World of Wedgwood
Quite recently, it was jovially pointed out to me that I had been cocooned within a wedding bubble. It so succinctly and obviously described the almost dreamlike state I seem to have been roaming within and, may I add, fully enjoying. Even the return from our short mini-moon in Croatia couldn’t burst my bubble, because I had unwittingly ensured that I still had things to look forward to on my return. To celebrate my mum’s upcoming birthday, I had responded to a PR invitation to visit the World of Wedgwood complete with afternoon tea, to enjoy before I was due to return to reality.
This is a collaborative post – I was invited to experience World of Wedgwood without charge.
Living in the north, I’m always surprised to discover exactly what’s on my doorstep so, on the final day of August, I donned a pretty dress, picked up my mother (who had no idea of the surprise I’d planned) and started on the drive to the World of Wedgwood, Stoke-on-Trent, a mere hour away.
Arriving shortly before midday, the main entrance of the World of Wedgwood stopped us in our tracks and diverted our hungry stomachs from our promised World of Wedgwood afternoon tea. Adorned in brightly coloured silk Hydrangeas, the main entrance featured vintage suitcases complete with kitsch travel stickers stacked on a golden luggage trolley. Perfectly vintage, but remaining modern.
Photos complete, we were warmly welcomed by the team at reception who ran through our itinerary for the day – starting with pot-throwing! Apprehensive at first, it was time to roll our sleeves up and enter the Master Craft Studio, put on our aprons and prepare to create and craft. Our task? To throw a pot, vase, bowl or jar and create our own unique piece of Wedgwood. Given a small ball of clay, the first step was to throw it down forcefully onto the potter’s wheel – quite literally, pot throwing.
Throughout the entire process, we were vocally coached by our World of Wedgwood mentor and allowed to make mistakes. The speed of the wheel was kept constant for us novices, so we needed only to focus on shaping the pots in our hands. I needed to start again, numerous times, but this allowed me to experiment and decide on the shape and function of the pot I wanted to create because after being fired in the kiln, the pot will be posted to out to me. Now that autumn is approaching, I chose to make a small vase with the intention of placing pussy willow stems inside it – perfect for my mid-century sideboard.
And here are our final creations, ready to be fired in the kiln. As you can see, mum was a natural!
Fired up after our creative master class, we set out to find the Wedgwood Tea Room where we were to enjoy afternoon tea. To get there we passed through their beautiful tea conservatory and marvelled (again) at the floral decor adorning the interior. Seated in the window seat of the tea room, we were soon presented with Wedgwood’s extensive tea menu. As neither of us drink tea (I know, epic fail) we decided to order Champagne – as you do, when you’re celebrating!
We chose Wedgwood’s Afternoon Tea which includes a choice of Wedgwood’s loose tea or tea from their Wonderlust collection but good news if you’re team coffee – you’ll be pleased to know the menu also extends to a flat white.
As you can see, our Wedgwood afternoon tea was certainly indulgent, containing open sandwiches, cakes and scones. From coronation chicken with red onion to oak smoked salmon, courgette and cream open sandwiches – there wasn’t anything we didn’t like. We spent almost two hours devouring the treats on our stand, drinking coffee and Champagne and catching up after my time in Croatia – including all the wedding chat!
Sufficiently full, we headed to the World of Wedgwood’s museum for the final part of our trip. Free to enter, the museum houses over 250 years of Wedgwood design and history, including the Wedgwood Collection – stated to be one of the world’s most important industrial collections. Because of my interest in World War Two, I was drawn to Wedgwood’s exhibition which documented the experience of Wedgwood’s conscripted workers during World War One. It was equally harrowing and interesting.
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing what the World of Wedgwood had to offer and were both surprised at just how much we enjoyed pot throwing! For Wedgwood’s afternoon tea, Champagne and our pot throwing experience, had we been paying customers, we would have spent £94. I felt this was a fair price for a special, one-off occasion and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Thinking of visiting? Check out the World of Wedgwood’s ticket selection to build your perfect experience.
World of Wedgwood is located at: Wedgwood Drive, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9ER
A huge thanks to the team at the World of Wedgwood for helping me to spoil my mum!