I have long wanted to visit the Emma Bridgewater Factory, especially after seeing so many photos across Instagram and Facebook over the years. However living in Essex it isn't exactly what you would call, 'around the corner'. I decided to add it to my list of 30 things to do before turning 30 with the thought that I'd have an entire year to plan a visit. On reviewing my list a couple of weeks ago I began to panic that this trip was not going to happen, until I changed my mind-set and thought, well why not!
It made perfect sense to pair the trip along with something else I had added to my list and that was to go away for a break by myself, another thing not yet completed. So I booked the day off work, booked myself a hotel and confirmed my decorating studio and tour slots with the factory.
After a somewhat shaky start to last Sunday, my bag was packed and I headed off on the drive ahead. As soon as I set off the excitement set in, I literally couldn't wait to get there and on arriving at the hotel it took me no time at all to unpack and settle down for the night. I even made use of the hotels pool and sauna (it would have been rude not to).
Monday soon rolled around and my time to explore the Emma Bridgewater had arrived. Driving up to the factory I was really surprised by it's location, I kind of expected it to be in a fairly quiet part of town which was not the case, not that it was a problem. The factory has a large car park to the rear so for anyone travelling by car parking will not be an issue.
Walking from the car park into the courtyard I was really shocked by the sheer size of the factory, it is much bigger than I had ever imagined it to be. Once in the courtyard I entered the seconds shop ready for my tour to begin.
It was amazing seeing the amount of work that goes into creating each individual piece and being able to see the whole process from start to finish. I've never seen anything like it before, especially not to this scale. Being given this insight into the workings of the factory really was quite special and has made me appreciate the work created by Emma Bridgewater and her team even more than I did before. The tour itself lasted for an hour which will give you an idea of the size of the place, and at £2.50pp it was incredible value for money.
My favourite part by far was the painting studio, watching the pieces come to life with a wash of colour was just beautiful. Of course after the tour had finished I had to have a go myself and so picked out a tea cup to paint with my own design.
As the trip was part of my 30 before 30 challenge it seemed appropriate to create a little memory fitting with the occasion. I can't wait to receive it fired and glazed in the post.
Painting completed I wasn't quite ready to leave the factory so decided to have a wander around the courtyard which was then I discovered their little cottage garden and wow, I was literally blown away by it's beauty. It was a little haven complete with the most gorgeous flowers and the cutest little chickens too. It was like a dream. Oh how I would adore a little garden like this. One day, I'm not giving up on the dream, not now not ever.
Why I have left it so long to visit I am not entirely sure but I am so glad I've been and seen it all now. If you've not yet visited the factory, you ought to. It was such a great morning, one that I shan't be forgetting for a long time.
~ Gem x