Work: it takes up way too much time. Admittedly, it's a necessary evil. That extortionate rent isn't going to pay itself, and life would be truly miserable without at least a little beer money to blow. But in between the office, the pub and our beds, it's easy to forget the joy of trying something new. Fortunately, London is positively oozing with quirky classes and wacky workshops to shake things up, so here's a round-up of our top teachers.
Covent Garden’s magnificently named Chinese cookery school runs three-hour classes on every kind of Asian cuisine. I tried the Thai class the other day and had a blast (turns out green curry isn’t supposed to come out of a jar). Other classes designed to seriously boost your dinner party game include dim sum, Japanese and takeaway classes, all around £95 per person. If you can't be arsed to cook, have the pros do it for you at one of School of Wok's supper clubs.
Karin Pringsheim Photography
It’s quite possible you’ve been drinking tea all wrong, but fortunately Kyle Whittington of east London’s Tea Studio is on the case with a series of tea-centric workshops to get you back on track. Choose from brewing masterclasses, tasting sessions or – our favourite – a tea and cake pairing. Prices range cost £20-£25 per person.
Indie designer Kat&Bee is best known for their wire-wrapped rings, made with semi-precious stones, skull motifs and unique beads brought back from Kat’s travels across the world. Design and make your own statement ring in their signature style with an intensive two-hour workshop in east London, from £100 per person.
Knitting is a pretty portable skill – you can do it on the tube, in a cab, waiting for the dentist – and you get something warm and woolly at the end of it. If you don’t yet know the ropes, the duo behind I Make Knots are running a series of workshops to show you how without getting into a tangle. Their autumn classes are in collaboration with fine fibre merchant Manuosh, who are supplying specially designed kits with super-soft merino wool and hand-decorated knitting needles. Places from £35 per person.
If cooking or fashion design isn't your thing, why not learn how to repurpose a dead mouse, specifically into a slightly less dead-looking mouse, possibly playing a tiny trombone? Taxidermy is not exactly a life skill, but gutting, cleaning and stuffing the mortal husk of a deceased rodent is definitely something different. The Last Tuesday Society's Taxidermy Academy offers stuffing classes on all kinds of creatures from £35 per person.
If you’d rather gut something you can at least eat afterwards, try one of luxury butcher The Ginger Pig’s meat masterclasses, £155 per person. You'll be hacking up carcasses (under close supervision, of course) for a two-course feast, plus you'll bone and roll your own joint to take away.