Emma Bridgewater Factory

Are you ready to see the Emma Bridgewater Factory?  I hope so because here it comes! Visiting her factory here in England is something I’ve been wanting to do for so long!  And now, we did . . . Let me sing a happy song . . . and take you places you’ve never been before!

I just had to show you this  . . . I love English public bathrooms, they’re all so different and cute, you never know what you’ll get; lots of them have wallpaper, cute old tiles, framed paintings, and pretty paint colors; some of them even have hand cream in them! It’s practically like home!  This one, with duck carvings over the door and a chain pull on the toilet, is up a narrow green-painted staircase, on the third crooked floor of a famous old bookstore called Scarthin Books in Cromford, Derbyshire (pron. Darbyshir).  Thought you’d like to see it! (Wouldn’t want you to miss anything!)

So there we are (if you squint and look really close) at the far left end of those buildings, see the teeny silver sliver?  That’s our car, parked in front of our cottage where the peacock (now named Darcy; had to name something Darcy!) lives called “Weathericks” in Wirksworth where you should all go someday (and say Hi to adorable Jean for us) because it’s heaven there as you can jolly well see! We got in that car, and drove about an hour away to the Emma Factory.


So, off we go  . . . we follow GPS when we go anywhere, and it’s really good; I don’t think it’s ever made a mistake, but it takes us on all the shortcuts no matter how small, harrowing, narrow, and out of the way the road might be.  Sometimes we find ourselves climbing teeny weeny remote mountain curves and think, this just can not be bloody right!!! People living on country roads in England are probably standing in their yards shaking their fists at the sky (at the GPS satellites) for bringing fun foreign drivers like us into their neighborhoods.  I wouldn’t want to scare anyone, but I can’t help but laugh when I see this (drying my hands on my pants.)  When Martha Stewart travels, do you think she screams in the car????  Is this normal? Probably not.  I promise you, it’s not always like this.  I just like to give you the best of the best!


For extra relaxation, we break up the driving with bookstores, pubs (pah sida!), antique stores, canal walks and ducks, which more than makes up for dodgy cow-path roads.  Checking the bird book we found out the duck-like one with the white bill is a Coot, and those cuties with the huge feet are the baby chick coots.

It’s a little over an hour drive through festive little towns festooned with flags and bunting for the Diamond Jubilee; GPS (England calls it “Sat Nav”) takes us to Stoke-on-Trent, the home city of the Emma Bridgewater Factory — this was the first picture I took as I got out of the car.  So excited!

Cute for the factory workers!  Stoke-on-Trent was the center of the world when it came to gorgeous dishes; bone china, earthenware, pottery, it was all made here, Johnson Brothers, Wedgewood, Spode, the very finest and most beautiful was made in Stoke.

But it all fell apart (I will never understand why as I still cannot get enough beautiful dishes!); this city, totally built on the dish industry, went into a serious and very sad decline.

The bottom of Emma mugs are as beautifully decorated as the rest of the cup!  I fell in love with Emma Bridgewater, her desire to do everything the “right” way, her conserving ways, her attention to detail, when I saw my very first mug.  She retires designs after a while, which is the good news and the bad news, they become much more collectible that way . . . so the one you see above is no longer being made.  I love this cup, it says “Love & Kisses” on the outside, and “Best Friends ” on the inside!  How could she discontinue the most perfect gift in the world?  I don’t know!   I also love that her dishes fit in just fine with my old flea-market-collected sets of dishes.  Because really, she makes them the exact same way as my antique dishes were made, and in the exact same spot!

(I love the way the English tell you ↑ they want you to slow down to nothing.)  Stoke-on-Trent, with all the empty factories, and talented workers was the perfect place for Emma Bridgewater to put her “pot” business (“pot”=”dishes,” in Stoke-talk).  They needed her, and she needed them.  So, when all the rest of the world was turning their back on Stoke and the pot business, that’s when Emma began making dishes there; she took over the old Charles Meakin factory, and began to hire.  She ran toward the burning building.  And she’s young, only in her 40’s now!

I think that Emma’s factory must be a bright spot in Stoke.  Prince Charles even visited the factory in 2010!  What an honor!  And the roses?  Of course!  They can grow roses right out of pavement in England!  Am I happy?  Yes, I am.

So off we go on our tour, Joe and me and maybe six or seven others, led by a sweetheart named Jan, there in the spotted apron (they call polka dots “spots” in England).  Inside each of those boxes (molds) is thick earthenware creamy pot mix; it’s either a cup, a jug (what they call a pitcher), a bowl, or one of the other shapes they make, the old way, one at a time.  I was truly surprised to see how MUCH goes into one little cup!

The factory was decorated for the Jubilee, just like all the rest of England!  And this is only one room!

 Each piece works its way through the factory, that’s a lot of pot moving!  Stopping at each station for the individual treatment it needs before it finally makes its way across the sea to us in our studio, or out to the rest of the world; truly “Handmade in Stoke-on-Trent.”

I loved how they had plenty of jugs and cups for their work!

Custom-made sponge stamps are dipped in paint and put on the mugs one at a time! The sponges are hand-carved too, right there in the factory!

Here’s Jan telling us how they come up with some of the sayings they put on the cups with decals (one at a time – can’t quite get over that!); the yellow is a kind of sealer that burns right off when they fire the pots.  Crikey!

Shelves of production go on and on; the rose pattern is hand-painted on the cups.  This is how the colors look before they’re fired … which brightens and darkens them considerably.

An English factory always takes time out for tea!  Good news is they never have trouble finding a nice cup to have it in! (I’m doing a terrible job of telling you exactly how the pottery is made! This website has a much clearer and detailed explanation of how everything really works at the factory, in case you have more questions, Dad.)

Because I’m not very techie; I’m more interested in the people side of things . . . we could tell how proud everyone was to be working there; proud to be making all this British beauty, proud to be part of such an amazing craftsman tradition; this woman pulled off her glove to show me her Jubilee fingernails!  Love it!

I waited until tea time to sneak Petey into the picture!

Oh yes, like all good English establishments, the Emma Bridgewater Factory has its own tea room — also, a gift shop!  All my favorite things!  And best of all, there was a design studio where visitors can design their own cups!

  How wonderful, we wanted something special to bring home to remember this trip by (not that we’ll ever forget!). Our own mugs!  Lovely!

So I made an “ENGLAND  2012” cup, and Joe made a “Queen Mary” cup.  Isn’t his ship perfect?  He is so talented, my guy!

They give you paint, special pencils to draw with that will burn off during the firing, and they show you how to fix the drawing if you make a mistake!  They let you practice and have sponges there for people who want to use them.  The color goes on sort of pale, but gets much clearer and brighter once it’s fired.  You can choose any shape dish or cup they make and just sit there, draw on it, paint it, and drink tea to your heart’s content. In the end, you’ll have your very own Emma Bridgewater cup!  One of a kind!  Worth the trip across the Atlantic!!  We left them there, they’ll fire them, and ship them home, they’ll be there when we get back!  Pretty neat, huh?

Then, of course, we went shopping and absolutely fell in love with this cup celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Yes, we got one, couldn’t help ourselves.  Too cute.

AND, we loved it so much, we thought you might fancy one too!  Would you?  I hope so, and if you do …. just leave a message in “comments” at the bottom of this post (click on the really pale gray letters!), you’ll be entered for a drawing!  In a few days, we’ll randomly pull out a name (I hope so much it’s YOURS!!!); we’ll LOVE to send you this memory of our trip to England!

And one last thing before I go . . .

Another bit of a surprise, news from the real world: you know how last year we ran out of our calendars?  So this year, we asked to get them early … and guess what, Kellee wrote to tell me they just came in!!!  Both the 2013 12 x 12, and the mini calendar!  The rest of them will come at the normal time. We are going to try really hard not to run out this year!

OK Girlfriends, that ought to keep you busy for a while.  I will give you one last little hint about the next post . . .

This was the sky over Beatrix Potter’s house. . . a dream just came true.  Does that mean an angel got his wings?  I think so!  Bye for now, xoxo, Girlfriends Forever! Me.

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1,251 Responses to Emma Bridgewater Factory

  1. Pam says:

    Susan, I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had our “our” trip. You are a wonderful tour guide. I’ve learned so much about England and I LOVE the pictures. It is such a wonderful place.

  2. Carol Vidovich says:

    Susan–thank you so much for allowing us on this tour with you. It is so lovely!

  3. Pamela says:

    Susan – Your trip is so rewarding, I love your excitement with each and everything. It is a wish of mine to travel to England and you have provided much eye candy! Thanks for the fab giveaway – this is such a beautiful cup and kudos to you both on your beautiful cups your created. This maybe as close as I get to England for awhile, but I would love to have my tea each night is something so lovely.

  4. Janet says:

    I would love to know what the saying is on the cup Jan was holding up to show you!

    Those fingernails are something!!!

    Was that a red velvet cake in the picture with Petey?

    The cups you and Joe made are so gorgeous!!!

    I would VERY much fancy a Jubilee cup! Please enter my name in the drawing, thank you!

  5. Fran Fettrow says:

    Hi Susan,

    Your trip has brought back so many good memories of traveling to England on several occasions when my daughter lived there. Especially the Emma Bridgewater Factory. I have great memories of that fantastic pottery and wanted to take home one of everything. Of course, I settled for a few great treasures. Stoke-on-Trent is one of my favorite places to have visited. Thanks for taking me along on your trip…..

  6. Christine says:

    So enjoy following your trip on this blog! How beautiful England is. I am trying to win, again…try, try! I can’t wait to see Beatrix Potters house. I’ve seen some photos of it some time ago and loved it. Love her illustrations, too. Thank you for sharing all you share with us kindred spirits out in blogland. This is the only way I have been able to travel!

  7. Meg says:

    I wish I could be there!

  8. Christine says:

    Oh yes, I just had another thought. When the Beatle’s came out my girlfriend, Marlene, and I were big fans, of course. We had a dream to go to England some day and maybe even live there for awhile. We used to sit in her brothers room, in the basement where he had a humongous stereo system blasting the Beatle music, and day dream about England. Then it was all about London and Liverpool. Today, for me it would be the English countryside, the gardens, the tea rooms and shops and the history. You are so fortunate to be able to travel about!

  9. mari1017 says:

    Each day and each post gets better and better. You have an eye for including what we want to see ~ and sharing what you and Joe see with us! I do feel like I’m there!!! Emma Bridgewater – and those mugs you painted – how special ♥ I am glued to the edge of my computer to see what’s next!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you ♥♥♥ mari

  10. Susan,
    Thank you so much for the tour. I haven’t been to England in over 25 years, but I feel like I am there with you. Can’t wait to see the next post. Thank goodness for Twitter.

  11. Patty Jane in SLO says:

    Completely enjoying your posts of your trip. Am hoping to get “over the pond” myself later this year. Thanks for scoping everything out for me! Safe travels!

  12. Joanne says:

    Loved Joe’s Queen Mary mug. And also enjoying your blogs from merry old England. The pastoral scenes delight me. You seem to be loving every minute.

  13. What a delightful blog….so fun to hear your stories and see your photos. I probably will never get there so is wonderful that you bring us along. LOVELY mug! Love the Jubilee.

  14. Joanie Myers says:

    Hi Susan…..I am really enjoying your trip to England. How exciting and thank
    you for including all of us with your beautiful photography !!!! I agree the Emma
    pottery is simply gorgeous and I am so glad that you are able to tour the
    factory. Take care and I hope the days are not going by too quickly for you
    and Joe.

  15. Sue!! thanks for the deeelightful trip “with you” to jolly old England! It’s beyond my ken…every nook and cranny and corner and lambie and tea cup and garden and the Emma BEE is a dream spot!
    thanks Sue Bee!

  16. Debbie says:

    I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading about your trip! Thank you so much for taking the time to share…wish I could be there!

  17. Suzanne says:

    I love being included on this adventure to see Peter Rabbit’s creator.

  18. Debby of SLO says:

    Sue, thanks for sharing this amazing and deelightful trip with us to jolly old England! It’s beyond my ken…every nook and cranny and corner and lambie and tea cup and garden and the Emma BEE is a dream spot! How i’d love a cup of tea with you over there…way over yonder!

  19. ChrisTea says:

    This is great! Right after I saw the picture of the Flotilla mug I said “I wish I had one!” haha. I loved the tour of the factory. The woman’s Union Jack fingernails are fantastic! And they were perfectly done. If I ever went on a tour of the factory, my credit card would be on fire once I got into the gift shop. It’s a great idea to let you make your own, too. Thanks so much for the chance to win a piece of England.

  20. Deb A. says:

    Enjoying your trip from San Diego. Learning so much from all of your travels. Hope to win the beautiful cup. Say hi to Petey for me. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  21. Lorraine says:

    I thought I was the only one who would spend time in a factory while on vacation! The Bridgewater factory was amazing — and will have to go on my list of places to visit, if — I mean WHEN — I go back. The last time (my first time!) I went, I took a tour of the factory where AGA cookers are made. They have a wonderful tour guide who explained every step of the process — AND you actually got to see them pour the molten iron into the forms! Unfortunately, I couldn’t personalize one and have it shipped home…. Maybe next time. (^_^)

    • sbranch says:

      I wanted to show it, but the post was so long I was afraid I would start losing people 🙂 – but there is a gigantic POLKA DOT Aga in the tea room of Emma Bridgewater!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Don’t think you have to worry about losing any of us… 🙂 It all is fascinating! Put that photo in your book???

      • Marianne in Hidden Meadows, CA says:

        We’d love to see it – and we can’t get enough of your posts – they could never be “too long”!

      • Lorraine from White Plains, NY says:

        How could you think you would lose us when we are hanging on every word and picture you send??! That AGA would have been a great thing to see! Not sure if polka dots would work with my kitchen, though…

  22. Troy Louise says:

    Loving your posts from England. So envious that you are there during the Jubilee. What fun! Thanks for the Emma tour & a chance to win that delightful mug. Hope you & Joe enjoy the rest of your tour.

  23. soy2please says:

    So glad I stopped by the blog today! It’s been wonderful – going to make a cup of tea!

  24. Jena says:


    You are so entertaining. I can’t believe how enthralled I was, I was suppose to be getting my husband and kids off to Mt Rushmore for the day and got sucked right out of Wyoming and right into the English Countryside.

    Totally enjoyed it.

    PS: Would totally dig a Jubilee Treat!

  25. Debby of SLO says:

    Sue…your trip to England is amazing and deelightful! I love every nook and cranny and stile and cottage and tea cup and lambie but seeing the Emma Bee spot through your eyes is the best! thanks!

  26. Jenn says:

    Susan, it has been so fun following along on your trip! I look forward to it so much! And what a delightful little mug! I hope I win! 😉

  27. Wendy says:

    I would love a Queen’s cup, I watched it all on TV

  28. Trish K. says:

    Is it just me? Does every place you go seem better and better? To be honest, I didnt think I was interested in a factory, but when you gave the history of the industry and the town…WOW! It really was fun, you have such a talent, you are the best tour guide!

    • sbranch says:

      It all happens so fast, there is so much I’m leaving out, we’re packing this morning and driving to Yorkshire over the DALES, which I’ve only heard of and have no idea what they look like. We had to look up dale, what is a dale, it’s a valley. How can you go over valleys. We will see.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        This will be James Herriot’s territory, right? Looking forward to photos of the area…

  29. Lynn Bauer says:

    Hi Susan,
    I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this trip. I was born in London at the end of World War II, my Mom was an English War Bride. The first time I traveled back to England the Customs Agent said “Welcome Home Mate” and this is how I feel about England, I think of it as my other home!
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful adventure with the rest of us girls.
    Please enter my name in the Jubilee Mug contest.

  30. Lynn Bauer says:

    I was born in England at the end of WWII, my first time back the Customs Agent said “Welcome Home Mate” and brought tears to my eyes! England in my heart is my other home.
    Please enter my name in the Jubilee contest

  31. Sandi says:

    Your trip is amazing

  32. Candi S. (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us along on your wonderful trip. I really hope to visit there one of these days – it’s on the “bucket list” !!!!

  33. Kathie says:

    Oh my gosh! Over a thousands stowaways! I’m glad to be in the suitcase with you all, though it’s amazing we could all fit! Funny how that works! I’ve spent the week collecting photos of Elizabeth II and all about the Jubilee and the Royal Family. It’s been almost like being there. We don’t get television out here so I followed on the internet. It was wonderful. And Beatrix Potter is one of my most favorite people, yes, indeed. I raised my daughter on her stories. Happy trails, Sue and Joe. We’re trotting right along after you. Oooops! I tripped over a Coot! xoxoxox Kathie in Odessa, WA

  34. Jackie says:

    I so want to visit England now! Thanks for sharing so many little things with… they are truly what matter! ♥

  35. Courtney says:

    I love dipping into your blog Susan and getting a good and proper dose of everything pretty…. and how lucky are you to be there for the Jubilee? 🙂

  36. Becke says:

    You look like you’re really having the time of your life!
    I’m really enjoying this vicarious vacation. Thanks for
    allowing us into your life! BB

  37. Beverly says:

    Love tagging along on the trip to England! What a beautiful countryside! The china is beautiful as well. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of England!

  38. Linda S. says:

    WOW! How exciting to make your own cups! I’m loving the trip, and my mom and aunt Marj have subscribed to your blog and have come along too! Now, I’m heading back to Beatrix Potter’s–I’ve seen the movie a jillion times!!
    “Cheeri-O” or is that English? Oh well!

  39. audrey Bell from LaBarque Creek, Missouri says:

    I just returned from my own vacation adventure, my first trip out of the USA! I have spent the past nine days in Germany with group of students from our local high school where I work. I was thrilled to see the beautiful country, meet some new friends who pratice “radical hospitality” and try some interesting foods. This may have been my first trip out of the country, but I know now it will not be my last.
    Thank you Susan for sharing your vacation with all of us… I would love to win a little mug to remember your trip to England! I was excited to check back in to read more of your adventures when I returned home!

  40. Karen says:

    I am really enjoying the posts about your trip. I visited London last year… fell in love! Can’t wait to go again and see more of the country.
    The Emma Bridgewater pottery is lovely!

  41. Danielle says:

    Hi Susan! I am so loving our trip to England! I hang on every post and can’t wait until the next. The whole trip has been enchanting – like a dream come true! England is amazing! I loved the tour of Emma’s factory, now I’m anxiously waiting to see Beatrix’s house!!! xoxoxo

    Danielle : )

  42. Lori says:

    My 18yo daughter and I are sitting here drooling over your pictures, cracking up over the “Sat Nav” and making Emma’s a priority on our itinerary whenever our dream comes true and we visit England! BTW, my daughter thinks your outfit is so cute!

  43. CINDY M says:

    enjoyed the pictures of the cute little lambs and the fields of bluebells. Just a beautiful sea of blue!!! I wish I was there!!. The whole area looks so fresh and clean the blue skies white clouds and the green fields full of wild flowers and bluebells. My BFF Linda H. took me to the Langham Hotel in Pasadena CA we enjoyed the royal tea to celebrate our birthdays and the Queen’s Jubilee. It was so wonderful. Our conversations were about your trip to England. Your trip that you are sharing with us is our dream vacation.. it’s the next best thing to being there. Love the yellow roses at Emma’s factory so lush they must have a lovely scent!!! Linda and I love Emma’s pottery I would love to design a mug looks like fun. Can’t wait to see yours when you get back home.
    looking forward to your future adventures in England we can’t wait to see
    Beatrix Potter’s home! Oh Susan purchased the 2 oflovely pink hanky pillow cases for Linda’s b-day she loves them and I will be ordering the 2 of the blue ones so cute and she ordered to little Peter Rabbit books it’s so tiny and cute
    Thank you for taking us with you on your trip

    • sbranch says:

      I took my tiny book to Beatrix’s house! Wanted to get a little BP magic on it for my Peter Rabbit room. This kind of thinking is what got us 12 suitcases!

      • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

        Darling Susan, All I can say is that Joe truly must be the King among Men and you certainly landed in clover when you met him!!!! : )

  44. Joan Lesmeister says:

    What a wonderful treat – to go to the Emma Bridgewater factory with you and Joe, thank you! Hmmm..you two are quite the arteeests, I like your cups! Your video was a “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”, England style! Yikes! Great shot of the ladies room! If I remember right, the loos are made by a famous porcelain company but, of course, I can’t remember the name!!!! Love your blog my dear!!! Thank you!!!! ♥ & XOXOXO

  45. Kathy G. says:

    My daughter texts me/I text her back…..all about how we’re enjoying your trip! And your Joe is a quite talented artist himself! Hope I get the Jubilee cup!

  46. Robin in Yorba Linda says:

    Ahhhh, there…..so glad to have been able to stretch my legs after stowing away in your luggage. Thank you for “taking me along” on your enchanted voyage. I have loved all the sights, scents and sounds…..through your every beloved word so richly laden with love and passion. Can’t wait for the next day’s trip…..now back in the luggage I go for a little rest and the next encounter….. 🙂

  47. Janice says:

    Love going with you on this trip! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  48. Yvonne G says:

    oh my goodness, what a gorgeous mug! I have been loving your adventures Susan! I can’t wait to see what you are going to share with us next!

  49. Wendy says:

    I so enjoying your trip to England!! I love it there and wish I could be there now. What a fantastic time to be there. So great to see the pride the British have in their heritage–expressed all the way down to the tips of their fingers!!
    Your photos and journal entries are simply perfect-you make a fantastic travel guide. I am so impressed with Joe’s Emma Bridgewater mug, It is lovely!! It would also be lovely if I am the “YOU” to win the EB mug. 🙂

  50. Gail says:

    Love to have a warm cup of tea in that wonderful mug.

  51. mary says:

    Susan how wonderful It is so fun to go along with you and Joe
    Thankyou so much Mary

  52. Melissa R (UT) says:

    I’m sure you were over the top making your very own mugs! They are fabulous! Maybe a new Susan/Emma line: “Bridge and Branch”?????!!!! That would be IRRESISTABLE!!!! Thanks for sharing your trip! xoxo

  53. Leslie Gammelgaard says:

    Loving your journey…thank you for taking us along! I wish we were seeing more of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in the States. Love Emma Bridgwater’s cup!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll do some more Jubilee later if everyone wants . . . I have lots of photos (thousands actually!!)

      • Karen P. - Green Bay, WI says:

        Would LOVE that! I was out of town and missed all the coverage but have 4 different programs covering the events in my DVR….waiting for a nice, quiet time to sit down with a pot of tea!

  54. Sara Cocarus says:

    I simply love your blog. Thank you for sharing with us. I would love to be entered. Blessings for a wonderful trip. ~Sara

  55. Hala says:

    Hi Susan,
    This post has inspired me to go on a road trip up north with a girlfriend to visit the Emma Bridgewater factory! You have really opened my eyes to just how much our country has to offer and I have loved seeing it through your eyes. Glad you enjoyed the Jubilee celebrations. My 5 year old has just finished a scrap book (a really sweet one from Cath Kidston) for the Jubilee {or Jlooobuli as she wrote in her book}. She has filled it with pictures cut out of the newspaper of the Queen and the Jubilee celebrations – just as I did with my Nana for the Silver Jubilee. PS Sorry the weather has gone pants again! Best Wishes, Hala nr. Bath

    • sbranch says:

      Pants! That’s a new one! Your daughter will love the design room at Emma’s, there’s a chair there with her name all over it!

  56. PauliJ says:

    I loved this entire post, but your and Joe’s personalized mugs were charming. How wise of them to allow folks to design their own mug! Thanks, again, for taking us along–amazing commitment and patience on both Joe’s and your part, Susan.

  57. Hala says:

    Thanks for your lovely reply. Sorry, ‘pants’ means rubbish/ bad in the uk! You will love the Dales – I used to go on holiday there every year as a child. It is James Herriot – All Creatures Great and Small country. People used to beep their horn if they were going around a sharp bend to warn other drivers – don’t know if they still do that Hala x

    • sbranch says:

      Hmmm, honking horn, sharp curves. Well, for beauty, we will have to take our chances. Hope it doesn’t turn out to be pants!:-)

      • Deb from Dixie says:

        Susan and girlfriends……..since we are off to the Dales…..Thought you might like this poem…..written by a famous Englishman. It speaks to Hills and Dales and beautiful flowers…..and the fairies in the woods!
        After we ( my family) saw the play, we use to recite it over and over in our best British accents as we explored the woods and waterfalls……of many a different state we lived in. ( So, it is kind of a family tradition….that now ( since we are all grown up..LOL ) makes us laugh….as we all chime in and recite it in unexpected places).

        Over Hill, Over Dale

        Over hill, over dale,
        Through bush, through briar,
        Over park, over pale,
        Through blood, through fire,
        I do wander everywhere,
        Swifter than the moone’s sphere;
        And I serve the fairy queen,
        To dew her orbs upon the green.
        The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
        In their gold coats spots you see;
        Those be rubies, fairy favours,
        In those freckles live their savours:
        I must go seek some dewdrops here,
        And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
        Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I’ll be gone:
        Our queen and all her elves come here anon.

        William Shakespeare

  58. Karen says:

    Hi Susan

    I am so enjoying your trip around England. We spent four years in England and are now living back home in New Zealand. I’m enjoying reminiscing about my stay in the lake district through your trip and am so looking forward to your next post about the Beatrix Potter house visit. The lakes are wonderful. Cream teas and kendal mint cake and cumberland sausages. Wonderful memories. Enjoy yourself!

  59. Darlene B says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing all the beauty of England in a way only you can….I’ve fallen in love xoxo

  60. Kristie says:

    This a like a little vacation, reading your blog! The factory tour was so much fun. Thanks for including us on your trip!

  61. Leslie says:

    Ohhh, I have just been loving this intimate tour of England with you!
    Love the video, hearing the birds. Thank you for such a peaceful calming retreat from everyday life, and a chance to dream of far away places.

  62. Dinahsoar says:

    Love Stoke-On -Trent and the Emma factory. Have you watched Last of the Summer Wine? There is an episode about a bandit from Stoke-On-Trent. It is one of our favorite Britcoms.

    The pottery is to die for and I’d love to win that mug!

    Not sure if I can stand much more wonderfulness, though I will say I was screaming right along with you on the drive there….from the suitcase via the hills of TN.

  63. Charlene says:

    Good morning, Susan. I am so enjoying the trip. With Susan Branch, Emma Bridgewater and Beatrix Potter, what’s not to love? Thank you and Joe for sharing it all. Best wishes.

  64. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    I am loving every minute of this trip that is made so much better by our very own Susan Branch as our personal tour guide. You know exactly what we want to see and hear, right down to the ducks and the jubilee fingernails. Such fun! Thank you! Now, stay calm and carry on.

  65. Jean from NC says:

    This journey has been a blessing to me! How wonderful to follow along and enjoy the beauty. I love that you thought to bring your little Peter Rabbit book with you to the B.P. house! My English friend, however, says “Only 12 suitcases if you’re sailing!” Do you have to wear socks or tights there this time of year? Do walking sandals work at all? You do look British!

  66. Kristy says:

    Susan, You are so much fun to go on vacation with! I don’t miss a thing-even if I sleep in a little bit! Thank you for being such a great tour guide- I’m having the best time!

  67. LeslieBee says:

    I am loving “our” trip and all the fantastic places “we” have been!
    I’d love to have an Emma mug as a souvenir!

  68. Barb McD. says:

    Thank you (and Joe too) for taking me along on your adventure. I look forward to each post and would absolutely enjoy a ‘little bit of England’ in the form of an Emma cup for my kitchen. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed! Safe travels!

  69. Kathleen Smith says:

    Every detail of your tour of the factory has been savored! Thank you so much for sharing with us. I’d “die” to win a Flotilla mug! Watched it all on TV–so wonderful. Enjoy every minute–we sure are! 🙂

  70. judy says:

    Thought of you yesterday- I found a darling creme linen top from Laura Ashley in a second hand shop. It is SO cute , sleeveless with navy around the neck and shoulder with little covered buttons down the side. If I could only wear it to see the bluebells, baby lambs and Beatrix Potters house. Thanks to you, I know what it is all like, you are so special to take the time to share it with all of us.
    P.S. I have a little bunny in my yard that is so sweet- I talk to him all the time and he is really getting tame, I just love him. Something almost got him because now his one ear is split. I heard there is a fox family just up the street, that is probably what happened. I hear they will move on soon, hopefully my precious bunny will stay safe until they go. I now pray for him every day, Beatrix Potter would be proud ! xo Judy

  71. Mae says:

    I loved reading about your day at the Emma Bridgewater factory and oh how special it would be if I was lucky enough to win the cup from there.

    Love reading about “our trip” to England and seeing the pictures.

  72. Lindy says:

    This is the best trip I have ever taken without packing!!! Love your cups very much. Well done. ttfn

  73. Kelly Bryant says:

    Still adore your blog. Such inspiration for me — I hope to be able to paint again as soon as my children are in school. But I love the mug and hope I win!! 🙂 Thanks!!

  74. Anne says:

    What a cute factory! There’s such a whimsy to everything the Brits do – I love it! Thanks for the tour Susan….can’t wait for Beatrix 🙂

  75. Nina says:

    O my Susan! How an earth do you find time to read all our messages with everything else you are doing right now! Especially when there are over a 1000 of them! (Says a lot about what a wonderful person you are I think!) Last night my daughter and I snuggled up in our PJs and watched Miss Potter for the first time! I loved it! I knew I would because you and the girlfriends had recommended it! Then Madi and I went through our collection of little BP books and she loved them! Isn’t it funny how they gave been sitting on the book shelf for donkeys years and she never bothered with them! So anyway thank you again Susan for inspiring my daughter Madi and me! Enjoy the rest of your trip xxxx

  76. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Ohh – I love the idea of Bridge & Branch line! Then perhaps Matthew (Rice) and Joe could also have a line too!! What wonderful designs might result from that talented quartet!

  77. Sylvia Watkins says:

    It is such a treat to check your blog and share this journey through your notes and links :-). Thank you Susan.

  78. Susan Lance says:

    Hi Susan,

    I have been to England (London) once and your Blog has made me want to go back and visit the countryside next time. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for you and the blog you post, especially the recent ones from England. They always brighten my day and I often forward them on to others. I loved the post from the Emma Bridgewater Factory and would like to be entered into the contest for the wonderful Jubilee cup you show at the end of the blog.


  79. Rebecca says:

    Your posts are so enjoyable, and I thank you for sharing. I’m learning so much, and dreaming that someday I can go to, but I thank you for taking me along just now.

  80. Christy Hendrickson says:

    I’m having so much fun following along with you & Joe on your trip to England. So excited in fact my Son “Ryan” & myself will be traveling to England next summer at this same time to celebrate my retirement this year from work for over 35 years & his graduating from college with his teaching degree & his masters program in Micro-Biology. We both deserve some FUN time, & couldn’t think of a better place to go. I have never been, but feel like I know the place after our trips with you….Thank you for making us all a part of your adventures. I learn, laugh, & wish my days were in the English countryside with High Tea & the smell of flowers all around me. Thank you so much!!!

  81. Andi M says:

    Hello, I hate to bother you while you are on holiday, but do you know the name of the Emma patten that looks like a big pink rose? I saw it in many of your photos but I cannot find it on the Emma site.

  82. Sandy from nothern California says:

    I’m a few days late getting to your wonderful trip notes. I want to take the tour, buy a cup, and do it all too. Thanks for sharing…it’s almost like being there.

  83. Lori says:

    How wonderful !!!
    I am stripping old wallpaper in our kitchen (oh joy)….and took a break to catch up on your blog…..how fun to see the Emma B. factory and watch more snippets of your holiday 🙂 Thank you for sharing !

  84. Karen P. - Green Bay, WI says:

    I love that you keep these blog postings on your website. Hopefully they’ll always be here. It’s so nice to be able to go back and get re-excited (is that a word?!) about things all over again. Nice, too, to have the topics listed so we can look easily. I hope Kellee NEVER takes them off!!!!! 🙂

  85. Jennie says:

    Love this blog! It’s like reading a good book, I just can’t put it down. 🙂

  86. Mary says:

    Susan, Thank you for letting us come with you!!!

  87. connie B says:

    Add me to the random scrambler number picker, please!

  88. Janice N. says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love reading about your trip, especially this visit to the Emma Bridgewater Factory. I have several of her mugs and my very favorite is the lovely “Holly” Christmas mug. Would love to add the “Thames Flotilla” to my collection 🙂 We visited England a couple of years ago, spending time in Birmingham (have you seen the long boats on the rivers?) & London (swoon!). Hope to re-visit someday and see more of the beautiful country-side. Thanks for taking us along with you. Keep that Petey in line!

  89. Kathy from Virginia says:

    Dearest Susan, I am having so much fun on our trip to England! Thanks for taking us all along. Everytime you put a new post up, I make one of your photographs my computer screen background, just to remind me where we’ve been!

  90. Mary Jean Price says:

    Hi Susan!

    I truly love your blog and enjoy reading it everyday! How I would love to be the recipient of the beautiful Queen’s Diamond Jubilee mug!

    I am in my 60’s and am still the biggest Beatles fan ever! Your sharing your trip to England has been so wonderful for me! Now, I have that chance to visit! Thank you so much! Enjoy every moment!

  91. Linda says:

    I am having the time of my life on “our” vacation, so glad you asked me to come along. Can’t wait for our next adventure. Be safe and enjoy. Love to receive a mug to remember our good time in England.

  92. Helen Stevens says:

    What a treat for you rigidity there. What a treat for us to follow along. I love Joe’s. cup. I would love to win the Juniors cup though.

  93. Karen Ann says:

    What a charming travelogue! And brava to Emma for reclaiming an important part of her country’s heritage! If we ever get back to England for a trip, the factory will definitely be on my list of places to see.

  94. Dawn says:

    Hi Sue! Checking in….I have hardly any time for the internet lately…but I had to see what you are up to. Such an amazing trip you are having!!! I LOVE the cups you and Joe made, I had no idea he could paint like that!
    Thank you for taking the time to share all of this with us, you are amazing!!
    Lots of love and hugs,

  95. Elizabeth Bucell says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am enjoying my poor man’s trip to England so much and you have reported it so nicely! I have always wanted to go there but doubt if I will. So thank you for your keen eyes and sweet observations! I can feel your happiness! Best wishes for the remainder of the trip.

  96. Susan Brans says:

    Hello Susan, You have a very nice blog. I have enjoy it.
    Kind regards Susan (Holland)

  97. Kristin Esskew says:

    Thank you for sharing your fabulous adventure in England! I feel like all this wonderful stuff can’t be real, but it must be. Saving up for my own Emma Bridgewater “pots” and thinking fondly of you.

  98. Cindy P says:

    Susan I love that you call “us” your girlfriends!! It is so wonderful taking this trip with you, hope your trip is wonderful!! Enjoy it for all of us, your admiring followers!!

  99. Mary Beebe says:

    I’m enjoying your trip to England so much! Thanks for taking me along! 🙂
    You have the best blog by far! So interesting!

  100. Linda Schaich says:

    Hi, Susan and Joe,
    I am experiencing England right along with both of you, I am loving all the posts,
    videos….the best…thank you for taking the extra time to include all of us! I do not know if I will ever get to England, so thank you so much for including us in your travels. Susan…how are the scones and clotted cream?

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