A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to have lunch with a wonderful friend of mine at the Emma Bridgewater factory in Stoke-on-Trent.
Of course catching up and chatting over a superb lunch in the gorgeous cafe within the old factory mill was top of the agenda, but having a peek behind the scenes and being able to take all the pictures we liked for promotional purposes was an added bonus.
Goodness, giddy does not describe the butterflies doing somersaults around in my tummy that morning. I think I may of held my breath quite a bit too with everything crossed, hoping that the fair wind was on my side and nothing would stop the plans that had been made.
I think I may of gasped a little when the taxi pulled up to the factory. A beautiful building that was quite possibly very imposing in its heyday was actually very warm and welcoming. Like it wanted to give you a big hug and pull you through, into its warmth. The inviting atmosphere was delicious.
From the moment I stepped through the doors into the cafe my eyes drifted continuously, feasting on all the wares. From the distinctive mark of Emma and all the pottery dotted around to the wonderful homely feeling of heavy scrubbed pine tables, old chairs tucked under waiting to be shuffled out and relaxed in, to the china all set ready for thankful diners. It felt like coming home.
I learnt about Jiggers and Jolleys or 'jolly jiggers' I remember giggling. And all the people within the process that make with hard work such skill and dedication all by hand, the pieces that are so fondly loved worldwide.
The day flashed by far too quickly, much to my sighs, but promises were made to come back soon, for which I will most likely with children in tow as how could I not, with such a wonderful decorating studio on site.
I may of left with a bag of wonderful things too, all purchased in the not one, but two onsite shops. One for general stores, the other an Aladdin's cave of seconds.