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  1. I recently visited the Clay Studio in Christchurch and had a wonderfully relaxing few hours painting with my Son and his Nanny.   My son Sam is nearly 3 and I was a little worried he may get bored quickly but I was pleasantly surpised at his patience and concentration.

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    The Clay Café itself is very light and airy, they have the large café area where you can paint plus another smaller room which we asked to sit in so that if Sam did need to fidget we wouldn’t be in anyone’s way.  Looking around you’ll see lots of masterpieces and there is a huge amount of bisque to paint including mugs, plates, tea pots, money boxes, animals and fairies.  The staff we met were absolutely lovely and Martin was great at telling us where everything was, which paints were which, how to prepare the bisque and how many layers of paint to use to achieve the best look.  

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    There’s plenty of paintbrushes, sponges and paint pens you can use but the big decision is what to paint!  I chose a beach hut money box but it took Sam quite some time to decide what he would like to paint and finally settled on a tank.  There is a huge range of paints to choose from so I asked him which colours he would like and I’m pleased he didn’t ask for traditional green and black and instead choose pink, orange, blue, red, yellow and purple!  Nanny helped him prepare the tank for painting by wiping any dust off with a damp sponge and then once we had all of our paints and brushes we were good to go. 

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    It was probably the first time since I can remember that we sat as a 3 drinking tea and chatting, he really did take his time and made sure he covered every inch using his paintbrush (and fingers at times).  I loved painting my beach hut however if it had been an Adult only trip I would have painted a lot slower and put more detail into it (anyone with a toddler knows they have a ticking clock which can go ding at any time)!  After well over an hour Sam had finally decided he could paint his tank no more and started reaching for more which we quickly put a stop to.  So Martin came and took away our artwork and told us when they would be ready for collection which is normally around 3 to 4 days.  In this time the items would be glazed and fired and transform into something wonderfully bright and colourful.  

    DM Blog Clay studio tank

    We have previously eaten in the Clay Café and can thoroughly recommend the food.  The owners pride themselves on using fresh local produce and the prices are very reasonable too.  We would have stayed for lunch on this occasion too however we had not long had breakfast when we went in.

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    The Clay Studio is currently open 7 days a week which will change to 6 days a week at the end of Summer.  It truly is an ideal venue for a gathering including special events like ‘Mother and Baby Days’, ‘Girls Night Out’ and ‘Lazy Sunday’.  For children they have one of the best Party Rooms I’ve seen with big bright beach huts painted on the wall and bunting from side to side.  There are a number of Party options to choose from which depends on Party numbers and budget so feel free to contact the Clay Studio to discuss options.

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    Free Wi-fi is available for those of you who need it.

    The Clay Studio is very Child Friendly and even have Baby Changing facilities.

    There are a couple of parking spaces outside however there are several pay and display Car Parks within easy walking distance.

    The Clay Studio is licensed and perfect for a hen party bottle of bubbles!

    There are loyalty cards available for repeat visits.

    If you are on holiday or unable to collect for any reason please speak to the owners as I am sure they will be able to post the item to you for a small fee.

    If you have just had a baby there are various First Impressions you could do for a keepsake including Clay Imprints, Plaster Outprints and Painted Memories.  The Clay Studio even offer Silver Clay Printing which incorporates your baby’s or toddler’s feet or hands.

    The ‘Kidz Menu’ is good value for under £5 and includes a sandwich or beans/cheese on toast, apple, crisps and a drink.

    If you don’t think your child will enjoy painting then try ‘Bubble Clay’ which is great for ornaments such as trinket boxes and photo frames.

    If you fancy having the Clay Studio ‘on the move’ at your special event just call 01202 475000 or email [email protected]

    If you are looking for a special gift, please pop in and take a look.  Other than fantastic local Art up on the wall you can buy candles, beach ornaments, new baby gift baskets and more.

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    Please visit the Clay Studio Website for full details and pay them a visit soon, you’ll have a fantastic time!!

  2. We were lucky enough to be invited to the opening night of ‘Pirates of the Pavilion’ in Weymouth and it will certainly be a night to remember!  My husband was unable to come with us so I took my nearly 3 year old son and his Nanny.  Myself and my Mum hadn’t seen a Panto since I was a child and it’s was a first for my son Sam.  I was a little nervous that my son wouldn’t be able to sit still long enough but I carefully planned a fun filled afternoon followed by him zonked out in the car for a long nap so by the time we got to the Pavilion he was sooo excited!


    The Pavilion itself is a lovely theatre and all of the staff are very friendly and helpful (thank you to the lovely steward who had my son giggling away during the interval). You can buy some great merchandise and a programme from the foyer plus any drinks and snacks you need for the show.  There is also Baby Change facilities in the foyer and booster seats in the theatre for small children if required.


    Whilst waiting for the show to begin I kicked myself for not dressing Sam up as I watched all of these cute little pirates coming in with their families.  When the show started I couldn’t help watching my son as he sat there in complete and utter amazement.  It didn’t take him long to get the hang of the ‘boos’ and ‘cheers’ and myself and my Mum were giggling away when he enthusiastically joined in without prompting.  There is a lot of audience participation which all of us loved and I couldn’t help but reminisce about Panto’s I’d been to as a child and how happy they’d made me feel. 


    The humorous Cast are very talented and Seadog Billy had us in stitches (I will admit I came home and googled him to see his audition on ‘Britain’s got Talent’ and I recognised him straight away).  The story continues on from last year and now Morgiana knows the treasure is on the Saucy Sally ship she wants it back!  Now I obviously can’t tell you any details without ruining it and I’m itching to write about one certain scene which literally had my Mum and I crying but it would be a complete spoiler alert so I’ll stay shtum and just say you’ll be laughing pretty much nonstop.   


    The show was much longer than I was expecting but we certainly weren’t bored.  My darling toddler did get a little fidgety in the second half but we only needed to take him out briefly once and considering he suffers from severe ants in his pants I’m actually quite surprised how long he did stay sitting for.  You could tell all of the children were enjoying it and I loved listening to the odd child heckling when Billy did something silly.


    So if you live near Weymouth or are planning a holiday near here soon then I recommend you get your tickets quick because it really is a great family Panto and you won’t want to miss it!


    The show is running on selected dates between now and the 31st of August with 2 performances a day.  Tickets are £14 for Adults, £12 for Seniors and Children under 12 or you can buy a Family Ticket for £48.  Please visit the Weymouth Pavilion Website for full details.

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    Thanks Weymouth Pavilion and the Cast and Production team of Pirates of the Pavilion, we really did have a great night and look forward to bringing the family back at Christmas time.