A Trip to the Emma Bridgewater Factory


A row of spotty Emma Bridgewater mugs in the factory outlet store

It was a simple passing comment that landed me at the Emma Bridgewater Factory on a very cold and grey January Sunday morning. A few evenings earlier, we’d been driving up to my in-laws for the weekend and as we passed a sign for the Potteries.  I turned to Mr Rhubarb and said, ‘Ooh I would really love to go there and see the Emma Bridgewater factory’.

As a fan, I have longed to visit for some time but had never thought to mention it till then. Cue Saturday night and the very lovely Mr R had configured our return drive home so that our 10am snack stop for the littles would be at the EB Factory and Café! It would be a flying stop of just an hour but I took it!

I bought my first Emma Bridgewater piece back in 2004. I’d spied a spotty teapot in John Lewis and when my parents gave me some vouchers for my birthday I duly trotted down and bought it. At the time I was living with my two best friends in London having a whale of a time and frankly tea wasn’t often on the menu but I felt every young woman should have a teapot and the dots bowled me over. Now I have an entire spotty set amongst other patterns. 

My mum once said you would always start the day happy using such cheery china and I agree. Every morning for me starts with a cup of tea in my spotty ‘Mrs’ mug and somehow, after that, I feel I can cope with anything!

Mr R was worried that seeing the factory might be a bit like pulling back the wizard’s curtain, it would lose its charm and mystique seeing rows of unpainted china stacked up on shelves as you peeked through windows. But it wasn’t, I truly felt like a child in a sweet shop. The café was charming, with a ceiling hung in fairy lights, a dotty aga belting out the gentle warmth as only a stove can and EVERYTHING was served in EB china. I simply cannot tell you why I find this so exciting – but I absolutely did! A hot chocolate and flapjack later and there was just enough time for a quick visit to the Factory Shop. I was very good and only bought a mug, some melamine for the littles and a wooden key rack! The most random of purchases perhaps but I was smitten.

I’d love to go back and do a proper tour and try painting my own which you can do there. And maybe hit the shop again . . .