Emma Bridgewater Factory – Pottery Painting & Afternoon Tea
A few weeks ago we visited the very lovely Emma Bridgewater decorating studio for one of our half term days out. Always a favourite. Always top of our list. Always so much fun. For a few years now it has been a mummy and son activity that has filled both of our hearts with so much joy. It’s our thing and I know that we both look forward to the School holidays rolling around. Have you been?
Emma Bridgewater is a favourite brand of mine, we are so lucky to have the Factory on our door step. This is a real working factory where the pottery is still manufactured here in my home town. The Potteries. The Victorian factory sits just on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent, is a beautiful building, one that often appears on my Insta. I adore the eclectic and colourful designs, as well as the original spots, polka hearts and blue stars. Do you have a favourite?
What is there to do for visitors at the Emma Bridgewater Factory?
As a visitor there are so many activities you can take part in. There are the factory tours which are truly fascinating – you are shown every stage of the pottery creating process. Tours are free and last 45 minutes. You can of course paint a piece of your very own Emma Bridgewater pottery in the decorating studio, enjoy tea and cake in the beautiful cafe, be sure to sit beside the spotty Aga (of course), visit the factory outlet shop where you will find a huge range of seconds the gift shop is stocked full of beautiful items from pretty much the full range and depending on the time of year you can also visit the garden behind the gift shop.
How much does it cost to paint pottery?
First of all I would recommend booking a slot in the decorating studio as the sessions do get super busy. On booking a time you’ll pay a £2.95 studio fee per person, for non painters you must pay the fee to secure your table spot – it will then be deducted from your total bill. The cost of pottery is from £7. We often paint a bowl or plate which costs an additional £12-15. Do look out on the EB social channels as there are often (although not on our last visit) offers on for the School holidays, as low as £10 which are worth looking out for as they make it such good value as a day out.
What age would you recommend a child visits the decorating studio?
My personal recommendation would be from 4 years old. You are allotted 1.5 hours to enjoy the experience which is ample time for little decorators. However younger ones will indeed have fun. Maybe a tad messy. But all good fun. We have been painting bowls, cups and plates since George was 4 years old. We use the sponges, letters and numbers as we find it really helps to build a design and paint around them. That way I can leave George to the creative side whilst I look on. I would prefer to create a design rather than just sploshing paint everywhere. It’s all personal preference.
With the paints, do remember that the colours will end up darker than when you apply them. On each table you’ll find a plate with numbers on which highlight the end product. I would recommend you getting an extra bowl with water and some paper towel for any spillages.
Afternoon tea in the Emma Bridgewater Cafe
No trip to the Emma Bridgewater Factory would be so without tea and cake. The menu is reasonably priced, the cakes are always delicious and as it’s the Emma Bridgewater cafe you’ll be served all your drinks and treats on original pottery. So cute. If we visit during the School holidays the children at this point will often run off on the treasure hunt around the grounds which means the adults can enjoy the sweet treats without little fingers trying to steal bits. I’ve never eaten off the full menu as I’m always drawn into the cakes.
And that’s our thoughts on visiting the Emma Bridgewater Factory – Pottery Painting & Afternoon Tea. One of these days I must go with the girls as I know we’d love to paint a pot ourselves, I would love to design a mug as a gift for George and egg cups for Mr H.