Review: Don’t Tell Titus, Saltaire

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The aptly named Don’t Tell Titus is a bustling little cafe/bar just up from Salt’s Mill, Saltaire.

Known for his sympathies for the temperance movement, when Titus Salt constructed his mill and the surrounding village more than 150 years ago, he was careful not to include a pub. Still, as the pub itself points out, times change. Hence the name.

Don’t Tell Titus is quaint but not antiquarian. It has a lively feel to it, with a bright, airy seating area where polished surfaces gleam. It’s part of an ensemble of little shops which cluster around the gigantic Salt’s Mill, a grade II listed building which dates back to 1853. There’s a bakery, a posh children’s clothing shop and an antique shop with a problematic pram outside (problematic in that apparently the council wants rid of it on health and safety grounds and so the owner has started a petition in the shop, which has been signed by visitors from as far afield as Canada and Scotland. Just up from said pram is an old postbox from the reign of King George VI and with its peeling paint and neglected look it rather lets the side down but is, nonetheless, just as much a hazard as the pram, if not more so. I digress.

We travelled to Saltaire for a day out - it was Mother’s Day, so it was myself and the two little ones and my better half. Don’t Tell Titus was pretty busy when we entered and we were informed from the off there was a half-hour wait for food. We decided to sit in anyway and ordered drinks: a pint of Pravha beer (£3.80), 250mp glass of house white (a bog standard sauvignon at £5.25), diet coke (£2) and lime and soda (£1.20).

We began with olives and sun-dried tomatoes (£3.35), pitta bread and houmous (£3.35). Both dishes passed muster, the tomatoes rich and salty.

Mains came in the form of a risotto for me (£9.05), which was nice enough, the only drawback being it could have been a touch warmer. In retrospect, I should have asked them to take it back and warm it up but I began to eat it in the middle, where there was at least some heat and over the next two mouthfuls, I kind of hunted the warmth around the plate, by which time it felt too late to ask them to reheat it.

Meanwhile, my partner had seafood paella, which, again, was nice enough but was a bit short on shellfish - plenty of shells, just lacking the main ingredient. This time we voice our concerns, which were noted. Presumably, the dish came from a larger pan and most of the shellfish must have been at the bottom. It came in a tapas dish (£5.95) but was filling.

Overall, it’s a great little pub/cafe with some interesting dishes on the menu and good service overall. If you are going to Saltaire, it’s worth a visit.

Rating: 3/5