Devon LivingIssue #05

A touch of glass

We explain why Dartington Crystal is a ‘must-visit’ this summer.

Dartington Crystal has been around for more than 50 years, having grown to become one of Devon’s best-known brands. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to see the skilled glassmakers at work in the Torrington factory and usually leave with a bargain purchased from the extensive factory shop. As the UK’s only remaining factory scale crystal producer, Dartington offers a fascinating modern
insight into an ancient working craft. The Visitor Centre has hands-on activities for kids and grown ups, where everybody can learn the story of Dartington’s early years
and development.

Unlike the large number of tourist visitors, Devon residents have the benefit of being able to drop in at any time to take advantage of the team’s latest offers and promotions. As well as a great deal on its top-quality and ‘slightly imperfect’ crystal, the factory shop covers two floors and includes leading brands of ceramics, tabletop gifts, homewares and fashion, so if you want to equip your home or find that perfect gift, a trip to Dartington Crystal is well worth it! If it is a gift you’re looking for, the skilled in-house engraver can add a message or words to any piece of glassware, creating a gift that will be treasured forever.

Other attractions include the Pavilion Café, where you can enjoy freshly made snacks, drinks, a full lunch or a Devon cream tea. Next door is The Ginspiration Devon Gin Bar, which exclusively serves gins made in Devon, as well as a range of wines and beers, and as you might expect, should you happen to like the goblet that your drink is served in, you can easily pick up a set from the shop!

If you like gin, on Thursday 16th August, Devon’s mobile distillery, Still on the Move, will be parked at the Torrington factory, distilling a special English Crystal Gin. You can watch it being made, sample it and even purchase a bottle for yourself – one of only 140 produced that day. You can even have your bottle engraved!

So, whether you have a thirst for all things gin, are looking to restock your glass cupboard, or want to gain an insight into a craft that’s centuries old, a trip to Dartington Crystal should definitely be on your 2018 summer itinerary!