Win a copy of Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space

Last week we reviewed The Amazing World of Animals, a Paperscapes books from Carlton Books. This week we are taking a look at Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space. The Paperscapes books are beautiful hardback books, filled with die-cut images and facts and information about space.

Discover space as you’ve never seen it before! Take a look at the most fascinating machines to explore the solar system and beyond. As you fly past the planets you’ll meet space probes, robotic rovers, satellites, space stations, rockets and more. Discover something new with every turn of the page.

The Spectacular Journey Into Space takes a look at the wonders that can be found in space, both natural and man-made. Unlike the other books in the Paperscapes series, the The Spectacular Journey Into Space features 29 photographs and a number of CGI images.

Win a copy of Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space

Written by Kevin Pettman, The Spectacular Journey Into Space is packed with all kinds of fascinating space facts. It’s an impressive collection to dip in and out of.

The Opportunity Rover has recently been in the news. It was built to last just 90 days, has ended its mission after 15 years on Mars. The Spectacular Journey Into Space tell us that Opportunity carries cameras for three different purposes; navigation, avoiding hazards and collecting images for research purposes. It was also launched by a Delta II heavy rocket and a landing craft carried it onto the surface of Mars. These are all great facts my son can look up whenever he wants.

The Spectacular Journey Into Space is suitable for children aged 7+. My 8 year old son absolutely loved it and found it an easy and interesting read. The language isn’t too simple and older children and even teenagers would find the book interesting and enjoyable.

Besides the facts, the really interesting thing about The Spectacular Journey Into Space are the dye-cut images. Many are photographs or CGI recreations and they really leap off the page. Each image has perforations around it, you pop out the surroundings leaving the image to stand out within its frame. It’s very well done and makes it a joy to read and look at.

If you like the idea of these Paperscapes books, but space isn’t your thing, there are three other books in the series –  The Incredible World of BugsThe Amazing World of Animals and The Fearsome World of Dinosaurs.

Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space by Kevin Pettman is published by Carlton Books and costs £12.99. It is available online and from good bookshops.

WIN A COPY OF Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space

To be in with a chance to win a copy of Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent a copy of Paperscapes – The Spectacular Journey Into Space.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 17th March 2019.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details be shared with Carlton Books so they can send the prize to the winner.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Elmer The Patchwork Elephant at The Lowry

AD – Given Press Tickets for review purposes. Not paid.

Based on the classic children’s book series by David McKee, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is on at The Lowry on 19th-21st February. I took the boy along to the first showing of this cheery production aimed at pre-schoolers.

Elmer is a vibrant, funny and kind elephant. He’s different from the other elephants in his herd and he’s not sure he’s happy about that. He tries his very hardest to blend in, unsuccessfully, so he meets up with some of his animal friends who help him to realise that being different is just fine.

Review: Elmer The Patchwork Elephant at The Lowry #AD

Along the way he meets singing frogs, a giraffe, a lion, birds, monkeys and zebras. Soon his herd start to miss him, rejoining them Elmer realises that his friends have always valued and loved his unique personality and appearance.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is around 50 minutes long. It’s lively and engaging, with catchy songs, brilliant puppetry and some audience participation. The set is colourful and simple, the puppets are great fun, but the puppeteers are what makes the show. All of them were dressed in safari clothes and blended in beautifully. It’s always the mark of an accomplished puppeteer that you watch the puppet and not the person.

We really liked the songs, they’re the kind of thing we could listen to in the car and sing along to on long journeys. There were some funny moments, some touching moments and a lot of feel good stuff too.

My son is 8, but he enjoyed it, he understood the message, loved the songs and his favourite bit were the monkeys. We left with a smile on our faces and chatted on the way home about what made us different and how we could celebrate and appreciate those differences.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is a lovely show which is ideal for pre-schoolers and young ones. It’s left us with a serious case of the warm and fuzzies.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is on at The Lowry from 19th-21st February this year. For more information or to book tickets, visit The Lowry website.

Note, we were given press tickets for review purposes. I have not been paid for this post.

Kitchen Hacks: 10 Savvy Ways to Cook Food Faster

During the week I find myself throwing meals together quite quickly. I like to cook as much as I can from scratch, but this can be time-consuming. In a push it can be tempting to pick up a ready meal or a takeaway, but if you’re savvy you can cook food faster. Over the years I’ve picked up a few habits to get meals to the table a bit quicker.

Kitchen Hacks: 10 Super Speedy Ways to Cook Food Faster

Today I’m sharing some of the ways I cook food faster.

1. Most frozen vegetables can be steamed in 3-4 minutes in the microwave, just throw it in a microwave proof dish, add a splash of water and put the lid loosely on top.

2. Likewise, fresh vegetables can be quickly cooked in the microwave. My son loves baby sweetcorn, so I add a splash of water and microwave them (and all kinds of other veg) until they’re cooked.

3. If you’re making a sausage sandwich, slice them length-ways first, flatten them out and they’ll cook in half the time.

4. If you’re using the oven, as soon as you start to prep your meal, put your oven on high, you can adjust the temperature later, you just need to get it preheated asap.

5. While I’m waiting for the oven to heat up, depending on what I’m cooking, I might defrost things in the microwave first. So things like oven chips I might defrost for 5 minutes to speed up the cooking process.

6. Same with pans. Boil the kettle and/or get a pan on asap. Don’t overdo the amount of water – it will boil faster and be less likely to boil over.

7. Prick potatoes with a fork, the heat will them penetrate better so they cook quicker.

8. Jacket potatoes are an easy, fairly healthy meal. They’re best done in the oven, but you can shave at least half an hour off the oven cooking time by cooking them in the microwave until they’re just cooked through, then put them in the oven so the skin crisps up and the potato goes fluffy on the inside.

9. Portion control – you’ll cook faster if you only cook just enough instead of too much. Learn to take things off the heat when they’re just done, especially if you’re holding them before serving, the internal heat will keep them cooking a little bit longer.

10. Slow cooking seems like the opposite of fast cooking, but if you’re organised you can throw a meal together in the morning, have it cook all day and it’s ready and waiting when you get home.

What are your super speedy cooking tips? I’d love you to share them in the comments.

If you found this helpful, you can find my 7 Time Saving Cheats for Busy Cooks here.

Kitchen Hacks: 10 Super Speedy Ways to Cook Food Faster

Days Out: Taking a tour of Ordsall Hall, Salford

Last week I took some time out, met up with some friends and took a tour of Ordsall Hall in Salford. I’d been once before, during the summer to one of their outdoor theatre events. I’d had a very quick look around, but I knew I had to go back and have a proper look. I was not disappointed.

Days Out: Taking a tour of Ordsall Hall, Salford

Ordsall Hall is a Grade 1 listed Tudor manor house which was first recorded in 1177. Since then, it has been home to Medieval and Tudor nobility, butchers, farmers, and Earl, an artist, priests, mill workers, cows and even several ghosts! It has an incredibly rich history and as a result is a fascinating family museum. There are rooms laid out as they would have been many hundreds of years ago, a cafe and some absolutely stunning organic gardens.

When you first enter the grounds, you’re greeted with the sight of the stunning Tudor manor house. There are quatrefoils (the white motif which looks like four circles overlapping) covering much of the exterior and lots of ancient carvings in the woodwork. The detail carries on inside.

Days Out: Taking a tour of Ordsall Hall, Salford

From the reception area, you walk into the impressive Great Hall, which is a glorious space. The walls are covered with original wooden paneling, the windows include a stunning oriel window which dates from around 1600. There are also two huge but relatively modern windows which were installed in 1897 by the then owner, Earl Edgerton of Tatton.

From the Great Hall, you can explore the Star Chamber, a bedroom with an intricately carved four poster bed and a ceiling covered in brass stars. The bed itself was the wedding bed of Sir John Radclyffe.  The room is quite lovely and thanks to the guides, we learned that the marks on the fireplace were where previous inhabitants had sharpened their swords.

Days Out: Taking a tour of Ordsall Hall, Salford

Upstairs we were led into the Solar Room which would have been where the lady of the house slept and spent her day. As the name suggests, the room is really light and bright. There’s another four poster bed and a wardrobe full of period costume, which visitors are encouraged to try on. This room is very hands on and children especially are encouraged to explore.

Upstairs from the Solar Room what is known as the Coat of Arms Room; this is because there is a huge stone coat of arms above the fireplace. The room was originally where the wet nurse would have slept. Again, it’s a lovely light room which they’ve decorated with wallpaper recreated from a scrap they found when they were renovating the hall. Every room is heaving with history.

Along the corridor from the Solar Room is the Italian Plaster Room. This is not open to the public, but it had a glass door so you can look inside. The room is named for it’s ornate Italian plaster ceiling which dates from around 1380. The impressive geometric plaster ceiling is the work of Venetian artists and it’s incredibly beautiful.

From there we made our way to the kitchens which were constructed in around 1600. The kitchens feature recreations of the cooking implements and the food they would have prepared and eaten. This was an especially interesting part of the building because I’m interested in the history of food.

Days Out: Taking a tour of Ordsall Hall, Salford

Climbing the staircase near the kitchens, you make your way to the attic where the servants would have slept. There’s a noticeable change in the temperature and quality of the original construction. There are two large-ish attic spaces, each with a small fireplace in. They most likely slept dormitory style and would have had very little personal space or privacy.

There are a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions on at Ordsall Hall. It’s well worth visiting the The Frederic Shields Gallery upstairs which has a number of interactive exhibits about the hall, its history and the surrounding area.

Outside there are formal gardens which looked neat and tidy in February, but back in the summer they were lush and very beautiful. There’s a small orchard; a WW1 garden and a lovely lush lawn which is where their outdoor theatre shows are performed.

Ordsall Hall have a full progamme of events for all ages, and regularly run guided tours of the house (£3.50 per person). You can explore by yourself, but going on the guided tour gives you so much more information and insight than you would normally. I found out so much more from the tour guides than I ever would have by just mooching around by myself.

I’m a massive fan of small hidden gems like Ordsall Hall. It’s surrounded by modern houses. If you’ve never visited before, the sight of this Tudor manor house in the middle of a fairly normal looking housing estate in Salford takes your breath away.

It’s also incredibly easy to get to on public transport. I got the tram to Exchange Quay and it’s less than five minutes walk from there. The hall and the grounds are free to visit, and it’s a real treasure. They do rely on donations, so I made sure to put some money in the donations box.

I am wowed by Ordsall Hall. I’m going back over half term with my son to take part in some activities and give him the tour. He’s already excited about the prospect of encountering one of the resident ghosts!

For more information about Ordsall Hall, visit their website.

Days Out: Taking a tour of Ordsall Hall, Salford

Disclosure: Ordsall Hall is free to visit. I have not been compensated for this post; I’ve only written about it because it’s an incredible place to visit. I’m a big history lover. If you love history, you need to visit. It’s free.

Frugal Recipe: Vegetarian Pork and Beans

A few weeks ago I published a recipe for pork and baked beans. It’s a brilliant recipe, really frugal and tasty but not suitable for vegetarians, obviously. The clue is in the word “pork”. Anyhow, as a vegetarian I was a bit jealous of this homely dish and decided to make a version I could enjoy. I made a few changes and I was so pleased with how it turned out, I’ve decided to share my recipe for vegetarian pork and beans.

The basic recipe is much the same, but having considered my options, I swapped out the diced pork for Quorn cocktail sausages and the smoked bacon for Quorn bacon. If I’m honest, I didn’t love the Quorn bacon in the dish. It didn’t add any flavour, the texture was a bit meh and next time I make it I’ll probably leave it out entirely, or cook it separately and drape it artistically over the top. If you’re missing a bit of the smoky flavour, you could add a bit of barbecue sauce to the mix.

This recipe for Vegetarian Pork and Beans is so simple, it’s the kind of thing you can throw together and leave to bubble away gently in an oven for a few hours. Once it’s cooked, you can eat it straight away or divide it up into portions and freeze it.

Frugal Recipe: Vegetarian Pork and Beans

It makes a great lunch on thick toast, or would be great with a pile of buttery mash. I’m looking forward to having it later with a crispy fried egg on top!

This recipe is easy to make vegan, just swap out the Quorn cocktail sausages for your your favourite vegan sausage and enjoy!

Vegetarian Pork and Beans

Ingredients:

500g dried haricot beans, soaked for 24 hours
1 tablespoon oil, I used vegetable, but use what you have
2 packets of Quorn cocktail sausages
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
1 pint of stock, made with a stock cube
4 rashers of Quorn bacon, chopped (optional)

How to make your Vegetarian Pork and Beans:

The day before you want to cook your Vegetarian Pork and Beans, soak your dried haricot beans in plenty of water, following the instructions on the back of the packet. Once they’ve soaked for 24 hours, change the water and boil them for half an hour, or until they’re not chalky inside. Drain and set aside.

Put all of the ingredients into a lidded casserole dish, don’t add the salt at this stage, the economy stock cubes I used were pretty salty, so it’s worth waiting until near the end to taste and see if you need to add more salt. Stir the pot gently and put into an oven at 160° for 2-3 hours. Make sure you give it a stir every half hour or so.

Ideally the sauce should be thick and it should look, smell and taste good. It might only take two hours for your beans to get to the right consistency, it might take nearer 3 hours. Just keep an eye on it and use your judgement. The beans should be tender and creamy inside. If the sauce gets too thick, you can always add a splash of water to loosen it.

Taste the sauce. Add more of whatever you think it needs, now is the time to add the salt if you think it needs it. Serve it however you like, it’s great on toast for lunch or piled on top of mashed potato. It’s a hearty dish, perfect for a winter warm up and ideal if you’re feeling frugal.

If you enjoyed this, you might like to try these vegetarian recipes:

Frugal Recipe: Vegetarian Pork and Beans

FREE Printables: St David’s Day Colouring Sheets

St David’s Day is on 1st March and is a day of celebration of both St David’s life and the Welsh people and their culture. St David is the patron saint of Wales and on 1st March it is traditional for Welsh people to wear daffodils or leeks, both of these are the symbols of Wales. The wearing of a daffodil on 1st March, St David’s Day was made popular by the Victorians. In Wales the daffodil is also known as “Peter’s leek” and its Welsh name is “Cenhinen Bedr”.

St David was born in Wales and he founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn. The monastery was located on the western headland of Pembrokeshire at the site where St David’s Cathedral stands today. The son of an aristocratic family; St David has been credited with many miracles; not least of which was his ability to survive on a diet almost exclusively made up of leeks and water. This is perhaps one of the reasons why leeks are one of the national symbols of Wales.

FREE Printables: St David's Day Colouring

On this special day, Welsh people celebrate with parades, eisteddfods and meals of leek soup and Welsh lamb. Some people like to dress in traditional Welsh costume; which consists of a long wool skirt, apron, white blouse, woollen shawl and a Welsh hat.

Click here to download your FREE Welsh Dragon colouring sheet.
Click here to download your FREE Daffodil colouring sheet.

If you are marking St David’s Day, I’ve made some FREE colouring printables which your family might enjoy. From a lovely Welsh dragon, to a proud looking daffodil; these free printables will help your family celebrate St David’s Day.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to try your hand at making this lovely cheery popsicle stick daffodil flower or maybe this egg box dragon.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

FREE Printables: St David's Day Colouring

Win a copy of Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals

Last week we reviewed The Fearsome World of Dinosaurs, a Paperscapes books from Carlton Books. This week we are taking a look at Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals. The Paperscapes books are beautiful hardback books, filled with die-cut illustrations and facts and information about all kinds of animals.

Meet the world’s most curious creatures! From ferocious hunters to cunning disguise artists, eagles with attitude to deadly dragons, you’ll discover a new furry, feathery or scaly beast with every turn of the page.

Win a copy of Paperscapes - The Amazing World of Animals

The Amazing World of Animals is a really lovely book. There are perforations around all of the illustrations, so you can press out around the images so they really stand out. The Amazing World of Animals is illustrated by Stuart Martin. Each illustration is beautifully detailed and the creatures on the pages really stand out and grab your attention.

Written by Moira Butterworth, The Amazing World of Animals is packed with animal facts; including their size, what they eat, lifespan and conservation status. There’s also a map of where they live and some did you know style facts.

Each page is filled with facts and information about each creature. For example, did you know that the Emperor penguin can dive as deep as 550 metres below the surface of the Antarctic sea and they can hold their breath for over 20 minutes. No? Me neither

The Awesome World of Animals is aimed at children aged 7+. It’s a really colourful, interesting, engaging reference books for children, right into their early teens. The facts are pitched at just the right level and the language used is fine for a good reader aged 7, but not too simple so that a teenager can enjoy reading it.

Win a copy of Paperscapes - The Amazing World of Animals

If you like the idea of these Paperscapes books, but dinosaurs aren’t your thing, there are three other books in the series –  The Incredible World of Bugs;  The Spectacular Journey into Space and The Fearsome World of Dinosaurs.

Paperscapes – Amazing World of Animals by Moira Butterfield is published by Carlton Books and costs £12.99. It is available online and from good bookshops.

Win a copy of Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals

To be in with a chance to win a copy of Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent a copy of Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 10th March 2019.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details be shared with Carlton Books so they can send the prize to the winner.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of Paperscapes – The Amazing World of Animals for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

Over the years we’ve tried all kinds of veg box schemes. We’ve tried those recipe boxes and we’ve had a milkman, then no milkman because the local diary closed, now we have another milkman because another dairy opened. Getting food delivered to the door isn’t just convenient, with the Creamline Best of Local Box scheme, you can get brilliant locally produced food from independent producers delivered to your door.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

I live in South Manchester and I was asked to give the Best of local Box a try. Where I can I do try to shop local, and I buy directly from a number of the Best of Local suppliers on a regular basis. I knew that the contents of the box would be of a really high standard, but would it be more expensive?

The Creamline website it really simple to use. Just browse and add to your basket the products you want delivered, choose your delivery day, pay and then wait for the knock on the door.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

I had a good look and what was on offer, then meal planned around that. I was excited that there was a baker, something we don’t really have locally anymore; so I did go a bit wild when ordering bakery products.

Here’s my order for my first box…

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

The meat products are what I usually buy from the butchers who supply Creamline anyway. The meat were the most expensive part of my order; we ate some straight away and I put the rest in the freezer for another day. I always think it’s better to buy good quality meat and eat a little less of it, than cheap, low quality meat.

The bread, rolls and bakes were incredibly quality. I’m so used to bland supermarket bread that just some toast made with the bloomer was a real treat. If you order the Best of Local Box, them it’s well worth stocking up on this gorgeous bread. I can also highly (HIGHLY) recommend the millionaires flapjack, which was superb.

The fruit and veg come daily from Manchester’s Smithfield Market. It was as fresh as could be. The watermelon lasted for ages and made one boy very happy (watermelon is his favourite thing).

I really loved my Creamline Best of Local Box. I knew everything was made within a few miles of my home, by local people who really care about the quality of what they produce. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would order and will order in the future.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

I think that sometimes when you order a food box, you’re not really sure where the food has come from and what kind of quality it will be. I already shop with a number of the shops who supply the Creamline Best of Local boxes; so it’s just a more convenient way for me to shop, without the bother of carrying it home. It’s delivered to my door, well packed, free of charge and by a cheery person.

The box is no more expensive that going from local shop to local shop. It’s great quality and I feel like I’m still doing my “shop local” bit to help my high street.

They’ve even got a discount code on their website right now if you want to try it out for yourself!

For more information about the Best of Local Box, visit the Creamline website.

We reviewed the Creamline fruit and veg box a few years ago, you can read about that here.

Disclosure: I was given a Creamline Best of Local box for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

What’s On at the 2019 JORVIK Viking Festival

Thanks to my love of the TV series, The Last Kingdom, and my son learning all about Vikings at school, we’ve been reading a lot about life as a Viking. One way for us to learn more about Viking life is for us to visit York for the day and take in some of the JORVIK Viking Festival. The JORVIK Viking Festival happens every February, around half term and it’s a full on festival of all things Viking.

I’ve been wanting to go for a few years, but this year we are going for the day and I honestly can’t wait and neither can my 8 year old.

What's On at the 2019 JORVIK Viking Festival

What’s On at the 2019 JORVIK Viking Festival

This year the JORVIK Viking Festival will be taking place on 20 – 27 February 2019. It’s a family friendly festival and the largest event of its kind in Europe. There are historic encampments, talks, tours, combat displays and much more, all during half term week. So what’s on at the JORVIK Viking Festival?

Have-a-go sword (10am – 4pm daily, Spark:York – £5 per child)

The sword was one of the most important weapons for any Viking warrior, and training in its use started young! Skilled teachers will take children (aged 5 – 12) through basic training in fun battle workshops. Pre-booking is recommended.

Poo Day! (10am – 4pm, 20 and 27 February, DIG – included in entry)

Guaranteed to be germ-free, participants in Poo Day discover how important human waste is to understanding diet and health. Visitors will even have the chance to make their own replica poo fossil!

Little Diggers (10am, daily except Saturday, DIG – £5 per child)

Perfect for the youngest budding archaeologists in the family (ages 3 – 7), each day the Little Diggers team will help them explore treasures from the past, from Viking hoards to food and clothing.

Family walking tour (1pm, daily except Saturday, starts from JORVIK Viking Centre – £5 adult, £4 concession, £15 family)

With 4500 years of history to work with, this family friendly tour is packed with fascinating facts about York’s colourful past; led by one of JORVIK’s own Viking guides! Expect to hear about everyone from Roman Emperor Constantine and Eric Bloodaxe; to Robin Hood and King Arthur in this hour-long wander around the streets.

Viking Encampment (10am – 4pm daily, Parliament Street – free)

The Vikings were a people who liked to travel and they have set up a camp in Parliament Street for the week of the JORVIK Viking Festival. Meet traders and crafts people and get the chance to handle replica artifacts and weaponry in this interactive Norse experience at the heart of the city.

Birds of Prey at Barley Hall (10am – 5pm, 22 February, Barley Hall – included in entry)

Birds of prey featured heavily in Norse sagas and Viking mythology; get up close with these stunning creatures at Barley Hall. Meet a variety of ravens, owls and falcons in the medieval Great Hall, and learn about their significance to the Vikings in the accompanying exhibition. Visitors will also enjoy Seers and Shamans: Magic in the Viking Age, a special extension of Barley Hall’s Magic and Mystery exhibition.

What's On at the 2019 JORVIK Viking Festival

Strongest Viking Competition (11am, 23 February, St Sampson’s Square – free)

Pick your champion and cheer them on in these trials of strength and endurance to find JORVIK’s strongest Viking! This annual competition pits warrior against warrior in a series of challenges that will leave muscles aching for days!

March to Coppergate (1.30pm, 23 February, starts from York Minster – free)

Watch a fearsome Viking army of over 200 warriors dressed in their finest combat gear parade through the streets of York. Watch them form a formidable column of combatants, making their way from York Minster to Coppergate, and on to the Eye of York. 

Annual Best Beard Competition (3.00pm, 23 February, St Sampson’s Square – free)

Natural-grown, woolly, cardboard – young and old; male and female beards of every description are welcome to compete in this annual celebration of fabulous facial follicles! There are prizes and trophies for the best entries – voted by the audience – with participants registering on the day.

Battle Spectacular at Folkvangr Fields (6.45pm, 23 February, Eye of York – £15 adult, £11 concession, £44.50 family)

The biggest event during the annual JORVIK Viking Festival is the Battle Spectacular; featuring drama, music, combat and concluding with a stunning firework finale! Wrap up warm and take your place around the Eye of York, in the shadow of Clifford’s Tower. It’s an unforgettable evening where the forgotten sagas of the most extraordinary women in the Viking world are brought to life by a cast of over 100 warriors.

The full programme of events for this years JORVIK Viking Festival is available at  www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk

Easy Recipe: Vegan Sausage Rolls

Since high street bakers Greggs launched their vegan sausage rolls, they’ve been the talk of the town. My local Greggs sells out of them as quickly as they put them out, I’ve managed to get my hands on them only twice and unlike Piers Morgan, I really like them.

I’ve been making my own vegetarian sausage rolls for years because it’s always been pretty hard to find nice veggie ones in the shops. Last year I shared my recipe for vegetarian black pudding sausage rolls, which are my current favourite. It occurred to me that it would be pretty easy to change my recipe for vegetarian sausage rolls and make them vegan.

Easy Recipe: Vegan Sausage Rolls

I used Jus-Rol ready rolled puff pastry which is vegan. The Granose Meat Free Lincoln Sausage Mix is also vegan, but if you have a sausage mix you prefer, use that instead.

VEGan SAUSAGE ROLLS

Ingredients:

1 sheet of Jus-Rol ready rolled puff pastry
150g pack of Granose Meat Free Lincoln Sausage Mix
2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon of unsweetened soya milk

Easy Recipe: Vegan Sausage Rolls

How to make Vegan Sausage Rolls:

Take your pastry out of the fridge and pre-heat your oven to 200°. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of greaseproof paper.

Make up the mix of Granose Meat Free Lincoln Sausage according to the packet instructions. Stir through your chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and taste, you might want to add more seasoning if you think it needs it. I tend to use quite a lot of pepper.

Unroll your sheet of puff pastry. Cut your pastry sheet in half length-ways. Spoon a thick line of the vegan sausage mixture along the middle of each piece of pastry and paint some of the soya milk in a line along one edge of the pastry. Roll the sausage up and make sure the pastry edge is sealed well. Cut the long sausage roll down into smaller sausage rolls.

I cut each of the two long sausages down to 7, so I had 14 in total. But you can decide how big you want each roll to be, you could just make two giant vegan sausage rolls! Place them on your baking sheet with the sealed side down. Slash the top of the pastry with a sharp knife and brush with soya milk. Put them in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown and delicious.

Serve hot or cold, whichever you prefer. They’re not a copy of the Greggs recipe, which contains Quorn, but these make a tasty vegan lunch or snack.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try these easy cheaty sausage rolls or my vegetarian black pudding sausage rolls.

Easy Recipe: Vegan Sausage Rolls