given a tour. MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS 17
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Beautifully maintained: Aspects of the interior and exterior of The Stubbings.
uring springtime daffodils line the way to The Stubbings — a beautiful family home in the idyllic village of Netherton. It was the sight of this sunshineflowered driveway that sent owners Joe and Bev Kissane head over heels for the property 14 years ago. In its 140-year history The Stubbings has only been owned by four families, including the Kissanes, who have helped maintain its beauty on both the inside and out. “When we first came to view the house it was spring and we loved the the daffodils along the driveway,” says
18 MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS
Joe. “As soon as we walked through the door it just felt right, we knew it was for us. “At that point the property needed updating cosmetically but we also replaced the central heating, electrics and flooring. “At first we tried to live in the property but as the huge skirting boards were pulled off walls were falling down, so we moved out for 14 months while the work was completed.” Structural work carried out also included two single-storey extensions to either side of the property; one to
expand the kitchen and another to create a utility, family room and sun room. “The first time we decorated we went for quite a traditional look with swags and tails,” says Bev. “But as time goes on tastes and styles change so 12 months ago we started going back through the property updating the decor. “This time, we have gone for neutral tones and a more contemporary finish where less is more.” Downstairs a bespoke hand-crafted Clive Christian kitchen sets the scene for the high quality to come.
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The elaborate design boasts cream hand-painted units, a large central island and gleaming black granite worktops, highlighted by natural light from the open plan dining area with Velux windows. Meanwhile the main dining room features original beams in an impressive heraldic ceiling and a large period stone fireplace, providing the perfect setting for dinner parties. In the hallway Joe has indulged in bespoke stain glass ceiling panels, inspired by his martial arts background. Upstairs there are four beautiful
bedrooms and the family bathroom. Simple yet striking feature wallpapers and fabrics complement the main bedroom’s neutral palettes, while the couple’s twin nine-year-old daughters, Hannah and Olivia, have plumped for a hot pink colour scheme in their room. Outside the splendour continues with two formal landscaped gardens at the front of the property, one Japanese and one traditional. Other outdoor areas include a York stone flagged terrace, the girls’ secret garden and a wild flower meadow. A large stone outbuilding in the
grounds provides potential for the house’s next owners to enhance the property further as the Kissanes prepare to move onto pastures new. “We are moving to Harrogate to be closer to the girls’ next school but there is no doubt we will miss the house and the setting — we love it to bits,” says Joe. “If we could pick it up and move it we would. “It has been a very happy home for us and it's full of great memories.” The Stubbings is on the market with Yorkshire's Finest for £1.2m.
MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS 19
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Perfect palettes: Fired Earth’s new paint collection.
Experiment with colour
CCORDING to the experts there are many things to consider when choosing paint — the shape of the room, the amount of light, how a shade will affect the ambience — but most importantly how the colour will work for you. To help individuals find their perfect palettes, interior specialists Fired Earth have come up with a new paint collection that encourages people to set their own trends, rather than conforming to existing ones. The range is made up of 36 colours, gathered from travels around the world. There are ‘New Neutrals’ in various shades of white, cream and grey to
act as a peaceful backdrops plus strong ‘Accents’ to add statement
colour. Those behind the collection hope to inspire home owners to experiment with interiors. For those who like to create serene spaces using soft, comforting colour there is White Elephant, Afternoon Tea and Baby Blanket, meanwhile those who prefer natural, earthy tones will favour the likes of Olive Paste, First Date and Greenwich Green. By contrast attention grabbers will fall head over heels for the vibrancy of Elizabeth’s Parrot, Hustle at 5pm and Mrs Booth. www.firedearth.com
MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS 23
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Stylish desk designs Drawers: The Homework.
ith the number of home workers on the rise many spare rooms are being converted into offices, creating space away from disturbances to knuckle down. While many would quite happily balance a laptop on their knee, nothing quite sets the pace of work like sitting behind a desk with all necessary tools at arm’s length. When choosing a desk, dimensions need to be taken into account but when it comes to the style the possibilities are endless. There are simple yet sophisticated designs with transparent glass tops or sturdy, traditional timber desks plus sleek, contemporary pieces with lacquered surfaces and flawless stainless steel. The style might be chosen to fit in with surroundings or alternatively it could stand out as a focal point, whichever it’s worth considering if the desk in question will suit your work style and meet your job needs. For example, will the desk surface withstand daily-use? Does it suit your computer? Does the surface provide enough space for paperwork and files? Is there storage in drawers, cabinets or shelves? These striking desks from furniture specialist Chaplins
Glassy: The Reale.
Funky: The Dino.
provide a glimpse of what’s available. Whilst each has its own unique style and charm, Homework, is an ideal choice for a desk that will be on display. Attractive from all angles and highly versatile, the
desk can be ordered with single, double, or file drawers, and may be configured according to individual needs. An innovative detail allows the drawers to ‘float’ below the glass top giving lightness to the design while
also providing additional table area. Furthermore, each drawer includes a concealed cable management compartment large enough to neatly organise multiple cables and accessories. www.chaplins.co.uk
MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS 25
Stunning: An example of an Oakmasters garden room exterior and interior.
reating new interior space is an effective way to add value and kerb appeal to your property. While some will choose to extend for practical reasons, others simply desire more relaxation space to watch the world go by. A garden room can tick both boxes. More impressive than a conservatory, these sturdy extensions are often fully glazed and insulated, so homeowners can bring the outside in without getting cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. These examples come from Oakmasters, which combines craftsmanship and attention to detail to provide striking oak solutions in the form of hand crafted, oak framed sun rooms, orangeries and garden rooms. Edward Hamilton, sales and
26 MOSAIC HOMES AND INTERIORS
marketing director of Oakmasters, says the strong oak buildings can provide ideal office space for those who work from home. “Oak framed garden offices are a great way to take yourself just far enough away from the disturbances of your home to concentrate on work. “The combination of oak frame and glass gives you the feeling of being outside in the garden but can be as warm and secure as your house. “Oakmasters often create these
beautiful structures with vaulted roofs showing oak trusses and purlins, which create a wonderful feeling of space.” Designed and tailor made to suit individual properties and requirements, Oakmasters’ garden rooms make the most of a property’s surroundings with large areas of glazing. Prices from £15,000 for the assembled oak frame kit. www.oakmasters.co.uk
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Bashing the birch As the late morning sun warms up Wharncliffe Heath, some ecologically-minded volunteers gather up their tools and head for its peak. Katia Harston joined them to find out what they do up there.
he trek to the top of the Deepcar nature reserve is a worthwhile one, especially on a clear day when it rewards you with an unrivalled view overlooking the Don Valley. I'm here to meet volunteers from Wharncliffe Heathlands Trust (WHT) to find out about the work it does to maintain the 46-hectare reserve. Julie Westfold, chairman of WHT, says it became a nature reserve in 1996 under the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. As she explains the background of the heath, the other volunteers, Matt North, a ranger for Steel Valley Partnership, and WHT trustee Dave Buttle are busy loading up the back of
30 MOSAIC OUTDOORS
Matt's van with saws and loppers ready for the task ahead. Today they are on a mission to ‘birch bash’, cutting back the trees in a fenced off area at the top of the reserve in order to create clearings in the habitat. Dave explains: “Although our livestock do a great job at munching through young trees, occasionally they need a bit of help. “So we cut back some of the birch saplings on the heath to allow smaller plants such as heather to flourish and provide a habitat for so many heathloving insects, reptiles and birds.” The Trust was founded in 2005, says Julie. “We have a trustees committee of
about nine which evolved from an advisory management committee set up under Yorkshire Water when it owned the land.” It brought together professional and amateur ecologists who helped clear scrub threatening to overwhelm the heath in the 1990s. “It’s owned by the Forestry Commission and sits above the stunning Wharncliffe Crags which is well known locally for its small breeding population of nightjars. “Other noteworthy species found on the reserve include birds such as tree pipits and linnets. “Herptiles can often be seen roaming about the place such as the common lizard and grass snakes.
Above: The Birch Bashers walk through Deepcar nature reserve. Right: The view over Stocksbridge. Left: 14-year-old Tom Holen gets to work on a tree.
‘The reserve is a living landscape. We are not trying to preserve it but help it shape and develop it so it is still here for generations to come’
“Palmate newts have also been recorded along with green tiger beetles. “The aim of the Trust is to create, enhance, conserve and manage the heathland to benefit the wildlife and expand the areas of heath over time,” says Julie, as we make our way to its peak. She knows what she’s talking about – she’s an ecologist for Sheffield City Council who just happens to be very passionate about this reserve. She believes it’s an important area because it's a lowland heathland habitat, rather than highland, and is thriving with different species. The Trust members aren't scared of hard work. Secretary of WHT, Dave
Buttle, says the birch is cut on rotation about every three years. “It’s very carefully managed. We clear them and leave some for birds to use as song perches otherwise you wouldn't get them breeding,” he explains. They put in hundreds of hours every year just to keep the reserve at its best for now and the future. It's not just birch bashing they do but general maintenance, clearing the heath of invasive species like certain types of rhododendron which can ‘strangle’ the heathland. Matt North has been a ranger for the Steel Valley Partnership for about 13 years and loves the role he plays in keeping the reserve in good shape.
“It’s a living landscape and people and wildlife over the years have made it like it is,” he said. “We are not trying to preserve it but help it shape and develop it so it is still here for generations to come.” They are very aware of the challenges they face with the impending knowledge that hundreds of homes will soon be built nearby. But as Matt points out, they do like a challenge and no doubt will find a way to make it work — it's what they do best. The Trust is always looking for volunteers. Visit www.whtrust.org.uk for more details.
MOSAIC OUTDOORS 31
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Both soft and spirited colours are dominating the catwalks for spring and summer. Rachel Parry reports.
Casual: Jenny wears fine knit top and linen skirt by Eve in Paradise, from Moo Designs.
MOSAIC FASHION 33
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Striking: Amy wears coral jeggings and long shirt by Vero Moda above and Fran and Jane dress and JLE fascinator below, all from Pookie.
Neopolitan: Gill in Nissa dress and JLE fascinator from Pookie.
Cool gear for summer
or the spring/summer season ladies’ fashions are at either end of the colour spectrum. Soft, feminine designs will appear in playful pastels while colour blocking will make an impact in bold, vibrant hues. Local fashion experts Clare Bottomley, owner of Moo Designs, Barnsley, and Rose Horsefield, who owns Pookie Womenswear, Silkstone, talked to Mosaic about how to achieve the key looks for the warmer months ahead. “There is a very relaxed feel about ladies’ fashions for spring/summer
34 MOSAIC FASHION
season,” says Clare. “Muted colour palettes are really strong in pastel shades such as powder blue and pink, as well as various shades of cream, from soft white right through to rich taupes, which suit most skin tones. “Fabrics are light, soft and easy to wear in jersey, crushed silk and fine linen knits, creating very feminine and comfortable pieces in harem trousers, loose tops, floaty skirts and beautiful maxi dresses.” Rose also tips pastels as one of the top looks for the season, but encourages ladies to embrace the current colour-blocking trend too.
“Sugary pastel shades in sheer and floaty fabrics make for gorgeous girlish looks this summer — think soft tones of mint green, powder pink and lilac. “That said, ‘A life in Technicolor’ is a key trend for spring, with ladies wearing every shade of the spectrum, colour blocking from head to toe. “As we move into summer, we will see a burst of sunshine and optimism in hues of yellow, mustard and lemon, indicating the start of warmer months. “Print is also in abundance this season from mismatched florals and
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Double delight: Jenny wears jersey maxi dress by Heather and Peppercorn jewellery. Jess models ‘Monroe’ dress by Blonde and Wise, Peppercorn jewllery and Moo clutch all from Moo Designs.
Chic duo: Amy wears blue chinos by St Tropez and top by Soaked in Luxury. Gill in tunic by The Masai Clothing Company all from Pookie.
Simply stunning: Jess in dress by Kendell, left, and right, she wears silk linen top, scarf and linen trousers by Manuelle Guibal Paris, all from Moo Designs.
digital prints to bold, tropical retro Palm Springs prints for those who like to stand out from the crowd.” Both Clare and Rose agree the relaxed, feminine designs will fit both daywear and evening wear, at home and abroad. “The beauty of free-flowing clothing in soft materials is that ladies both look and feel fantastic on even the most humid of days,” says Clare. “Jersey maxi dresses with silk in them provide a casual yet luxurious look. “If the cut is right a maxi dress can be very flattering and is ideal to be taken from day to night.
“Wear with flats in the day then add statement jewellery and heels for night. “For evening and occasion wear this summer's dresses are playful and flirty with soft detail in organza. “Greek and Roman influences are also evident in delicate draping.” Other trends favoured by Rose include dropped-waist flapper style fashions and aquatic themed evening wear. “Old school Hollywood in long Grecian line gowns, light weight fabrics and neutral palettes will provide classic feminine eveningwear
as will slouchy, sensual and silky ensembles in elegant PJ pants and dressing-gown style jackets,” says Rose. “If these styles don't excite you look out for oversized lace style dresses, mermaid fishtail style gowns, with scale effect in shimmering sequins and metallics and fashions from the roaring 20s that have been updated with a modern twist.” The outfits are captured here in the gardens of Wortley Hall, an 18th century country house within 26 acres of woodland.
MOSAIC FASHION 35
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When it comes to gardens, bigger does not necessarily mean better, says landscape designer John Plant. He tells Mosaic how to create, and enjoy, the perfect small garden.
Eye-catching: Large plants give structure while the smaller plants draw the eye.
Gardens great and small
t doesn’t matter if you have a ‘postage stamp’ sized plot, roof terrace or back yard, you can still have a wonderful garden. But there are some guidelines to be followed to make sure gardeners make the most of the space on offer. A common fault of amateur designers is taking the elements of larger gardens and trying to ram as many as possible into a tiny space. Don’t, instead you should follow some simple principles. Before starting, consider what you want the garden for, is it for entertaining adults, keeping children occupied or somewhere for pets? Then consider style. Will it be a contemporary garden or a ‘cottage
38 MOSAIC EXTERIORS
garden’, or something in between? Having a drawing of the size and shape of the garden will help enormously. It doesn’t have to be exactly to scale, but it shouldn’t be too far off. Measure the plot, and draw it, to show the boundaries, the overall shape, and any existing features. Then make several copies before starting to design. Each one of these can be used for different ideas. You will have plenty. Make a list of the features you would like – lawn, paths, borders, pergola, etc – then forget about the ones you cannot fit in, or cannot afford. Where possible, design the garden so you cannot see the whole plot from any one spot.
It should take you on a small tour, inviting you to look around the corner. While this is more difficult with a very small garden, even the smallest can have a focal point. It could be something simple like a seat with maybe a pergola, with climbing flowers, over it. Design hard areas like patios, paths and fencing first aiming to get flow and height. If you have a modern property then match the materials of the house, so any walls would be brick, and the paving would not be natural stone. With an older stone-built house, use stone slabs and walling. Whatever, stick to no more than
Material tips: Hard materials like gravel and cobbles emphasise more structured areas like paving or features, where natural materials like stone walling and terrecotta work well together.
three different materials when doing the hard landscaping. A good tip is to use gravel and cobbles to highlight the structured areas. Then comes the ‘soft landscaping’ or plants. This is what many amateur gardeners fear the most. It can be a minefield but a few basics will help. Containers work well in confined spaces. Labels will always tell you if a plant will grow in full sun, shade or partial shade, how tall they grow, what colour flowers are and when they bloom. Start with larger plants – they cost the most but give instant effect. The next group are the smaller shrubs and plants to fill in, then
consider the small plants. Remember you will be looking at your garden all year, even if you can’t always get out into it. It should still have some interest even in winter, but this is Yorkshire and you’ll need hardy varieties. A good splattering of evergreens, including variegated, is a good start. Try to choose plants that offer two or more features, such as coloured bark and autumn colour, and flowers as well. If you are in no hurry to finish your planting go to the nursery once a month and buy what is in fashion that month. Don’t worry – if you’re still short of ideas, ‘steal’ from somebody else.
One of the best ways to do this is to participate in the ‘Open Gardens Scheme’. The National Gardens Scheme produces a booklet listing all the gardens in Yorkshire that are open to the public and when. You can also go on to their website at www.ngs.org.uk. There are some wonderful gardens, large and small, that are all at ‘a standard’. Whatever style you choose, however small your plot, enjoy what you have created. There is nothing more rewarding than sitting in your garden, even showing it off to friends, knowing that ‘I did that’. firstname.lastname@example.org
MOSAIC EXTERIORS 39
81 YEARS CARAVANNING EXPERIENCE
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Little India, Barugh Green, has launched a cookery school for aspiring chefs. Kate Pickles finds out why they advise people to ‘keep calm and curry on’. MOSAIC FOOD 41
Dishing out curry tips
s I sit waiting for our mentor and chef Amrad Rahman, one thing becomes immediately apparent. I am the only female. Similar to when the barbecue gets rolled out in summer, Indian cuisine seems to be a particularly popular form of cookery for men. Many women have also subscribed for the two-hour course, he assures me. The seating area is surrounded by shelves colourfully decorated with chapatti flour, curry pastes, various seasonings, almonds and all the spices you would ever need. Into the kitchen and there are ten individual work stations, each fully equipped and ready to go. The onions and chicken are already prepped so no time is wasted doing the ‘hard work,’ as Amrad would say. “It’s better to go straight in, it’s all hands on, no messing about,” he says. “The main thing is to enjoy cooking. Do the preparation work early, have a rest and go back to cooking later. Once you’re cooking, the slower the better, enjoy it.” A generous glug of oil more than covers the pan and
42 MOSAIC FOOD
in go the onions while it is still cold, a handy tip to avoid burning. The onion should be kept in the middle, avoiding the sides, once again to avoid burning or Amrad says you’ve had it before you’ve got going. Salt should be kept to a minimum as you can always add more later, he advises us. “The most important thing is not to burn the onion before putting the spices in. “Take your time, there’s no time limit, you want it as white as possible.” A fresh paste mixture of garlic, ginger and oil, prepared earlier in the blender, is added to the pan letting off a wonderful aroma. “Two minutes later you will see the onion melt,” he reassures us. And sure enough, it does. Fenugreek or ‘methi’, as it is commonly referred to, is then crumbled over the mixture and can be mashed in to save a bit of time. Then a layer of boiling water is poured over the paste, to prevent it burning, and in readiness for the next stage. Bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods are thrown in while the heat is on low and then left until the oil starts to separate.
Then the temperature is turned up, as more boiling water is added to stop it burning, then down again for the spices. A spoonful of tomato puree is added for colour, then the chilli goes in first to a strength of your choice, followed by a teaspoon of turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, curry powder and half teaspoon of garam masala. “Keep it low and let it cook. Over the next five to ten minutes the oil should separate. That’s telling you it’s cooked. “If you don’t get the base right, you get onions and sauce that will separate because the onions are not dissolved.” Now all that is left is to add the chicken, which has been soaked in water to create a stock, and marinade it in the sauce while on a low heat. Wash the sides of the pan down with boiling water, trapping any rogue spices, and let it completely cover the chicken. Then leave it to cook until it reduces to a sauce of your liking. Various vegetables, like onions and peppers, can be added to make a Bhuna or other ingredients to make
the curry of your choice. The two hours have flown by and in that time I feel I have cooked as close to an authentic restaurant curry as I ever will. “You don’t need to be a great chef, anyone can do it,” says Amran, as I and the gentlemen have all just proved. The classes run on Sunday and Monday evenings. To book call 380555.
MOSAIC FOOD 43
Michelin-trained chef on the menu
THE PANTRY Hot tips on food and drink by Adam Civico
A CHEF who learnt his trade at Michelin-starred restaurants is running the kitchen at Rob Royd Farm Shop. Kirk Wade has developed the menu for the cafe and restaurant at the shop near Locke Park in Barnsley. It opened in January. He has worked at the one-starred Pipe and Glass in Beverley and before that with Michael Caines at the award-winning Gidleigh Park hotel in Devon. Farmer and owner Rob White said the cafe offers quality lunches through the day and fine dining weekend tasting menus, using produce reared on the family’s farm. Rob said: “With lamb coming into season we’ve got a lamb dish on the menu with crushed peas and pureed fennel.”
From the Ritz to the Golden Cock
estaurateur Ricardo Victor has taken over the Golden Cock in Farnley Tyas with a view to developing it as a village pub – with a brasserie and fine dining restaurant. He has been in charge since last month and reckons a mixture of quality ale and food will bring success. He’s plenty of hospitality experience having worked at The Ritz in London and Cotswolds 88, helping to get it ranked as 16th best boutique hotel in the world. Ricardo’s first gastro business was the Bull’s Head pub and bistro at Blackmoorfoot. He said: “I have been looking for an additional business to run in conjunction with the Bull’s Head. This gives me the opportunity to develop a different concept of brasserie and fine dining, whilst maintaining a traditional village pub. “Farnley Tyas is a traditional community that attracts a number of destination diners, so I am excited that I can return the Golden Cock back to its former glory and beyond.” He will be working with Mark Oldfield who says quality cask ale will be as important as the food in making the business a success. Punch Taverns is investing in a refurbishment.
Banging bangers THE new season has been welcomed at Broad Close Farm Shop in Silkstone with the introduction of a new range of sausages. Meat from the rare breed Tamworth pigs and Dexter cattle reared by the Charlesworth family, is sold in the shop. And owner Jonathan Charlesworth told Mosaic a new pork, rhubarb and ginger sausage and a
44 MOSAIC FOOD AND DRINK
A world of swirl: Steve Macdonald of Broad Close Farm Shop and his sausages.
‘Silkstone swirl’ were being introduced. He said the inspiration for the rhubarb sausage came when he saw a pork pie topped with it. “Rhubarb on its own is a bit bland so we put in the ginger to spice it up a bit and give it a bit of a kick. The Tamworths are ginger pigs, so we’ve got ginger pigs and ginger sausages.” The swirl is the Charlesworths’ take on Cumberland sausage. “It has EU recognition so can only be made in Cumberland. The Silkstone swirl is along the same lines but made to a slightly different recipe.”
Millionth bun sold
Family chef’s club
ICE cream producer Yummy Yorkshire has opened a new extended parlour and coffee shop. A takeaway counter and 20 new tables have been added at the parlour between High Flatts and Ingbirchworth. As well as the ice cream locallymade products including Yorkshire honey and cured meats will be sold. Hot and cold meals are also on offer.
THE Cooking School at Dean Clough near Halifax has started offering classes for families. Executive Head Chef Matthew Benson-Smith said there had been several requests from parents and grandparents. The family chef’s club will run in June and is suitable for children aged eight to 16, accompanied by an adult. Booking: 01422 383192.
A PASTRY chef who started baking cupcakes in her Sheffield kitchen has sold her millionth bun. Amanda Perry’s Fancie chain, which had its first store on Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield, has new outlets in Doncaster and Barnsley and is hoping to expand to Leeds and York. The company employs 30 in its shops, ten bakers, seven managers and three delivery drivers.
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The date stone may be wrong but The Newcomen Beam Engine is a superb piece of history. Ed Elliott finds out why half a million pounds has been secured for its restoration.
MOSAIC HERITAGE 47
An engine to beam about
date stone above the engine house door reads 1787 – seven years out – but the Newcomen Beam Engine is one of South Yorkshire’s finest reminders of the Industrial Revolution. Built in 1795 by John Bargh of Chesterfield at a cost of £167, it is housed inside a three-storey stone ‘house’ with slate roof and sandwiched between a private country lane, the Trans-Pennine Trail and the old Elsecar railway. The engine used steam power to pump water out of the village colliery, which allowed the exploitation of deeper coal seams, and remained in use until 1923 when the engine was replaced by electric pumps. “It’s a real hidden treasure,” says Lynn Dunning, arts and museum manager for Barnsley Council. “A cliche but it’s true. “It was an amazing place and was owned by the Fitzwilliams, one of the most powerful families in Europe at the time. They spent a lot on the detail of the appearance. The building has beautiful Georgian windows and just lovely detail – they obviously tried to build something that was functional but also looked good.” This year marks the tricentenary of the invention of the engine by Thomas Newcomen, an ironmonger from Dartmouth in Devon, and plans
48 MOSAIC HERITAGE
All smiles: Jane Galvin and Lynn Dunning at the Newcomen Beam Engine at Elsecar Heritage Centre.
for a full restoration are underway following a successful funding bid. A total of £485,000 will be spent on the project with the majority of the money granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund and further contributions from English Heritage and Barnsley Council. The two-year project will see the engine, shaft and engine house restored to full working order, ensuring that it remains a premier tourist attraction. “I have been really determined to see this happen,” adds Lynn. “I’m
quite a determined person and I don’t think Elsecar could move forward without it. “It’s putting the heritage back into Elsecar Heritage Centre.” Also described within the heritage sector as ‘the forefather of the Industrial Revolution’, the engine is the last of its kind to remain in its original engine house and is among the most important heritage sites in the world. In its heyday it could remove 400 gallons of water a minute from the mine and it is understood
‘It’s not just a job, you have to be very passionate in this sector. I’m just so pleased, really, really pleased’
that Henry Ford tried to buy the engine in the 1920s and wanted to ship it to America. During a demonstration in 1953 the piston came to a violent halt following a series of heavy strokes and the resulting damage has meant the engine has not moved since. It was bought by Barnsley Council in 1988 and Lynn admits there was a great deal of personal satisfaction in securing the funding. “It meant everything,” she says. “It’s taken an awful lot of hard work.
“It’s not just a job, you have to be very passionate in this sector. I’m just so pleased, really, really pleased.” Part of the cosmetic work to be carried out will see the external grills taken off the windows and a stable door fitted to allow people to see the engine working from outside. Once the restoration is complete, running costs will be relatively low with a £1,000 annual service cost and maintenance carried out by existing site staff and volunteers. The Heritage Centre has seen its
visitor figures rise by 75,000 to 325,000 over the financial year and Lynn says they are hoping that number will exceed 500,000 in the next five years with the help of the beam engine. “It’s about Elsecar as a tourist attraction and getting people to spend their money in Barnsley,” she explains. “There’s a hard edge to what we do as well and the Beam Engine is part of that.”
MOSAIC HERITAGE 49
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54, 55, 56 mark 2
Mike Cotton drives over boulders, through water and narrowly avoids gateposts on a 'Land Rover Experience Day' in Gaydon.
54 MOSAIC MOTORING
54, 55, 56 mark 2
Off road delights
gently feathered the accelerator as the two near-side wheels crawled along an elongated boulder. The other two wheels were a few feet lower, and the hefty Land Rover Discovery leaned to the right at what felt like at least a 45-degree angle. I asked Derek Moore, my instructor, how I would know when the vehicle was going to topple over. “When that light comes on”, said Derek, as he pointed to the very ordinary interior light above my head. I didn’t understand. He clarified: “Because I’ll have opened the door and jumped out.” Derek's gentle wit eased some of the tension as I tried to squeeze the £50,000-odd Discovery through some tight spots. And later, I greedily completed the whole exercise again in the £70,000-odd Range Rover Vogue. Some of the inclines Derek took me up were so steep I could see nothing but blue sky out of the windscreen. He couldn’t see any more than me. “Turn to me a bit” says Derek. “Left a bit, left a bit...” Then we plateau with a bit of a bump. I can see what's in front of me again. To my shock, there was a gatepost immediately next to the driver’s side door mirror. Without blindly following his ‘left a bit’ instructions, we’d have been impaled on it. Then comes the downhill. He tells me to crawl up to the edge of what was basically a cliff face, which descends at what looks like two in one. I tip the front wheels over the edge, and he tells me to hold it on the brake, lurching forward but held firmly, like the Oblivion rollercoaster at Alton Towers. He selects ‘hill descent mode’ from the array of off-road controls. “Now, let go of the brakes, don’t
Making a splash: Mike takes on an aquatic challenge.
MOSAIC MOTORING 55
54, 55, 56 mark 2
Up high: Land Rover Discovery on top an elongated boulder.
touch the pedals at all, just steer,” he says. I let go. Stomach in mouth. But immediately, the engine, gearbox, brakes and suspension jump into action, and almost three tonnes of Range Rover gently glides to the bottom of the hill. Every instinct urges you to take over and brake. But you have to fight that and trust the car. You’re never really going that fast, but it’s a hell of a thrill. Depressingly, the Discovery and the Range Rover are both better drivers than I. But if you embrace that fact,
56 MOSAIC MOTORING
you can get on with enjoying the ride. If you are an off-road purist and don’t go in for all that technological wizardry, you could of course opt for the more traditional Land Rover Defender. We all know people with 4x4s for whom a muddy grass verge or a light dusting of snow is the biggest test they give their machines. I can’t blame them – I know how blissful it is to drive a Range Rover on smooth tarmac, cruise control, climate control and, depending on the weather, either the heated or cooled seats on.
Even the heated steering wheel. But cars like these long to feel rough ground beneath their tyres, the cooling muddy waters lapping on their underbellies and sloshing along those sparkling chrome door sills. These cars want their metallic paintwork to be caked in a layer of dirt so thick you could plant seeds in it. If you're too protective of your precious vehicle, or don't have one, there are plenty of centres where you can get other people's cars as filthy as possible. The cars will thank you.
Design Interiors dps
Personal service for superior interiors DOES your kitchen or bedroom need a makeover? Then look no further than Design Interiors, a family firm which believes in good-quality products and friendly, personal service. Set up by Dean Sharman, Design Interiors houses its factory and showroom all under one roof at its Mitchell’s Enterprise Park premises in Wombwell. Dean, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, works alongside his brotherin-law Dave Ashton. The showroom has been recently updated to provide customers with an impressive range of the latest kitchen designs to view at their
building work, plastering and tiling,” says Dean. “To create a kitchen unique to you, there is a wide variety of worktops,
door furniture and taps to choose from, allowing you to add your own taste and character to the room.” To complete your dream kitchen Design Interiors offers
“Kitchens are fast becoming the hub of a home so people want the room to be as stunning as the other rooms throughout their homes,” says Dean. “We are constantly striving to offer the highest quality products and service which is reflected by the amount of business we receive through recommendations from our highly satisfied customers.” For the bedroom, Design Interiors can offer a stylish collection of furniture including free-standing, sliding wardrobes all made to the customer’s requirements in the firm’s factory. With most of Design Interiors’s business coming through recommendations it’s clear that the team’s expertise and knowledge of the industry leads to flawless results. For details visit the website: www.designinteriorsbarnsley.co.uk
leisure. A wide range of budgets and tastes are catered for, with kitchen styles varying from simply traditional to cool and contemporary. To take the pressure off customers the team is happy to project manage all jobs, including planning the new room. “We believe in personal service and are therefore happy to project manage a new kitchen from start to finish including a home visit,
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Mike Cotton takes a look at the CX-5 as Mazda enters the compact SUV crossover market. Muscular look: The new Mazda CX-5.
CX-5 powers on to scene
AZDA is entering the compact SUV crossover market with its latest release this month. The CX-5 comes in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive flavours. It is the first car to boast Mazda’s new SKYACTIV Technology, which is all about improving economy and efficiency using a range of powerful yet fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines. The range includes Mazda’s 165ps SKYACTIV-G 2.0 petrol engine and SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine, which will be available in 150ps and 175ps versions. Improved aerodynamics, vehicle weight reduction, chassis developments and new manual and automatic gearboxes all help reduce the CX-5’s thirst for fuel. At first glance it looks sturdy, like an SUV should. The sculptured body and striking front bumpers give it a muscular look. But there’s no sign it will lack any of Mazda’s trademark vitality and agility. Inside the solid, mature interior
60 MOSAIC MOTORING
A great model: Expect Mazda’s trademark vitality and agility.
reflects its sportiness, and has the look of a cockpit. It features lightweight seats which should still prove comfortable on long runs. The base SE-L model comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, dual-zone climate control, Smart City Brake Support and
privacy glass, plus front and rear parking sensors. Sport grade models will feature 19inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with active front lighting, full leather trim, heated front seats, powered driver’s seat and a reversing camera. Prices start from £21,395.
Kia is going to great lengths to tempt new customers. Mike Cotton took the Optima for a spin to see how it handled. Luxury: The Kia Optima.
A frugal cruiser
IA is going to great lengths to tempt new customers away from their usual car choices. The all-new Kia Optima is a smart, executive saloon targeted squarely at the business market. This luxurious but frugal cruiser is well-equipped and is pitching itself against some much more expensive rivals. The 134bhp 1.7-litre diesel engine will return combined fuel economy of 57.6mpg. With all its cabin space and refinement, it will suit long motorway trips. Available features include a high-end Infinity audio system with 12 speakers, including a boot-mounted subwoofer, self-parking, heated and coolventilated seats, cornering lights, panoramic sunroof, reverse parking camera and an automatic cabin defogging system. It is smooth, and sleek, with an almost coupé-like silhouette. Standard features include alloy wheels, air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming,
62 MOSAIC MOTORING
Well-equipped: The Kia’s cockpit.
steering wheel-mounted audio controls, all-round electric windows and electric folding mirrors as well as cruise control and a speed limiter. The Optima 2 Luxe edition includes
leather interior, panoramic sunroof with electric blinds, dual zone auto air conditioning and solar glass with auto defogging. Prices start at £19,595 on the road.
Mike Cotton gets a thrill from the Swift Attitude. He explains why.
Spicy car with attitude
HE Suzuki Swift has got attitude in spades. It’s a spicy little car and I’ve got a lot of time for it. But now it has more ‘attitude’ than ever with the release of the new Swift Attitude special edition. Only 500 will be made, some three door, some five door. They’ll all be white, and they’ll all have a 1.2 Dual VVT 94PS petrol engine. Suzuki says it is one of the most powerful engines in its class, although it still qualifies for £30 road tax, and boasts combined fuel economy of 56.5mpg. Sounds good, but the bottom line is, it looks stunning. The brilliant white finish is complemented by carbon-fibre effect black roof and door mirrors, and 16inch black alloy wheels. The sporty and aggressive styling will appeal to the young, and the young at heart. It includes seven airbags, ESP, air conditioning, USB port, front fog lamps, and rear privacy glass. I actually own a Suzuki Swift Attitude, albeit the old model. It's nearly five years old and my wife-
Fantastic: A stunning car.
to-be and I have talked many times about trading it in, but it’s a little belter and we’ve held onto it. You can throw it into corners, it feels solidly put together and hasn’t put a foot wrong. It’s cheap to run too.
The new one is therefore all the more appealing. The limited run of 500 will no doubt be in high demand. In fact, maybe it is time we traded in our old Suzuki Swift Attitude. The three-door model will be £10,750, and the five door £11,220.
MOSAIC MOTORING 65
POWER of HYPNOSIS
Barnsley Hypnosis & Counselling
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STEPPING OUT Monday 28th May – Saturday 2nd June
DRAMA FESTIVAL Saturday 9th June
An evening with
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The Lamproom Theatre, Westgate, Barnsley
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woodward carpets f l o o r i n g s p e c i a l i s t 1 Barnsley Road, Dodworth, Barnsley www.woodwardcarpets.com
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Station RO AD
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ROAD ION STAT
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Jct 37 M1
• Mon/Tues/Wed/Fri 9.15am - 5.00pm • Thurs 9.15am - 1.00pm • Sat 10.00am - 3.00pm
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If you love musicals, you’ll love The Academy Theatre – THE place for musicals… Wednesday 9th May
The Houghton Weavers
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01226 74 44 42
Monday 21st May An Evening with
Richard D Hall Saturday 26th May
The Shadowers Centre
Sunday 27th May
311 Sheffield Road Birdwell Barnsley S70 5TU
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ADAM CIVICO Fish may not be the ‘sexiest’ of column subjects but bear with me as I swim against the tide of popular opinion. Let me explain – I have experienced something of a fish epiphany. It’s tempting to call it an e-fish-any but that sounds too much like efficiency and I’m rarely accused of that.
ish, is one of those foods that divides opinion. The thought of a fillet of hake or halibut gracing a dinner plate is enough to send some diners rushing for cover. Others will say, ‘I like fish, but not when it tastes of fish, if you know what I mean’. Er, not really, no. Maybe they like the sort of fish you can buy frozen and smothered in an inch-deep layer of ‘breadcrumbs’. That certainly does not taste like fish – not like it should anyway – nor does the depressingly grey and unappetising flesh look much like it should, either. But let me tell you fish is fantastic. I say that after ditching the supermarket and buying mine from a monger. He even drops it at the door. Every fish recipe I’ve ever followed insists you should ensure the fish you use is a fresh as possible and suddenly it has become clear why. The plaice, sole and mackerel I’ve cooked and eaten recently does not compare with that sold in supermarkets. You’d expect the frozen stuff to be of a lesser quality but what happens to make it leathery and tasteless is a secret known only to the producers. Even the fresh fish sold over the counter in supermarkets does not compare to the stuff available from artisan sellers. It’s like the fluorescent lights, which make superstores the soulless places they are, have also managed to draw something special – like flavour – out of the fish. Watch out for sole, without soul.
74 MOSAIC LAST WORD
They may provide economies of scale, but what price can you put on flavour? Of course, there’s controversy about the methods by which fish are caught. The sustainable fishing of our oceans is the most recent cause célèbre of many television chefs. Good on them for raising an important issue (while maintaining their celebrity status) and good on them for making fish part of the national conversation again. They’ve urged us to be more adventurous with fish, claiming that if we all tried something different to staple white fish like cod, then the market would change giving the over-fished varieties the chance to recuperate and thrive. That’s an over-simplification of a complex issue but in my small way I’ll enter the debate by urging readers to join me in rejecting supermarket fish and using a fish monger or fish market. You’ll pay a bit more, but the fish you get is better by nautical miles, and you’ll know it’s not been abused in a factory. And once it’s on your plate you’ll be grateful. Cooking it could not be easier. My ‘fool proof’ method is tossing it in seasoned flour and frying over medium heat. So there it is, fish is easy and delicious. Just keep it fresh.
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Published on Apr 29, 2012
There’s an intriguing mix of humour and heritage in this issue of Mosaic. The humour comes in permanent form courtesy of artist Graham Ibbe...