Emma Bridgewater: ‘Divorce was traumatic for everyone, but we still get on well’

Emma Bridgewater
Emma Bridgewater: ‘I’m a serial quilt-maker’ - Emma Bridgewater

How do famous names spend their precious downtime? In our weekly My Saturday column, celebrities reveal their weekend virtues and vices. This week: Emma Bridgewater


One of my favourite things in life is drinking tea from a large china cup in bed. I’m currently drinking out of a teacup and saucer from my new spring collection, which pays homage to William Morris. It’s a joy. I’ve views of North Norfolk’s coastline. The salt marshes in Blakeney, where I live, are very special.


A FaceTime call with my grandchild, who’s nine months [her eldest daughter’s baby]. I love seeing his cute, smiley face first thing.


I’m a bread snob. I make my own or go to the local Two Magpies Bakery. If I’m on my own, I’ll have toast with homemade marmalade (I designed a plate specifically for toast and marmalade years ago – and it’s also the title of my memoir). If I’m in my London flat, my son Michael will come round and we’ll have a full cook-up.

Toast and marmalade
Emma Bridgewater's weekends commence with homemade bread or a loaf from the Two Magpies Bakery, toasted and served with marmalade - Getty Images/iStockphoto


I meditate. Occasionally, I do it at the local church; otherwise, I’ll sit in my chair by the window. Meditation is quite new for me since I’ve been single [she separated from her husband and business partner Matthew Rice in 2018 and they have since divorced]. Matthew and I still get on well – I was at his 60th recently – and he still designs for me.


I love a long, striding walk, sometimes for 16 miles. Not long ago I walked 250 miles in three weeks from Southampton to Canterbury.


Arranging flowers is a weekend ritual I inherited from my granny. I love my Clive Bowen vase. Both of my grandmothers were strong women who taught me the love of china. I’m proud to work in a British industry with women at the heart of it. At the Stoke-on-Trent factory, all of my decorators are tremendous women.

Cup and saucer designed by Emma Bridgewater
The pottery designer's grandmother inspired her love of china - Emma Bridgewater


I love cooking. In cold weather, my favourite is macaroni cheese.


There’s not much gardening to be done in the winter, but I like being outside so I’ll stack some logs. Then I sit in front of the fire to read – I’m reading Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell.


I enjoy a podcast – I’m listening to Ultra-Processed People with Dr Chris van Tulleken. The science behind food is fascinating. I’m all for the kitchen-garden approach. I grow kale and Jerusalem artichokes.


I used to throw big dinner parties with my ex, which was great fun, but I do much less of it now and they tend to be smaller in numbers. If my four kids [aged from 24 to 33] are here for dinner, we’ll play family games like charades.

Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love, the 1998 film in which Joseph Fiennes plays a struggling Bard, is one of Emma Bridgewater's favourites - Maximum Film/Alamy Stock Photo


A night in by myself means Netflix and one of my craft projects – I’m a serial quilt-maker. My sister Nell Gifford died a few years ago and has twins [now 13], and I’m making quilts for them using old tablecloths of hers. Nell and I shared an absolute passion for poetry, so I’m stitching about 100 letters of poetry on each side.


I’m terrible for getting myself to bed. I consume an enormous number of films, often on repeat, especially Shakespeare in Love, The Personal History of David Copperfield and It’s a Wonderful Life.

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