World of Wedgwood, Staffordshire July 2017

by Emma Bumpus on July 18, 2017

Careertraveller takes a 90-minute train journey North from London’s Euston railway station and arrives in the beautiful city of Stoke -on -Trent, which known as The Potteries, reveals Staffordshire’s World Capital of Ceramics.

Greeted by a bronze statue of Josiah Wedgwood outside Stoke railway station is an eye opener to the history and heritage of the pottery industry whose infamous Ceramics Trail stands proud in the heart of Britain.

A 10-minute taxi ride transports us to World Of Wedgwood, a glass fronted empire whose encompassing 240-acre Wedgwood Estate reflects a stylish open playground of fountains, courtyard and giant willow tableware sculptures that beckon play and stay.

We enter Josiah territory with a breeze past the giant modern (1957) bronze cast sculpture of the iconic craftsman, potter, philanthropist and entrepreneur and receive a creative welcome of 1,100 Wedgwood plates that cleverly display his portrait. An art installation towering 9 metres high and 6 metres wide brings Wedgwood alive with a palette of 18 distinctive glazes that shimmer with Wedgwood Experience Day allure.

A rather cool VIP-like check in with Guest Services presents an organised itinerary of treats that begin with an escorted guide through the tantalising Flagship Store, where wanderlust flavours of the Far East to England infuse in the sophisticated Wedgwood Tea Emporium.

We breakfast with dignity from a collection of over 50 blends across the continents, choosing a pot of green tea Empress Catherine from the Lord Wedgwood Collection, a smooth mellow green tea blend that tributes the Russian enlightened ruler dating back to 1762. Served handsomely in a bone china teapot, displaying North Yorkshire’s stately home Castle Howard, is Wedgwood’s distinguished Parkland Collection of English heritage tableware, unique to the Flagship Store.

Fuelled and inspired we head to the guided Factory Tour that takes us back to the roots of clay, bone china and production processes performed by talented artists and craftsmen. From casting and glazing to 22 carat hand gold painting, the rafters of Barlaston factory dazzle us with skills and dedication that salute Josiah’s desire for perfection and quintessential British tableware including Jasperware, Black Basalt and Queen’s Ware.

Factory lingo brings diddling sticks and sponging to the tour and steers us towards the Master Craft Studio where opportunity presents itself in the form of a potter’s wheel and skilled guidance. Whilst some grab an apron, others venture to the Wedgwood Tea Emporium for some seriously scintillating and sensory Wonderlust Tea tasting that lifts the soul. Variety comes in a teacup of telescopic colour, radiating travel and history amidst a perfume of white blend ylang ylang and ginger to rose petal, camelia and aloe vera green tea.

Inspired by art and culture we set sail for the Decorating Studio to decorate some genuine Wedgwood straight from the factory. Taking inspiration from Kit Kemp’s Mythical Creatures bone china collection, which sits upon a ceramic fairy-tale dragon built with crockery, we toy with design and illustration in a tardis of striking colour!

Corner to corner of the tantalising Flagship Store is one big adventure bursting with Wedgwood inspiration and cutting edge design from designers including Jasper Conran and Vera Wang. Luxury dinner and giftware delivers promise, passion and renowned Prestige; Wedgwood’s collection of hand painted bespoke pieces including Careertraveller favourite Floral Eden Collection. Botanical and grandiose, this Royal Horticultural Society flower inspired trove is designed and hand painted on site in the Wedgwood Studio, a hub of great British enterprise and heritage that celebrates Made in England.

Afternoon Tea in the fashionably airy Wedgwood Tearoom is an opulent affair of refined tea, tableware and delectable freshly cut finger sandwiches that smile alongside exquisitely dainty pastries. Served on Wedgwood’s Parkland crockery is the ultimate mark of excellence. Surrounded by subtle shades of Wedgwood Jasper Trials and strikingly bold floral print Wedgwood wallpaper embellished with gold, brings a touch of Vera Wang’s fine bone china Hibiscus collection to the table. Stunning!

A final meander round the Wedgwood Museum consolidates the Wedgwood Experience Day with a snapshot of Josiah memorabilia, whose experiments, determination and vision preserve the Wedgwood legacy and artisan skills in the 21st century.

A glimpse of neighbouring new store Brand Junction is an excuse to peruse the latest Waterford, Royal Doulton and Royal Albert collections together in one big trendy warehouse of luxury chic lifestyle goodies brimming with tradition and style.

World of Wedgwood is an exclusive experience bursting with fun, flavour and flair, hence no surprise Stoke-on-Trent has been shortlisted to become UK City of Culture 2021.

Further information:

World Of Wedgwood
Wedgwood
Visit Stoke
Enjoy Staffordshire

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