I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust – Queen Elizabeth II
Good old Queenie. Day to day, the majority of people don’t particularly contemplate or celebrate the Queen; but come Jubilee time, the Royalist within can’t help but parade itself through shops, pubs, restaurants, schools and streets alike. All this Jubilee hype has forced me to stalk the Emma Bridgewater website even more than usual. In all, unbiased honesty her Jubilee collection is simply magnificent… But so are her asking prices. £24.95 for a mug?! £75 for a cake stand?! Many would argue that purchasing her products justifies the omnipresent trend of ‘cashing in’ on our monarchy. But upon careful, almost obsessive reflection, I’ve reached the conviction that perhaps her price lists actually reflect value for money. And here’s why.
An Oxford girl, nobody can dispute that Bridgewater herself is thoroughly British. But what impresses me is that her factory (in Stoke-on-Trent) reflects this Britishness even further. It’s not often that I make purchases as an act of patriotism, but when I do it’s nice to know I won’t be washing the dishes and discovering the all too familiar phrase ‘Made in China’. And not only are they made in England, but they’re also made with care. When I first moved to London, I was astonished by the amount of money people will pay for seemingly ordinary products. But almost a year on, I’m beginning to realise that purchases are investments, with the price you initially pay often defining the quality and durability of your purchase. Why buy a set of 4 mugs from IKEA that will chip, crack, snap or smash before the year is out when an Emma Bridgewater mug will probably last you a lifetime (that is, unless you let your heavy-handed Mother wash it…)? Lastly, think about the importance of tea drinking. Life-changing decisions are made, fascinating conversations are had and even blogs created, all over a cup of tea. And if I write about the significance of the teas themselves, I surely mustn’t neglect the very item I drink them from? That would be like preaching the sheer brilliance of Holmes without addressing the necessity of Watson. No, I want my inspiring blend of tea to sit in an equally inspiring vessel. And so, thinking about it, I am going to pay £24.95 for that glorious Jubilee mug. I can say with all the certainty I possess that the Bridgewater collection is not a case of ‘Jubilee robbery’. It doesn’t lead the high street Jubilee crowd, it reigns over it. It is a quintessentially British range that embodies all the beauty and quality of its Queen and country.
See the Emma Bridgewater Jubilicious (surely a more fitting adjective) collection for yourself: www.emmabridgewater.co.uk
Someone else who seems to have been inspired by her Steadfast and True designs: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/the_queens_diamond_jubilee/9216803/Emma-Bridgewater-Arguing-with-my-husband-inspires-all-my-designs.html