©World of Wedgwood
South of pottery town Stoke-on-Trent, the Wedgwood Estate boasts manicured gardens, museum, working factory, seconds shop, visitors’ centre, and the pièce de résistance – an opportunity for an exquisite afternoon tea matched with the finest blends, served in elegant porcelain, with a flute of French champagne, as you do. First opened in 2015, the centre offers visitors an absorbing immersion in the best of British ingenuity, fine arts and industrial design.
But before we sat back and sipped, we had to earn our supper.
First up was a visit to the museum, a thoughtfully curated tribute to Josiah Wedgwood’s willing embrace of new industrial trends, particularly the power of steam and the profit potential of mass manufacturing, where everything really does become cheaper by the dozen. While replete with examples of Wedgwood’s finest products from the past 250 years, the museum is also an homage to the strong family life and heritage of Josiah and wife Sarah.
Next, we took a factory tour, where a bird’s-eye view from high walkways revealed age-old pottery skills in action, reinforced by information from relevant display boards at every turn. Here we learnt about potting, biscuit, glazing, decorating and jasperware, the distinctive pastel stoneware with fine relief designs in white. While most adults will be tempted in the Wedgwood shop, younger folk can play on lawns or enjoy a range of creative, crafty activities.
And then, at last, it’s onto the main game, the Wedgwood Tea Room with its elegant décor, comfy couches and finest of fine china. Here, served by Kim, we indulge in a fine medley of sweet and savoury treats accompanied by a choice of 50 blends of tea, and that well-earned glass of bubbly.
©World of Wedgwood
Here’s cheers indeed.
And if you are looking for somewhere to stay in Stoke, a comfortable and highly affordable four-star hotel experience can be enjoyed at the Best Western Plus Stoke-on-Trent Moat House.
World of Wedgwood has just won the silver award in the Guided Tour of the Year category at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence ceremony. They also also picked up gold in the VisitEngland Quality Assessment Scheme.