Stoke-on-Trent can often be overlooked, but I am discovering more and more wonderful treasures around our local city, bringing the arts to the city and celebrating Stoke-on-Trent's heritage and history.
I recently stumbled upon an Antiques Emporium in Hanley, a town within Stoke-on-Trent which I have visited many many times, and never had I noticed the sign outside an old church by the Potteries signalling to a treasure trove of vintage.Inside we stepped, greeted by a huge range of vintage clothing, furniture, bric'n'brac and some weird and wonderful items, all within a beautiful old church building with original features. What a wonderful discovery we had uncovered!
You can follow the winding steps (which are over 200 years old!) to the mezzanine level, the windows and view over the old church was wonderful to see.
Esquires Coffee House, located directly outside the Potteries Centre, is a great place to grab coffee and some lunch and has wonderful industrial style interiors.The Cultural Quarter has numerous places popping up. We grabbed a coffee in Rawr, another industrial chic cafe and a great place to grab coffee, meet friends or take your laptop.Further up the road is The Slamwich Club, a cool retro inspired place to grab 'a meal in a sandwich', listen to some live music and admire some wonderful wall murals by the talented local artist Katrina Wilde.
Next door to Slamwich is Altar, a hairdressers that has made me actually excited for my next hair cut (I'm a one-hair-trim-a-year kind of girl normally!). With an incredibly lover owner, Mel, absolutely gorgeous interiors, a breathtaking mural (again by local artist Katrina, and also Chloe Breeze), and leafy greens and macramé - it's the perfect place to sit back and relax.Yet to visit, but I noticed Klay, Stoke-on-Trent's first wood fired pizza place, and The Quarter, a quirky eclectic cafe offering a bistro menu and live music, poetry and comedy nights.For any art enthusiasts, the Art Department in Hanley offers an array of great quality art and craft materials. There are so many beautiful buildings in this area, it was great to just walk around and take in the architecture.This is nearby to the Sugarmill, a music venue which I frequented often as a more emo-looking teenager - but one that still has a lot of good artists and bands playing so worth a look at what's on!Located within Piccadily Arcade is Music Mania, a great record and music store, and a favourite among all music lovers - especially my Uncle that always makes sure it's on his things to do when visiting us from Liverpool!
Longton is another town within Stoke-on-Trent, and I had discovered via Instagram The Glost House, a beautiful cafe set inside a renovated factory building with my kind of interiors; exposed brick walls, industrial lights - and blankets! This is the perfect place to relax, rewind and enjoy lunch or a coffee in the city. Be sure to check out the amazing poppy mural in the car park too!Across the road from The Glost House is the Love and Light Shala , a wellness centre, yoga studio and creative space, of which I attended my first yoga class this week.
Shala is such a beautiful space to practice yoga, and so welcoming - it can be a little daunting going to a class alone at a new place but the yoga teacher, Sam, made me feel instantly at ease. I went to 'Ashtanga Awareness' which we not only practiced Ashtanga, but also were taught some of the philsophy of it, which as someone who would like to eventually teach yoga, it was wonderful to be taught more than the poses.Shala offers an array of classes as well as something a little bit different. If you are looking for a yoga studio in Stoke-on-Trent - I highly recommend The Shala!
I hope this post inspires you to visit Stoke-on-Trent, or even inspire you to re-explore your own local city - we sometimes can know a place so well that we actually miss some of it's hidden gems!