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Love Eco Living? Then You Will LOVE LIGA

June 25, 2021

We want to introduce you to an amazing new brand here at Valley Mill. Meet LIGA. Once you’ve met them we are sure you will LOVE LIGA.

Why LIGA?

We love to work with like-minded small businesses; that have their own unique story. They care about the products that they make and the effect they have on you as a customer, as well as the environment. So let’s find out more about this amazing company LIGA.

Love Liga?  Yes we do!  Look at this beautiful cream ceramic and cork homeware.
LIGA’s ceramic and cork cream ceramics are now available at Valley Mill online and instore.

Who Are LIGA?

LIGA are based in Cornwall and are a family run business who want to provide affordable and stylish homeware whilst also looking after the planet. The team draw inspiration from nature to design eco homewares that use only sustainable materials. Not only are they eco-friendly but their products are simply stunning too. Imagine serving up your outdoor dining with these? We are pretty sure your guests will be handing out a lot of compliments.

Keep your oil & vingear fresh and hygienic by storing them in this Scandanavian inspired Liga cream oil bottle. Strong, practical, stylish and a great quality dispenser for everyday use. Easy pouring for oil, balsamic or vinegar.

Working Together

There is so much to do to look after our planet better, and we can only begin to make a change by working together.

LIGA uses beautiful materials such as Ethically sourced Cork, Organic unbleached cotton, recycled papers, vegan wax, compostable cloth, bamboo, recycled EVA plastics and ceramics to create their sustainable collections. Ethically sourced from around the world with the hand printing, making and finishing carefully done in Cornwall. 

We Are Passionate About Eco Living

LIGA are committed and passionate about using sustainable materials in creative ways to make eco products affordable and useable for everyday living.

We love this cork and ceramic teapot from LIGA.  Pours beautifully and looks stunning too.
Update your kitchen homeware with this Scandanavian inspired Liga cream teapot. Strong, practical, stylish and a great quality teapot for everyday use. Serve up tea for two or for the whole family. This Liga teapot give a fabulous pour and can be used with tea bags or loose tea.

Our Ethos

Up until early 2020 we only sold products that were made in Wales and in turn, mainly supporting small local businesses.  Since then, we have branched out to UK made and UK designed and are only working with businesses who have the same ethos and beliefs as ourselves.  

Whilst the majority of our products are made in Wales, some of our suppliers products are mainly handmade in the UK or designed in the UK with materials sourced sustainably from outside of the UK.

Carbon Footprint

Our Welsh slate travels only 130 miles from Snowdonia.    At Valley Mill it’s not only our products that we want to be eco-friendly, but our staff too.  To strive for sustainable living, we offer our team a car share scheme with a monetary bonus to reduce the amount of cars used to travel to work.  

We also encourage working from home whenever possible.  This May we were proud to start a cycle to work scheme.  Want to find out more about educating yourselves and others? Take a look at the United Nations goals to help transform our world and protect our planet.

Update your kitchen homeware with this Scandanavian inspired Liga cream coffee mug. Strong, practical, stylish and a great quality mug for everyday use. A beautiful luxury mug for lattes, hot chocolate, coffee, iced tea and more.

When Valley Mill started in 2007, Kevin Thomas wanted the company to be eco-friendly and materials to be sourced locally providing a low carbon footprint.  From day 1 Kevin knew that not only do the products need to be natural but also packaging must be recyclable.  

Love LIGA

When searching for new companies to work with, it’s important to us at Valley Mill to find people with similar values to our own. When we were introduced to LIGA we instantly fell in love and we are pretty sure you will too.

Take a look at this YouTube video from LIGA. We just adore these mugs.

Geeky Cork Facts

LIGA have given us some amazing geeky cork facts.

  • Cork is such a perfect raw material that no industrial or technological processes have yet been able to replicate its features.
    • Excellent thermal & acoustic insulation
      • Impermeability to liquids & gases
    • Excellent elasticity, compressibility & resilience
      • Hypoallergenic
    • Soft to touch
      • Lightness
    • Cork tress & cork products absorb CO2

How Is Cork Harvested?

Have you ever wondered how cork is actually harvested? LIGA have created this YouTube video to show how the cork they use for their products is extrated.

Every nine years the cork is harvested from the Cork Oak tree without harming it.  Did you know that cork trees live for more than 200 years and the more LIGA use cork then the more trees are planted.  Take a look below to see how it all happens.

We adore this cream ceramic and cork bowl from LIGA. Yes we, LOVE LIGA!
Add a contemporary look to your style dining, with these Scandanavian inspired Liga cream salt and pepper shakers. Strong, practical, stylish and a great quality dispenser set for everyday use. Not only a necessity for your dinner table but they look stunning too. Also great to take on your picnics and outdoor adventures.

So now you have met LIGA and now you can understand why Valley Mill LOVE LIGA.

Shop their latest cream ceramic and cork homeware here.

Current Events Events and Days Out Gifts Home Recipes Slate products Valley Mill

Unleash Your Inner BBQ Master

May 30, 2021
Valley Mill BBQ Tips

In our last blog we wrote about the ‘Rise of the British BBQ’.  This is absolutely true.  Us Brits are banging out some amazing food and recipes in our BBQ get togethers. We are becoming Kings and Queens of the BBQ and we are here to help you unleash your inner BBQ master.

We are all thinking outside of the box when it comes to our recipes ideas. Let your creative side out. Why not host a vegetarian BBQ feast? Think of all the skewers you can create, from colourful vegetables to seasonal fruits. The options are endless.

Become the BBQ Queen or King of your home with some incredible recipes served on Valley Mill's fantastic Denby range
Fig Skewers with a honey & balsamic glaze topped with crushed roast pistachios served on one of our a Denby Studio Blue Chalk Ridged Bowl.

Planning for Success

We’ve teamed up with Oliver Woolnough and the team from Nothing But BBQ to guide you through the summer and show you how to upgrade your outdoor experience. We’ve got recipe ideas and creative ways to style up your ‘al fresco’ dining area.

BBQ Tips with Valley Mill and Olly Woolnough
Oliver Woolnough from Meat Matters Ltd & Nothing But BBQ serves up us his best BBQ and outdoor dining tips

Skewered

One of our favourite BBQ cookery books which was released recently is Skewered by Marcus Bawdon.  Marcus is a bit of a hero of ours as he really knows his stuff.  Marcus not only runs Country Wood Smoke BBQ School from his home in Devon but also is the editor of UK BBQ Magazine and has a series of cookery books available.

Fundamentals of Cooking Outdoors

When cooking outdoors you need to know the fundamentals of cooking on a BBQ.  From the best fuel to use, smoking woods and how to set up your barbeque, Marcus explains all of this and also why a lid on your BBQ can really help.

Tanzanian Chicken Mishkaki

Oliver Woolnough shows us how to cook one of Marcus’ recipes from Skewered. This recipe is inspired by the flavours of India, The Middle East and Africa.

Ingredients:

1 green & 1 red bell pepper

2 skinless chicken breasts

For the Marinade:

4 tbsp plain/natural yogurt

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 finely chopped cloves of garlic

1 tsp runny honey

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Pinch of salt & pepper

2 tsp freshly chopped coriander

Chop your herbs with one of our hand forged stainless steel herb choppers.

Method

Cut the peppers and chicken breasts into 3 x 3cm squares. Mix the marinade ingredients together and stir in the cubes of chicken. Leave to marinate for approximately 1 hour.

Set up your grill with medium to hot coals for close proximity cooking.

Thread 2 cubes of chicken onto each skewer. Now add a few squares of bell pepper. Continue until your skewers are loaded.

Place your skewers onto the grill and cook for a few minutes before turning. Make sure they are cooked thoroughly before serving. This should take approximately 8-10 minutes in total.

Sprinkle with extra coriander to serve.

Now you’ve unleashed your inner BBQ master.

Monkfish Skewers

Check out this video of how to create the BBQ Coconut Curry Monkfish recipe from Skewered.  This is a mix of coconut milk, curry powder and lime, finished with coriander and freshly chopped chillies.

Don’t Forget The Extras

Your BBQ party doesn’t just have to revolve around the food cooked on the grill. Give your guests a treat with some of their favourite cheeses. We have a wide range of Welsh Slate cheeseboards.

Make It Personal

If it’s a personal touch you’re looking for then look no further than our amazing personalised products. You may be celebrating a ‘BIG’ birthday or having a corporate event, why not serve up some treats on our Welsh slate trays which can be personalised to your design.

You Didn’t Miss It

Don’t worry! You didn’t miss the recipe for this Grilled Sweet Potato Salad from Genevieve Taylor.

Set The Mood

Set the mood for the evening for a catch up with friends and family with Valley Mill’s ranges of candles and candle holders. Not only do they look fantastic but our huge variety of scents will really set the mood too.

Valley Mill’s Welsh slate tealight holder with our range of tealights make a sophisticated impression

A Gift For Your Garden

Welcome your guests with a Valley Mill Welsh slate hanging sign. We have ready made designs or you can personalise them with your very own design.

Father’s Day is COMING SOON!

Here at Valley Mill we have a whole load of products for your Dad/Step-Dad/Grandad etc lined up just for you.

Check back soon at valleymill.co.uk for the latest.

Current Events Events and Days Out Home Recipes Slate products Valley Mill

Rise of the British BBQ

May 23, 2021
BBQ Tips with Valley Mill and Olly Woolnough

Forget the era of burning your bangers or cremating your chicken wings because the rise of the British BBQ is here.  Valley Mill and ‘Nothing But BBQ’ have teamed up to make your back-yard shindig the absolute best with our top BBQ tips. 

Are you ready for the great outdoors with your family and friends? We’ve teamed up with Oliver Woolnough and the team from Nothing But BBQ to guide you through the summer and show you how to upgrade your outdoor experience.

Part One of Oliver’s Top Tips

British BBQ food served on Valley Mill Welsh Slate tray
BBQ food served on one of Valley Mill’s Welsh slate trays.

Outdoor Cooking

Think of your BBQ as outdoor cooking and not just a sausage chucked on a grill.  When you realise that, almost any dish you can create in the kitchen can be recreated on a BBQ, then your family outdoor fun will become delicious too. Now really is the time of the British BBQ.

Top BBQ Tip – BBQ Choice

You need to get the right BBQ for YOU.  If you love a more traditional feel then a charcoal barbeque is the one for you.  Not got as much time on your hands? A gas BBQ heats up quicker which means you can get creating dishes sooner for your friends and family.   Either choice is good and it can also help if your BBQ has a lid.  This can assist you in keeping the temperature constant. It can even help make the food more moist and delicious.

Valley Mill Creative Marketing Manager Siâny uses a Weber charcoal kettle BBQ and she swears by it.  “I can cook beautiful dishes for the family and some real showstoppers too.  I learnt that the right BBQ makes all the difference.  It’s a top BBQ tip to keep everyone happy and coming back for more.”

Top BBQ tips from Nothing but BBQ personalised Welsh Slate tray
You can personalise your own Welsh Slate trays and table runners

Fuel

It’s so easy to grab a bag of charcoal or briquettes from your local garage but you can find that the chemicals in them can affect the taste of your food.  Just be mindful in which fuel you choose. We recommend you go for a choice which is natural so it doesn’t taint your food.

Top BBQ Tip – How to light your coals

One BBQ accessory we would recommend is a chimney starter.  Oliver said “The next amazing invention after the wheel is the charcoal chimney starter”. OK, he’s sort of kidding but it REALLY is an amazing piece of equipment because it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to light your fuel.  Check out this YouTube video which shows you how to light your coals.

Top BBQ Tip – How to put your coals in the BBQ

One of the easiest ways to control the temperature of your BBQ is by placing your coals on to one side of the bottom of the BBQ.  Why you ask?  When you cook in the oven you don’t have flames going across the entire bottom, so why would you do it on a BBQ?  It’s all about indirect and direct heat.

One of Oliver’s favourite BBQ sayings is “If you’re looking then you ain’t cooking”.

One of the best top BBQ tips that was shared with us when we were learning how to barbeque like a pro was make sure you have the right tools before you start.  Meat thermometer, extreme heat resistant gloves & tongs are all top of our list when organising a BBQ.  Do NOT panic though as you don’t need to spend a fortune on these and can pick up a thermometer from as little as £8.

BBQ Welsh Slate hanging sign personalised
Why not gift a BBQ lover in your life this wonderful Grillin’ & Chillin’ hanging Welsh Slate BBQ sign. You can also personalise your own.

The first recipe we want to share with you is actually a vegetarian recipe, as be honest, we all turn in to carnivores when it comes to a BBQ. 

Herby Sweet Potato Wedges with a Lemon Tahini Dressing

Live fire and British BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor is the author of ten cookery books including the bestselling Charred, a complete guide to vegetarian BBQ.  A proud omnivore, Genevieve is on a mission to prove that great BBQ isn’t just about Man vs. Meat. 

Valley Mill lifestyle photo shoot with Denby Potter Studio Blue medium ridged bowl.  Serving Genevieve Taylor Charred recipe
Add a touch of class by serving up your dish on one of our Denby Pottery bowls

You’ll need:

1kg sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, salt & pepper, 2 bags of 100g watercress.

For the lemon tahini dressing – 50g tahini, zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 crushed clove of garlic.

Oliver shows us to how to recreate this amazing recipe.

Oliver Olly Woolnough from Meat Matters and Nothing But BBQ shows us how to cook like a pro in your garden
Olly Woolnough owner of Meat Matters Ltd & Nothing But BBQ

First up, make sure you scrub your sweet potatoes well with clean water.  Now chop them into wedges around 2cm thick.  Tip them into a bowl with the olive oil, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give them a good mix so they are all coated.

Once your BBQ grill is hot, place a cast iron griddle or plancha on top of your grill.  You could even use one of our bake stones.  You need to be cooking on direct heat for this recipe.  Remember, direct heat means directly above the coals.

Place your seasoned potatoes on top of your griddle in a single layer.   Cook for around 30 minutes, flipping them occasionally.  Make sure they are cooked evenly. 

Whilst cooking you can make the lemon tahini dressing.  Mix together the ingredients with around 50ml of water (more if it’s too thick). 

To serve, place the watercress in a serving dish (check out Valley Mills choice of Denby Pottery).  Place the cooked sweet potatoes on top and drizzle over the dressing. 

Sweet Potato with watercress and lemon tahini dressing from Charred Genevieve Taylor

Genevieve’s Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

Fancy something meaty and a British BBQ classic?  Then try this version of a classic from Genevieve Taylor. 

Style Dining

Make your outdoor dining experience just as good as your indoor by adding touches of style and class to your ‘al fresco’ dining area.

Welsh Slate Wine Racks

Welsh Slate wine rack, handmade in Blaenau Ffestiniog, oiled and finished in our workshop in Llansamlet, Swansea. The wine racks are completely unique and each wine rack is one of a kind.

Welsh Slate & Ceramic Coasters

Serve up a chilled glass of your favourite tipple on one of our Welsh slate or ceramic coasters.

Enamel Mugs

Our 12 Oz enamel mugs, designed and hand printed by our in-house design team exclusively for Valley Mill. Printed on both sides. Dishwasher safe

Find out now what else Valley Mill have to offer for your next BBQ with friends

BBQ TIPS PART 2 COMING SOON – Sunday 20th May 2021 at 10am