5 Ways to Celebrate World Book Night

When is World Book Night

Does anyone remember Why Don’t You?


A BBC series that ran from 1973 to 1995. Their catchphrase was “Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead”. 

Which was a little ironic given that it was itself a television show! However, the sentiment was well-intentioned and gave us children a nudge to change out of our pjs and play.

This Friday why not switch off your tv and do something else?
It’s World Book Night – the perfect excuse to immerse yourself in literature.

Here are 5 ways to celebrate…


1 Read an exciting new novel
Buy from your local bookshop or borrow from your library. Open again now – yay!


2 Listen to an audiobook
Did you know that you can loan audiobooks from your local library? (They loan e-books too.) Find your library online services via your local council website.


3 Gain culinary inspiration
Gather together all your cookery books and make a list of new recipes to try. We have plenty of new cookbooks to choose from here.


4 Broaden your mind – browse non-fiction
This may be an appreciation of beautiful artwork, marvelling at the wonders of the universe, discovering historical facts, or planning new planting for your garden. Whatever your book collection may be – enjoy it.


5 Create your own book
Put together a collection of your own musings and sketches, your favourite recipes, or make a photo book online featuring some of your favourite pics.


Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Bargain Cookbook Bundle!

This month, we have a fantastic bargain cookbook bundle available to buy!

Around Britain + Just for 1 or 2 Cookbook Deal £15.50

You can get the beautiful Around Britain cookbook, plus clever and inspiring Just for 1 or 2 cookbook for just £15.50 (plus p&p).


And as a special Saturday treat, try this wonderful Knickerbocker Glory recipe from Around Britain, a reminder of the halcyon days of childhood.

Knickerbocker Glory

Knickerbocker Glory


There is more delicious regional food to discover in this month’s recipe collection, 8 Regional British Recipes

Scotland Scottish Chocolate Whisky Cake

North West Wet Nellie

North East & Yorkshire Knickerbocker Glory

Western England Malvern Cherry Cake

Eastern England Bakewell Tart

South East Hazelnut Veggie Burgers

South West Blueberry Crumble

Wales Roast Leg of Welsh Lamb

Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Regional British Food Part 1: North West

One of the most enjoyable books I’ve worked on has got to be the beautiful Around Britain Cookbook

We shot the images of the iconic flowers to denote each region on a glorious summer’s day in my garden. And many of the recipe shots were also taken outside in Steve, our photographer’s, stunning garden.

This wonderful book takes you on a tour around the regions of Britain, explaining its culinary heritage and showcasing gorgeous regional recipes.

Here, I’m sharing my region – the North West, which includes the Lake District, Cheshire and Lancashire, taking in the great cities of Liverpool and Manchester. From the tarns of Cumbria to the grassy plains of Cheshire, there is a wealth of fantastic scenery and superb food.

Wet Nellie has to be my favourite recipe from this region – what a wonderful name.

Around Britain + Just for 1 or 2 Cookbook Deal £15.50

Don’t miss this bargain bundle!

Around Britain cookbook, plus Just for 1 or 2 for just £15.50 (plus p&p).


Around Britain Cookbook North West Regional Guide

The North West includes the Lake District, Cheshire and Lancashire, taking in the great cities of Liverpool and Manchester. From the tarns of Cumbria to the grassy plains of Cheshire there is a wealth of fantastic scenery and superb food.

Most of the traditional dishes are clearly developed to be suitable for feeding hard-working people who have to cope with a bracing climate.

Many meat dishes would be made with lamb because so many sheep graze on the hills of this region. A typically robust meal would be Lancashire hot pot, a lamb stew incorporating the potatoes and other root vegetables grown so widely in the area.

Similarly appealing to the thrifty is tripe, which is a cow’s stomach lining, usually served with onions, and black pudding, an earthy dish made from blood and oatmeal with many variations, all claiming to be the best.

The famous long Cumberland sausage is another dish that uses the less appealing parts of an animal so that nothing is wasted.

Around Britain Cookbook North West Regional Recipes
Morecambe Bay potted shrimps (page 40); above right: roast lamb with apricots (page 126) and, right, Simnel cake (page 178).

The sea, lakes and rivers provide more delicate flavours, such as the shrimps of Morecambe Bay (page 40) and stuffed herring and trout, which are caught on the line and increasingly farmed in the region. A real local speciality is the mild-flavoured char (page 105), a relative of the salmon, which got left behind in the Lakes after the Ice Age.

This region also boasts two of the finest British cheeses: Cheshire and Lancashire. White, crumbly Cheshire is mentioned in the eleventh-century Domesday Book and was the only cheese that the British Navy would stock on board in the eighteenth century. Lancashire is creamier and is regarded as one of the best cooking and, especially, toasting cheeses as it melts into a velvety mass when heated.

If you’re fond of a cheese sandwich, large wholemeal flour bread rolls, or baps, are popular in the region, being an ideal way to eat in a hurry. They are also known as ‘barm cakes’ after a Lancashire word for the froth on liquid that contains yeast. Similarly long on history are Eccles cakes, small, flat, raisin-filled pastries, which date from at least the eighteenth century. They are closely related to the larger but equally convenient sweet, hand-held and fruity Chorley cake.

Another great Northern comfort food is gingerbread,
closely identified with the Lake District village of Grasmere.

It is usually a crisp spicy biscuit and therefore offers a contrasting texture to the more moist parkin cake that originates across the Pennines in Yorkshire.

Simnel cake (page 178) is now closely identified with Easter, but one early version of it was known as Bury simnel cake at a time when it was traditionally a gift taken by serving girls returning home on Mothering Sunday. Its link with Easter probably stems from the 11 pieces of marzipan used to decorate its top – one for each true disciple.

Finally, have you ever wondered where the Liverpool term ‘scouser’ comes from? It seems to be from a popular Merseyside dish rather like Irish stew, which was similar to a Scandinavian dish known as lobscaus. The stew became known as ‘scouse’, and use of the name broadened to mean a local person.


The Lakes, Lowry and Liverpool

Around Britain Cookbook North West Regional Guide The Beatles

The North West has inspired some of England’s best-known poetry, painting and music. The postcard-perfect mountains and tarns of the Lake District attract walkers and lovers of beautiful scenery from around the world. The landscape is fundamental to the romantic poetry of William Wordsworth, who lived here for over eight years. It was also later home to Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of the charming children’s stories that introduced us to Peter Rabbit and his friends.

By way of contrast, the industrial landscape of Manchester with its smoking towers forming the horizon was the setting for many paintings by L. S. Lowry. Lowry lived and worked as a rent collector and cashier in Salford, using his spare time to paint scenes of local life populated by his distinctive ‘matchstick men’ in drab urban colours. Although he painted in other styles, too, it was these pictures that eventually earned him fame towards the end of his life before he died in 1976.

By then The Beatles had also made their contribution to popular culture with a huge catalogue of music that is still much loved. The extraordinarily varied songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, combined with the experimental leanings of guitarist George Harrison and the rock-solid drumming of Ringo Starr, reflected the changing lives of four Merseyside ‘mop tops’ who became the world’s greatest pop stars in the 1960s and led the way in innovating new ways to write and record music.


Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Win a fabulous Whittard Tea Discovery Collection for National Tea Day

In anticipation of National Tea Day, we are giving away gorgeous luxury tea-related goodies from Whittard of Chelsea for you to enjoy at home

This national event celebrates all things you’d expect from its title – tea; from its Chinese origins to the British nation’s favourite brew.

But most importantly, it proudly sponsors the charity Mind, by raising awareness around the benefits of sharing a good cup of tea or two with your nearest and dearest.

This year, it is more important than ever to talk about your worries and feelings in order to help improve mental health, and what better way is there to do this than with a hot teapot of Earl Grey or Oolong, shared amongst loved ones?

Oh, not forgetting the biscuits! Virtually, or in person, when we are allowed to, of course.

Win a fabulous Whittard Tea Discovery Collection plus a ‘Tea for One’ set

Best biscuits for cuppa

We are helping you to enjoy these wonderful moments by giving away some luxury tea-related goodies from Whittard worth £47. Which includes a wonderful selection of tea and a ‘Tea for One’ set.

To enter, tell us what type of biscuit you think pairs perfectly with a cuppa?

Emma Snow

Emma Snow

I am the Brand Executive for Dairy Diary. A passionate foodie (with a very sweet-tooth). Who likes to blog about all things DIY & scrumptious recipes.

Dairy Diary Cover Research – Can you help?

Dairy Diary cover research

It is that time of year again, where we ask our wonderful fans for their help in choosing the next Dairy Diary cover

This time, we have narrowed down the choices to four gorgeous designs; taking into account future trends and previous customer comments, whilst making sure the images convey uplifting feelings!

Each member of the Dairy Diary team went away to research designs they thought fit the brief perfectly – consisting of these keywords, ‘light, bright, nature, uplifting, colourful’. Deciding on our top six favourites was incredibly hard as there was lots of beautiful imagery. The most common choices are now being put forward to you in order to see which will become the next cover design!

As a team, we are so pleased with the remaining four 2023 diary cover contenders, which are just lovely, it seems impossible to pick just one favourite!

Hopefully, you love them as much as we enjoyed finding them.

Win a beautiful bouquet

Of course, to express our appreciation for your help, we will send a beautiful bouquet to one lucky participant (so make sure you leave your email address). The survey should only take a few minutes, so please take a close look at the designs and answer the simple questions that follow.

Thank you again and happy voting.

Take the Survey

Emma Snow
Emma Snow
I am the Brand Executive for Dairy Diary. A passionate foodie (with a very sweet-tooth). Who likes to blog about all things DIY & scrumptious recipes.

5 Feel-Good Activities to Lift your Mood

Wellness and woodland

Following months of lockdown, home-schooling and solitary working, I have recently introduced Wellness Wednesday to Dairy Diary

 

We spend half an hour or so, each week doing an activity to lift the spirits and regain some of our joie de vivre.

 

Here are some activities that we have tried, which you may also find helpful.

 


 

1 Take a sketchpad and draw a box. Decorate the box with anything you like – felt tips, paint, pencils, collage, in any pattern you like. Then close your eyes and imagine filling this box with everything that makes you feel anxious or stressed. Close the lid and visualise someone that you trust pushing this heavy box out of sight.

 


 

2 Take a slow wander through your local woodland or parkland and really focus on the sounds you can hear; listen to birdsong or the sound of water (if there is any). Then notice how many different colours you can see, in particular how many shades of greens there are.

 


 

3 Take a piece of paper and write I’m grateful for……. at the top. Play some relaxing music (there are lots of playlists on Spotify or Alexa) and write everything and anything you can think of.

 


 

4 Go outside and breathe slowly and deeply. Sit somewhere comfortable and watch the clouds. See what images you can see in the shapes they have formed.

 


 

5 Bake. And while you do so really notice the process: the textures of the mixture, the smell of the ingredients and, of course, the flavour of the finished product. As it’s Easter tomorrow you could bake these cute Mini Simnel Cakes.

 


 

Emily Davenport
Emily Davenport
I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.
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