Berkshire Life - - Area Guide -

Win­ter has ar­rived, so what do you do on a cold day to keep the kids oc­cu­pied? We have the per­fect so­lu­tion – head on down to the Ugly Duck­ling Pot­tery Paint­ing Cof­fee House.

Owner Emma Hooper stud­ied fash­ion de­sign at Leeds Univer­sity, but her Satur­day job in Brack­nell gave her the idea to open up a cof­fee shop where folks young and old can come to un­leash their cre­ative tal­ents by paint­ing pot­tery that’s then fired on site and picked up by cus­tomers a week later.

“New­bury was just the place to open up my busi­ness a year ago,” says Emma. “It’s a lovely quaint town with so much char­ac­ter. It’s small but there’s al­ways lots go­ing on and plenty of in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses here. We all help each other out.”

Emma also takes her pot­tery paint­ing to lo­cal schools and care homes. “It’s re­ally ther­a­peu­tic no mat­ter what age you are,” she says.

When we vis­ited, Emma was re­ally wel­com­ing and her café was buzzing with ex­cited chil­dren cre­at­ing their mas­ter­pieces. Plates, mugs and cups (ready to paint) range from £7.99 to £16.99. For some­thing in­di­vid­ual as a Christ­mas present, why not paint your own rein­deer fig­urine (£15.99) or star lantern (£19.99)?

If you be­come an an­nual mem­ber of the Ugly Duck­ling, you can save 25% on all pot­tery. It’s £30 for a fam­ily of up to four painters.

Keep­ing it lo­cal, Emma rec­om­mends a visit to Rain­bows craft and gift shop, and New­bury’s In­de­pen­dent Health Food Store, Na­tures Cor­ner.

Harry Pot­ter (par­don the pun) fans Eva, Isla and Deb­bie Burgess

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