An ode to Piccadilly, the ‘Shoreditch of Stoke’

Those who think Stoke-on-Trent isn’t rich in culture would be shocked to discover the blossoming, vibrant Piccadilly neighbourhood that is stuffed full of independent eateries, exciting small businesses and a bustling energy. 

Whilst no place is comparable to the uniquely welcoming environment that Stoke-on-Trent provides, Piccadilly certainly possesses echoes of the cool, cutting-edge, independent vibe that Shoreditch in London emanates. It’s the go-to place for public art displays in the city centre, and the dozens of quirky independents which line the street have an unmistakably European ‘café culture’ feel to them. 

So, if this is all news to you, we thought we’d share some of the wicked businesses that make our Cultural Quarter the distinctly original and brilliant place that it is. Given that Smithfield is right next door to it, we like to consider ourselves would-be Piccadilly experts, so we can assure you you’re in safe hands…


First off is Bottlecraft, an independent beer seller that has over 150 bottles of the best local and international craft beer and real ale on offer. This alternative drinking spot also offers a delivery service, so you have the options of enjoying your beers at home, or at one of their tables, either inside or outside. 

NØRTH Kitchen + Bar

We could happily wax lyrical about the brilliance of NØRTH all day long! It’s the coolest of neighbourhood hangouts, which is no surprise as it recently got a revamp from the creatives at NTRPRNS, and offers brunch, cocktails, craft beers and all things utterly delicious. Its menu has veggie, vegan, and gluten-free options, so you can rest assured that all your crew will find something that tickles their fancy. It’s also dog friendly, so you’ve got no excuse not to book your table today. 


Entrepreneurs is a must-visit alternative clothes store that offers the coolest brands. But they aren’t satisfied with just being one of the most on-trend clothes shops in Staffordshire, Entrepreneurs doubles up as an art gallery that provides art with their trademark edgy twist. 


What’s not to love about freshly baked pizza? Klay, with their unique tix box style menu, offers a chilled, stylish environment to enjoy some cheesy, tomatoey goodness. The team at Klay are driven by the desire to bring something new to the city, for the people of the city and we love them for it. 

The Corner Cafe

The Corner Cafe really is a haven for foodies; their menu includes American-style food from Po’ boy sandwiches to loaded fries to Eggs Benedict. All that deliciousness can be washed down with a drink from their huge selection of gins, spirits, beers, ales and cider.


This floral escape is potentially one of the most Instagrammable spots in Piccadilly. As well as the most divine aesthetics, Bloom also showcases stunning cocktails, fantastic food and a range of exciting live music and entertainment across the week. 

Stoke-on-Trent cocktail bar to close after staff member tests positive for  Covid-19 - Stoke-on-Trent Live

The Corner

The Corner is a painfully cool bakery which wouldn’t be out of place in Copenhagen, never mind East London. The unit has been a few different concepts over the years, including tsp, whose cupcakes we miss dearly. The Corner, however, might just be our favourite iteration. It’s all minimalist interiors and smatterings of succulents, and the coffee and food is seriously amazing. If you want the perfect spot to pitch up with a book for a few hours – you just found it. 

And there you have it!

Those are just a few of the many amazing small independent businesses that contribute to the awesome atmosphere in Piccadilly, the Shoreditch of Stoke. To keep up to date with all the latest cultural news in Stoke, keep an eye on our blog and our Twitter.

How to decorate your apartment sustainably for Christmas

For those passionate about sustainability, but simultaneously obsessed with all things glittery, festive and merry, Christmas decorations can be a bit of a tricky one.

One the one hand, images of a holiday extravaganza are conjured up in your mind; on the other, the devastating effects of the climate disaster (and how bad glitter is for marine life!).

As champions of all things sustainable at Clayworks, we’re taking a leaf out of the Scandis’ books this Christmas, and fostering a vibe in our homes which is both hygge and non-harmful.

It’s possible to decorate your home guilt-free, by using sustainable decorations that you can either make yourself or source from ethically responsible brands. We’ve pulled together a list of our favourites here that have created some beautiful holiday decorations – so your apartment can be Christmassy and conscious!

Protect the Planet 

This eco-friendly gift store is a wonderful option for your sustainable Christmas decoration mission. Protect the Planet has a stunning range of fair-trade recycled glass baubles, as well as lanterns, wreaths and place markers that are largely recycled. And they’re so pretty you’ll want to keep them up all year!

Not On The High Street

Not On The High Street, the home to so many small, independent businesses, unsurprisingly has a wonderful offering of sustainable festive decorations. Their ‘Conscious Christmas’ collection has so many delights on offer, including reusable fabric christmas crackers, wooden baubles and reusable gift wraps. Offered at a range of prices, there’s something to delight everyone in the collection.


Wearth is an online marketplace that partners with eco-friendly and ethical brands from across the UK to make it easy for you to shop more consciously. Their range of sustainable decorations, like their Biodegradable Christmas Glitter Kit, sit alongside a glittering array of Christmas gifts, so you can do your decorations and your Christmas shopping all in one place.

They also allow you to shop by the value that’s most important to you – whether plastic-free, organic, social contribution, or made in the UK.

It’s never been so easy – or stylish – to do the holidays sustainably. We’ll be stocking up on their reusable Christmas crackers!

Beaumont Organic

If you’re looking for some beautiful finishing touches to your decorations, or are on the gift hunt for the eco-warrior in your life, you couldn’t do much better than Beaumont Organic. Created by one-woman powerhouse Hannah Beaumont Laurencia, its mission is to create beautiful, high-quality clothing and accessories which pave the way for a more sustainable fashion industry.

You can rest assured that a purchase from its online store will not only elevate your look to ‘effortlessly cool’, but that you’ll also be doing something positive for the planet.

Or Make It Yourself! 

Get your hands dirty (or paint-splattered) by making your own Christmas decorations. Using dried fruit, scrap bits of wrapping paper or ribbon, or any materials you have lying around that can be upcycled, can lead to some stunning Christmas decorations. They’ll also give you added bragging rights!

Here are some fun suggestions of decs you could make.

So there you have it!

There are some wonderful eco-friendly brands who are doing brilliant work in putting green values at the heart of Christmas.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of all Clayworks spaces, and we take our responsibility to our planet very seriously. Using optimal energy, having a waste/recycling plan, and buying environmentally-friendly cleaning products are just some of the little things that we do to try and mitigate damage to our environment.

Keep up to date with all the latest Clayworks and Smithfield news, as well as news from the wider community in Stoke-on-Trent, by checking out our Twitter.

Stoke-on-Trent’s best live music venues

As any true Stokie knows, Stoke-on-Trent has an amazing range of live music venues that will delight any music lover. Whatever genre gets your toe tapping – classical, punk, or pop – the Stoke-on-Trent music scene has something to offer. 

Our hearts have gone out to our local live music establishments this year, as the entire sector has been plunged into uncertainty thanks to the pandemic. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of our personal favourites around Smithfield to get you inspired to head out and experience the joy of live music once it’s safe to!

The Sugarmill

Open since 1994, The Sugarmill has hosted hundreds of famous bands, including Elbow, Daft Punk, Biffy Clyro and You Me at Six, and continues to have ace bands gracing its legendary stage. The Sugarmill team really promotes the local band scene, whilst also bringing some big names to our city. Watch out for their club nights too (Electric Friday is the longest running alternative club night in Staffordshire!). 


We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Eleven. It’s a brilliant intimate gig venue, that holds up to 350 people, which promises to provide a pumping night full of belting tunes. Next year will see some great tributes to the likes of Queen, Guns N Roses and Michael Jackson, as well as some new emerging artists play too. We also love the separate bar area, where you can enjoy a slightly more relaxed drink if that’s more your pace. 

Victoria Hall 

The recently renovated Victoria Hall, located in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent’s Cultural Quarter, is a stunning concert hall with the capacity to hold 1,467 people. You might know it for its breathtaking glass-roofed atrium, but it also does a wonderful selection of concerts for jazz and classical music lovers. We are especially looking forward to its renowned Organ Proms event in 2021, which sees the world’s finest organists come together to play a thrilling concert. 

The Underground 

The Underground is an iconic music venue in Hanley that is actually part of Club NME! It’s well known for having up and coming indie, metal and rock acts play, as well as local Staffordshire bands. King Kurt are playing in April and we can’t wait. 

Appetite Stoke – various

The team at Appetite is driven by a mission to provide the people of Stoke-on-Trent with arts and culture events that will inspire, motivate and entertain. Live music offerings are part of their wider vision, and culminate in everything from fantastic intimate folk gigs in bus stations to large scale music nights. We love how dedicated they are to our community! Keep an eye on their socials to be up to date with all of their live music events.  

And there you have it! 

Those are just a few of the myriad of live music venues in Stoke that promise to deliver an unforgettable night. Stoke-on-Trent has always been so rich in culture, and we are proud of all the wonderful venues who continue to offer such cutting-edge, exciting musical experiences today. We are really looking forward to embracing our vibrant cultural scene again as soon as we can. 

To keep up to date with all the latest cultural news in Stoke-on-Trent, keep an eye on our blog and our Twitter.