China Blue, Totnes: pottery painting in Devon
If you have crafty kids and find yourself in Devon on a rainy day then China Blue, Totnes, is a great way to keep them entertained when outdoor activities aren’t an option.
Pottery painting in Devon
We visited China Blue on an overcast Saturday when rain was forecast in South Devon. We arrived at 11.30am and I was surprised to find only a few other families there.
You can sit down stairs where you find the paint station with 20 different colour ceramic paints to pick from, or upstairs where there are lots more tables. Around the walls downstairs and upstairs there are shelves full of pottery to be painted ranging from small to large ornaments and crockery.
Upstairs there’s a space for parties – I’ve made a mental note as I think this would be a really fun kids birthday party idea.
How much does it cost?
The girls were overwhelmed with the choice of pottery to paint and took a good five minutes to pick out a medium sized castle (£10) and a small dog and puppy ornament (£6). I also got Baby a small egg to paint (£2) when she made a quick job of her dogs. The price of each piece is marked in pencil on its bottom. Prices range from £1 upwards. Once you’ve picked your piece of pottery you find a table, select your paints and squeeze them into a palate.
Paint brushes, mugs of water to wash brushes, and blue towel for spills are also provided. You can spend as much time as you want perfecting your pottery. You can also bring in food and drink from the Blue 55 cafe at the other end of the building.
The kids spent the best part of an hour painting happily. Six-year-old Tot was well into it, being very careful about her colour choices and brush strokes. Baby was a little more impressionistic in her approach. At the end they decided they wanted to take their creations home rather than wait a week for them to be glazed and fired.
On top of the price of our pottery ornaments we paid £1.95 per piece to cover the resources we’d used while painting. If you choose to have your pottery glazed and fired, ready for you to collect in seven days, you pay a fee of between £2.95 and £5.95 depending on the size of the pottery piece. It’s worth keeping this in mind when you choose your pottery at the beginning as the cost can add up.
To be honest, it was a bit more expensive than I expected but the girls really enjoyed it, and it would be an ideal activity for a wet day in Devon. I can definitely see us returning on a rainy day in the Devon summer holidays and in the winter when the South Devon beaches and outdoor attractions are less attractive options.
If you want to know about more local days out, then check out my essential guide to things to do in Devon.
What else is there to do at China Blue, Totnes?
While at China Blue I can recommend popping round to the Blue 55 cafe for lunch or a snack. They have the most amazing looking cakes and gourmet doughnuts, as well as hot and cold meals. At night it turns into a trendy burger and gin bar – another mental note made to return!
The girls had a children’s lunch box each, which includes a full sized sandwich (ham, cheese, tuna or jam), a carton of drink, a piece of fruit and either a packet of biscuits or crisps for £4.95. I had a jacket potato with roasted peppers, tomatoes and goats cheese plus salad for £6.50. The food arrived quickly, and was well presented and tasty. We just about managed to resist the cakes but must go back and try them another time.
As well as pottery painting and the cafe, there’s a hair salon and extensive interiors and gift shop. I picked up a lovely photo frame as a birthday present and was tempted by all kinds of pretty pieces of homewear.
Other handy things to know about China Blue, Totnes
- Where is China Blue, Totnes: Station Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JR
- Parking is free at China Blue.
- Visit the China Blue, Totnes website for more information.
Disclosure: we planned and paid for our own visit to China Blue, Totnes.
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