Date Published: 28/05/2020


My first visit to Vindolanda was back in 2003, and I loved it! Sun, snow, rain, hail – I’ve been there since in all kinds of weathers and the place never fails to make me smile, even if I am being buffeted by 50mph winds! I get to study the Romans as part of my job, and one of the things I enjoy most is learning about Vindolanda’s past: what the site looked like, and what the people who lived there used to eat and drink (juicy apples, oysters, and lots of beer by the sounds of it!). I have a favourite spot, close by the main visitors’ entrance, where you can see the remains of the town (vicus) and fort with Barcombe hill in the background. The lockdown has put a temporary hold on my visits to Vindolanda, but it has given me the chance to combine my enthusiasm for the Roman period with my passion for baking! And so I decided to try and recreate my favourite ‘Vindolanda View’ in cake form, imagining what the site might have looked like, complete with the stone excavated on site that tells us the name of the town in Latin: Vindolanda, meaning ‘white lawn’ or ‘field’.

As a nod to the passage of time, and one of my other favourite views in the area, I attempted to airbrush Sycamore gap onto the side, with a very thin line of grey fondant to represent Hadrian’s Wall!