I’ve known about Portmeirion dishes for years — I’ve seen the botanical print pottery in many department stores. But I didn’t know why they were called Portmeirion or really anything about them aside from their existence. It turns out that the company takes its name from Portmeirion, Wales (pictured above), an Italianate resort village on the northwest coast. This colorful group of buildings and gardens was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis beginning in 1925. His daughter, Susan Williams-Ellis, started the Portmeirion pottery company in the 1960s, and created the signature Botanic Line in 1972.
Portmeirion is one of those impossibly pretty places that you just can’t stop photographing. It’s supposed to recall the Mediterranean but it seems more like a fantasyland than anything else, especially with its murals. The natural landscape of Portmeirion is beautiful too, as it’s on the estuary of the River Dwyryd. If you can’t tear yourself away from this unique place, don’t worry. You can stay at the Hotel Portmeirion right in the village. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, you can stay just outside at the Castell Deudraeth. From looking at its classic stone exterior, you’d never guess how modern the rooms are.