For me, it was magical! I'm all about the girly stuff, you all know that. The colors, textures and various patterns of the pottery was intoxicating! To describe the euphoria I felt ...for me the analogy would be as if I was an alcoholic and I was swimming in wine. Yes, it was THAT good. You've got to be there when the doors open at the Wedgwood outlet- I learned this from my very first trip out there. If you go in the afternoon the shelves will be picked bare! We arrived at 9 am (just as I planned) and I set my girlfriends loose in the Wedgwood outlet! The selections were fantastic and extra discounts were being given to us- life is good! We were all dizzy when we left, we were all swimming in the wine so to speak. But a few minutes back out in the cold British air and we were on our way to the next place!
Next stop Burleigh- it's my own personal little slice of heaven! One of the things on my list- and yes I had made a list of things that I wanted to buy was a lamp. Not any old lamp would do either, I wanted a blue and white lamp as I'm trying to put together a "look" for my formal living room in my next house. I had dreamed about buying a Portmeirion Botanical Blue lamp until I saw the one at Burleigh. Bluebird is the patterns name and it's a rare pattern at that! Once I saw it I knew that it was the lamp for me!
Now on to Cauldon Ceramics, home of the Original Brown Betty Teapot! Sure it's a small business, but inside that blue door was a magical place full of brown earthenware pottery! All 4 of us bought teapots galore, and ordered more to be delivered to us this week. Me? Well, I've got a covered sugar bowl and a creamer coming to me this week ;-) There's something about the Brown Betty that I simply LOVE! It's simple everyday look makes me feel as if I've come.
Now over to Portmeirion- This place (for me) is like walking into a British Flower Garden in full bloom! It's overwhelming in the sense of the selections and intoxicating! Since I already own quite a bit of Botanic Garden tableware, I was looking to get a few more serving pieces. I found that my pattern was on sale for an extra 30% off- yeah momma! I came out with bowls and platters and was very pleased that I didn't spend as much as I thought I would.
Now for those that don't know- Portmeirion also owns Spode- Oh yeah! Life IS indeed GOOD! Tons of Spode products in stock and I was looking around with big eyes. It finally happened...I found the pieces that I've been wanting for years for my Christmas Tree service. The last pieces to fall into my lap are the Teapot and the Sauce Boat with stand. The store had them on sale at an extra 50% off, I could not resist! For years I refused to buy those pieces because they were so costly and suddenly they were in front of me saying "look at me". I was like a kid in a candy store! I even bought some of the cutlery items. I came out of there one happy woman!
Last Stop, Ainsley China- I came here because I wanted to get a couple more Belleek China pieces. Belleek is made in Ireland and I blame my addiction to it on my mother-in-law as it all started with a cup and saucer. I now have a handful of pieces and I cherish them all!
I know that I will never be able to buy any kind of British or Irish made pottery at these wonderfully low bargain prices like I've been able to while living here in England. I'm going to have such wonderful memories wash over me every time I use any of my place settings and serving pieces. At times I feel as if I've been on a treasure hunt and found the most exquisite gem stones and pearls.
So the best part was being on a treasure hunt with my girlfriends and seeing them find treasures of their own. We all came away happy and content. Okay so that gourmet picnic lunch that I made for all of us helped too.