Tag Archives: food

A visit to the Wildflower Artisan Market in Knowsley

We’ve visited the National Wildflower Centre at Knowsley several times, but we’ve always managed to miss the Artisan Market that is on the 4th Sunday of every month. Today, we were lucky enough to have a day free and the weather was half decent, so off we trotted.

The stalls were mostly in the courtyard, with a few dotted around outside. There was a campervan with a cupcake stall attached, a couple of stalls dedicated to treats for your dog, and a lovely flower stall. However, we decided to do a circuit of the stalls before buying anything.

Which worked well for approximately 30 seconds, when we discovered this stall:

olives and garlic on artisan food stall

Garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, vine leaves…

Olives, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese on artisan food stall

Seriously, how could we not buy something? And the stall owner was so lovely, we got to try the different olives before buying. YUM.

We wandered dangerously close to a pie stall but got back on track, and saw some gorgeous pictures and vases on a stall that creates cyanotype art – the shop is called The Way To Blue.

And then we found the stall which sells ‘postcode honey’ – all made from pollen from flowers within a few miles of the  Wildflower Centre. Again, we tried a few different types, and it was so interesting to taste the differences which come from the different pollens. And it all comes highly recommended by the bees:

Bees on jar of honey

Several bees on jar of honey

I got chatting to a very nice lady who asked if I kept bees (sadly, I do not, although I did get one to sit on the wooden spatula I’d used to taste some honey for a minute or two), and who did mention that it’s possible to rent hives or if you don’t have space, to put them with other hives in someone else’s space. INteresting).

Next to that was another stall of enticing jars – this time, jams and chutneys from The Talking Bee. What a hard life I do lead! 😉

Jars of jam and chutney on artisan food stall

I tried the beetroot chutney (deliciously earthy and not too sweet) and the Husbinator went for the Scotch Bonnet chilli jam – which was obviously quite spicy.

We discovered the bread stall far too late in the day, but we did find out that they run bread-making courses, which might be something for the next few months.

Loaf of artisan bread

And then back to the flower stall we spotted on the way in, to buy some of these gorgeous scented violas.

Scented violas in sunlight

 And as if all that wasn’t enough, look what we spotted on the way out:

Small white fungi in woodland

Yes, it is THAT time of year again. SO excited!

A moderately successful baking session

I got it into my head that I needed to make some cupcake toppers – I have some ideas in mind. And of course, I needed cupcakes to try them out on, so I searched for some recipes and found this one. I love lemony cakes, so they sounded ideal. We went shopping this morning, and of course, there were no poppy seeds. Apparently they’re not a regular baking ingredient. Oh well. So, I went ahead and baked the cakes without them. And it was only once the cakes were in the oven that I realised I hadn’t even started making the toppers. So, let’s just consider these as a trial run, shall we?

I am slightly impressed with my icing skills, especially as I made the icing too early, and then was too impatient to wait until the cakes were completely cool which meant that the icing was very soft. The cakes taste goooood though. More baking next weekend, as the Husbinator wants some chocolate cakes.

Until then, here are a few cupcake finds to tide us over.