Emma Bridgewater Collectors Day July 2016

Rewinding back to the beginning of 2016 I put my name in the hat for the July Collectors Day at Emma Bridgewater. I have done this for the last few years but never have been successful but you’ve got to be in it to win it, right?!

Being a massive fan this is what you would consider the ‘Holy Grail’, a day at the factory in Stoke, various activities, sneak peaks as well as a chance to buy special limited edition pieces. I often looked longingly at other collectors special pieces on Instagram and really wanted to have some of my own 😦 *cue worlds smallest violin*.

So imagine the sheer joy when an email confirming that I had got tickets pinged into my inbox on a rainy April afternoon, I was actually going, yaaaayy! You can imagine the excitement as the days got closer, I literally skipped out of work last week in anticipation of Tuesday the 19th!

We arrived on the Tuesday morning after a leisurely drive from Rookery Hall in Cheshire where we were staying (I will cover this  in another post. Spoiler alert: It was amazing) to be greeted by lovely smiling faces who ushered ‘FiFi’ our little red Fiat 500 hire car into its parking space.

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Waiting for the day to start, we helped ourselves to tea and toast set out in the Cafe.  Mr S and I also enjoyed a little bit of sun and background music provided by a brass band.

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We started the day off with a tour of the factory which is a must if you decide to visit. Our tour guide was really friendly and explained every part of the pottery making process. It made me appreciate the time, effort and many hands that touch each piece before it becomes the finished product.

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Can you spot one of the new Christmas patterns?

I even got to try my hand at throwing a plate. Not to brag or anything *ahem* but it was good enough to go into production! So if you receive a 6.5 plate in the next while it could of been made by me!

Don’t worry I think this man’s job is safe 😀

On a bit of a high after becoming a master potter, we decided to go do one of the activities. As part of the Collectors Day, everyone got to paint 2 little fluted bowls in the Decorating Studio.

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The real star of the show was Mr S though. He found his painting zen and created two beauties which received oodles of praise from onlookers.

If you were keeping score it would be 1-1 right now.

The likelihood of me starting a pottery business was getting more realistic by the minute (I joke obviously).

Next on the agenda was some ice cream before we went and picked our special pieces!

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Everyone was split into groups to go view and buy their special pieces. So the dealio with special items is that there is a limited number and are only for collectors and not the general public. Group 4 was up and it was time.

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As I was group 4, a lot was already sold, if you want to see what I purchased you can spot them on my Instagram!

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After buying some special pieces we had worked up a bit of an appetite. Lunch was served (on EB of course…) Our tummies were ready for it, breakfast seemed a long time ago. We were presented a beautiful veggie quiche, salad and warm potato salad. Pudding was a delicious chocolate brownie with clotted cream..yum!

We chatted to our fellow guests at the table, had some hearty laughs, then it was time to finish the rest of our day.IMG_5372

After consulting our itinerary,  we decided to do some tea towel printing.

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Some of the other collectors beautiful attempts.

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Needless to say this didn’t win any prizes for beauty, as for Simon’s…well…he tried!

Laughing at our lack of skill, we went to the seconds shop for a browse while we waited for our “masterpieces” to dry.

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Restricted to hand luggage, I felt like weeping. If only we lived a little closer…

Last stop of the day, the garden!

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Bags in hand and smiles on our faces, we bid fair well to the factory and made our way back to our little Fiat which at this point had reached 1 million degrees (how lucky we were to have such amazing weather!?).

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Until next time EB…

Much Love,

Judy xo

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Valentines Wish List.

I’m not ashamed to admit to anyone that I look forward to Valentines Day every year. I’m a real girly girl and although there are plenty of other days in the year to show your nearest and dearest how much you love them, you really can’t beat that little February treat.

I apologise in advance to those without another half…why not treat this little post as a wish list for yourself  (‘from me to me’).

 

First up, this Burberry scarf. I’m sorry but this is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Burberry: check! Hearts: check! Cashmere: check! This little beauty is happiness in scarf form albeit out of my price range, but hey, this is a wish list  right?

 
Ah, Diptyque, can they do any wrong? When the email introducing this candle popped into my inbox I swear my eyes had hearts in them. There are other lovely things in the Diptyque Valentines collection so go check them out now as it’s all limited edition so when they’re gone, they’re gone.


I’m really sad to say I have never received a box of these *cries* so if hubby is reading this…just kidding 🙂  No one can have Valentines Day without choccies and these look just divine.

 
Although I have already blogged about styling your home this Valentines Day I just had to show you these cushions. They are Sass and Belle which will forever be one of my favourite brands. Kindly gifted by Jemima’s Locket they fit just perfectly with the decor of my house. They usually sit on our bed but I thought they looked just as cute here on the snuggle seat in the kitchen. These little lovelies would also make a great engagement/wedding pressie. Love, love, love.

 
Finally, anyone who knows me will be wondering how could I forget Emma Bridgewater. Tea and champagne truffles anyone? The Pink hearts pattern is my favourite and I collected it as my wedding china so it will always have a special place in my heart.

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentines Day, I’m really looking forward to hearing what you get from your loved ones.

*If you are single, or have married for a long time. Screw valentines…who needs flowers and chocolates anyway 🙂

Much love,

Judy xo

Interview with ‘Posh Flooring’ 

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to share with you a little interview I did with website Posh Flooring.

I hope you enjoy reading a little bit about me, my home and my personal style as much as I enjoyed writing it.

You can see my interview here.

Much love,

Judy xo

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

Wether you are prepared or not, Christmas is just around the corner. From a young age I just could not wait for our decorations to go up and this has not changed now I have grown up and own my own home.

We always had a real tree as far as I can remember when growing up, and it was a tradition I wanted to carry on in married life.

I thought I would share with you all some of the festive decor in my home, if you follow me on Instagram you might recognise some things!

The overall theme of my tree and most of my decor is white, silver and most important sparkly!

We are very lucky to have a hallway that comfortably will allow a 6 foot plus tree! Almost all of our decorations are from a local department store or garden centre. I particularly love the ‘Love’ which is from The White Company. This is a new addition to this years tree and a gift from my sister.

This ‘mini’ tree is in our kitchen/dining area. It has doubled in size from last year as hubby repotted it during the summer and its took a major growth spurt..!

Like my other tree, it is decorated in white and silver however this year the new additions are the little mini jugs and cups from Emma Bridgewater!

I decided to get a wicker basket this year, as it looks more rustic and far prettier than a bare pot. After Christmas I will use it as storage for fire wood.

  My side board gets changed with the seasons as some of you already know!

Simple wooden reindeer and garland have transformed it into more of a winter scene.

I moved my driftwood wreath to where my Autumnal one was. It adds a more modern edge and is not too traditional for the style of our home.

The frosted winter rose garland on my sideboard is also the whole way up the hand rail of my stairs. I do love this but if you touch it all the faux snow covers EVERYTHING!

It does remind me on a crisp frosty morning though.

I just had to show you our oversized stockings on the chimney breast in the living room. They measure around a metre in length. Plenty of room for all of the pressies (heres hoping hehe)!

I have kept my living room fairly plain, adding in some seasonal scatter cushions and of course the obligatory Christmas Yankee Candle.

Finally I have been able to use my  Christmas Emma Bridgewater bits and pieces! I have been buying some throughout the year off EBay and other collectors. I am not overly keen on the new patterns, my all time favourite is the 2011/12 ‘Joy’.

This ‘Christmas Rose‘ 6 pint jug looks fab with the white roses and seasonal berries. I thought about a poinsettia for this, but the contrast with the white flowers works much better.

Last, but not least. My towel ladder has been adorned with star fairy lights on copper wire from PRIMARK. I know! I could not believe my eyes when I spotted them for only £2.50.

I hope you have a lovely festive time with the ones you love and make lots of happy memories around the tree.

Much Love,

Judy xo

Starry Eyed

Christmas gift inspiration thats sure to make you starry eyed!

Hello there Frenchies!

I am in love with anything starry, and I believe it should be loved all year round! I have put together a few of my favourite things I have spotted online (and some I own!) that I think you will also love!

These would make great presents for Christmas for your near and dear or as a little treat for yourself anytime.

 

1: Next Star Print Pyjamas

2. Emma Bridgewater Starry Skies Half Pint Mug

3. Not on the High Street Carnival Light

4. Tori Murphy Antares Star Cushion Black On Linen

5. Lexington Star Candle Holder

6. H&M Star Print Knitted Jumper

7. Hush Star Bracelet 

I have the starry pyjamas and they are so comfortable, and an excellent price. I am in love with everything from Hush, have a look at the matching items too I am sure you will approve.

Have you spotted anything online you think I would love?

Much Love,

Judy xo

Lets Make a Gin & Tonic Cake!

Hey Frenchies, this is one for the Gin lovers this evening, inspired by GBBO I thought I would treat you all to a cake. x

Hey Frenchies!

So Great British Bake off (GBBO) season is upon us and you all know what that means? A renewed love for baking! I decided this morning that I wanted to bake something, looking in the larder I was a bit low on ingredients and then it came to me…GIN. I mean, a Gin and Tonic cake!

Okay, this probably wouldn’t be one to give to the kids, but how about an adult treat as you watch GBBO this evening, or on demand this weekend as we all do these day. This is a beautifully moist cake, and the glaze/drizzle soaks and makes just heavenly.

There is three elements to this cake; The cake, The glaze and the topping so I will take you through the process, hopefully it will be clear for you all to follow!

Everything you need for your ginny cake!
Everything you need for your ginny cake!

What I need for the cake:

2 eggs

Caster Sugar

Self Raising flour

A pinch of baking powder

1 lemon (zest and juice)

3 shots of gin (I used Bombay Sapphire but it doesn’t really matter)

What I need for the glaze:

Icing Sugar 150g

6 shots of gin, hic!

Splash of tonic water

Juice of half a lemon

What I Need For the topping:

One Lemon

One Lime (if preferred)

Method

You may have noted at the top I didn’t put the quantities of the cake, what I do with all my cakes is weight my eggs (in this case they were 159g so i measured out the same quantity of butter, caster sugar and SR Flour!

The scales stopped at 170g :) this was an action shot!
The scales stopped at 159g 🙂 this was an action shot!

So, cream the butter (room temperature!!) together until lovely and fluffy, add the beaten eggs with the flour, baking powder and mix until combined.

Add in the zest and juice of one lemon and three shots of gin.

If you feel that your mixture is too runny, add a little more of flour and mix.

Spoon your boozy mix into a lined loaf tin (mine was slightly too large for the mixture, although never mind) and bake at 170 fan or 180 normal oven for 40-45mins, taking a peep at it regularly.

You will know its ready when a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool, and start to make the toppings yay!

Leave to cool, COMPLETELY. Or the glazing won’t stick!

Glaze

This glaze is super easy and incredibly gin laden, so it is totally yum.

Measure out 150g of icing sugar, and add in 6 shots of gin, a splash of tonic water and the juice of half a lemon. Mix until all the sugar has dissolved. It should look something like my picture below! I added a little lemon water in too, but you don’t have to do this.

It should be a thick pouring consistency, and smell good enough to drink :)
It should be a thick pouring consistency, and smell good enough to drink 🙂

Topping

Is is completely additional and you can add if you have the time.

I decided that it would look lovely with some candied lemon/lime.

Mix equal part sugar and water and bring to the boil.

Add in finely sliced lemon and lime and leave for 10 minutes.

Pop on to a cooling rack, to be placed on your cake at the end.

Thes will dry and cool and in turn go candied in a bit!
Thes will dry and cool and in turn go candied in a bit!

The finished product should look at little something like this…Or even better if you are a better baker than me 🙂

Oh yes!
Oh yes! The glazing liquor soaks in making it a wonderfully moist cake.
Looks very pretty in my Emma Bridgewater comport.
Looks very pretty in my Emma Bridgewater comport. 

Grab a slice and a install yourself in front of the telly and enjoy Mary Berry, Paul Holywood and all the innuendos on GBBO.

Bon Appetit,

Much Love,

Judy

Book Review: Toast and Marmalade by Emma Bridgewater.

Good afternoon Frenchies!

Sorry for the lack of posts for a while, I have been feeling a little under the weather. However, always being positive, all this down time means I have caught up with my reading!

For those who follow me on Instagram I purchased, ‘Toast and Marmalade, stories from the kitchen dresser’, a while back, but only ever had time to dip in and out.

 

Nothing quite like a good book!
 
This book is really aimed at EB lovers, like myself, and is a lovely insight into why she started her business.

The book gives you lovely little snippets, starting from the beginning, and how she came up with her patterns and shapes for the pottery. In between the chapters are lovely little recipes for savoury and sweet dishes, that remind her of home and fond times of old.

I love books like this, as they are so easy to dip into when you have that rare 20 minutes to sit down and have a lovely cuppa and rest from the stress of the day or week. It almost reminds me of a diary, or a scrap book of sorts.

I would recommend this book to any Emma Bridgewater lover, or anyone who is curious about the behind the scenes sort of stuff.

Much Love,

Judy xo