October 19 2009
I never would have guessed that a former alpaca mill on the outskirts of Bradford would become one of my all-time favourite shopping destinations. And yet Salt’s Mill has become the main reason why I insist we make regular trips to visit the in-laws in the nearby town of Ilkley.
Once a symbol of 19th-century industrialism, the converted mill now contains the country’s largest collection of David Hockney paintings. It also doubles as a luxury curiosity shop, selling everything from art and design books, antique jewellery, tailored suits and urbane homeware – not to mention Hockney prints – under one giant roof.
The best bit, however, is the stationery (pictured). On the ground floor, in a wide atrium lined with paintings and vase upon vase of white lilies, is every writing material imaginable. Old-fashioned letter sets in quaint floral prints, notebooks with art prints for covers (Magritte’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe is my favourite), leather-bound pocket diaries, and hardback sketchbooks that I use as photo albums prove that it’s worth swapping the laptop for pen and paper when you can find materials as chic as these.