Advantages A great fun way to spend a rainy day and keep the children entertained
Disadvantages It can be expensive, especially if there are lots of you
I'd promised to take Jamie out for the day as a Half Term treat, but the weather forecast didn't look too good so we were racking our brains for places to visit that didn't rely on good weather. We often visit Chichester on a Sunday, just for a drive out, and had noticed that there was a relatively new shop there called Ceramica, Ceramica is a shop/painting studio where you can paint a plate or piece of china of your choice - as it was my Grandma's birthday at the weekend we decided to visit Ceramica and Jamie would paint her a mug.There are currently only two Ceramica studios, one in Chichester and one in Godalming, Surrey. The Chichester studio is located in the City Centre, at 34 Southgate, Chichester. It is conveniently located for both shoppers and commuters as it is only a 5 minute walk from the train and bus stations and is within the main shopping centre if you wish to shop as well. If you are coming by car there are 5 pay and display car parks nearby.
During school holidays it is advisable to book a place as Ceramica does get very busy, we didn't know that we should have booked but we were lucky as somebody hadn't turned up so we were able to have their space. The studio did get very busy and people turning up without an appointment were requested to come back 2/3 hours later so it is worth booking unless you plan to combine your day with a shopping trip as well.The studio is decorated in bright oranges and yellows and you can find lots of inspiration from the beautifully painted plates and other painted items that are displayed on the walls and on shelves around the shop.
Despite not being very big the studio is well laid out and each set of tables are adequately spaced out, ensuring that you have plenty of room. The studio seats approximately 30/40 people at a time, this may sound a lot but if there are 10 families of 4 it can and does fill up very quickly.If you have made an appointment when you arrive you just need to check in at the desk and then you will be shown to your table which will already be set up and waiting for you, if you haven't booked and there is an available space a table will be laid up for you.
Before commencing you need to chose an item to paint - there are lots of ready to paint bisque items to chose from including mugs, vases, plates, bowls, jugs, soap dishes, egg cups, tea pots, money boxes, etc. Prices start from £2.50 for a coaster and go up to around £45 for larger speciality items. It is worth noting that there is also a £5 studio fee per person - this fee allows unlimited daily studio time, plus the cost of all materials, colours, glaze and firing - the fee is the same whether you chose to paint one item or 2/3 pieces.Once we had selected our items to paint, a member of staff came over and explained in great detail what needed to do to achieve the best results. We were also asked if we required any drinks - there is a refreshments area within the Studio where you can purchase biscuits, cakes and hot and cold drinks.
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