M6, Junction 16; 11 minutes
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
A canalside café true to its industrial roots, Middleport Pottery’s Tea room is a gem. Obsolete machine bases have been turned into tables, lightshades fashioned from teapots and a delicate blue mural reflects the Burleigh pottery made here. Only a few years ago the factory was facing closure but it was rescued by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and turned into a wonderful heritage centre that gives a real glimpse of industrial, Victorian England.
Unpretentious homemade food is served on blue and white china, naturally. Rich coffee and various teas are on offer. The Staffordshire oatcakes with bacon and cheese are a firm favourite; cooked breakfasts are generous and lunches simple but filling – toasties, jacket potatoes and paninis. Sit on the outdoor patio and watch the narrowboats glide past.
The museum is well worth a visit and there’s a year-round programme of events to entertain kids, from clay craft to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.