TRY FILMMAKING HERE: Masterclass.com
The ultimate present for the person who has everything, Masterclass offers unlimited online video tutorials with the most impressive of experts – think tennis tuition with Serena Williams, fashion design with Marc Jacobs, photography with Annie Leibowitz, creative writing with Margaret Atwood, acting with Helen Mirren – we could go on. One class includes access to anything from 15-32 video tutorials with your chosen pro, plus workbooks and feedback, while an all-access pass for $170 a year will give you access to every workshop (which currently stands at 35 lecturers – and counting).
MAKE YOUR OWN PASTA HERE: Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden
Petersham Nurseries’ newest site has launched a new set of masterclasses. Of the selection, which includes wine tasting, wreath making and tablescape design for Christmas, we like the look of its pasta-making masterclasses. In this interactive class, you’ll learn traditional dough recipes, be shown how to shape pasta including ravioli, garganelli and tagliatelle, and make a selection of simple Italian sauces. At the end of the workshop, you’ll take away your freshly made pasta as well as pasta flour, Haye Farm eggs and a homemade tomato sauce to enjoy at home. Delicious.
Floral Court, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD
MASTER LIFE DRAWING HERE: Royal Drawing School
The Royal Drawing School runs over 250 different full and part-time drawing courses each year for adults (and children – perfect for half term). The team offers daytime and evening drawing courses for complete beginners to experienced artists and creative professionals: we like the sound of its Monday night life-drawing classes. Each week sees a different challenge set by the tutor to question the way you see, think, feel and draw. Whether you’re looking to pick up a new skill or are a practicing artist who draws each day, this class promises to further your understanding of art.
19-22 Charlotte Road, Hackney, EC2A 3SG
MAKE THE ULTIMATE MARTINI HERE: Fitz's Bar
Fitz’s, the stylish cocktail bar located in the new Principal London hotel, has launched a brand-new masterclass series. Hosted by one of Fitz’s expert bartenders, groups of friends, colleagues or guests of the hotel can now learn how to create a range of classic and more unusual cocktails back at home. Guests can choose from a variety of themed masterclasses, from ‘Prohibition’ to a workshop dedicated to making the perfect Martini, plus there’s a tailored option, which allows drinks enthusiasts to design their own class based around their interests. Bottoms up.
Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE
ROLL IN THE DOUGH HERE: Bread Ahead Bakery School
Great British Bake Off fans, listen up: the Bread Ahead Bakery School offers guests the opportunity to experience artisan baking first hand. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these masterclasses guide guests through the art of baking, from dough to doughnut. Aside from bread, themed classes offer bakers the chance to have a go at creating flatbreads, bagels, pretzels, pizzas and yule logs. Those in knead of a truly hands-on experience can opt for a three-day sourdough course, where you’ll create a range of sourdough bakes, including a 100% rye loaf, focaccia, brown levain, a no-knead loaf, a baguette, fougasse, croissants, pizza and Borodinsky rye. Your housemates/family will love you.
249 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0BP
THEN TURN YOUR ATTENTION TO ANIMALS HERE: Wild Life Drawing
For those who’d rather look at fluffy animals than naked humans, Wild Life Drawing is a class with a difference; instead of human models, groups sketch animals and nature. The classes are open to all abilities and aim to inspire appreciation and understanding for the natural world through creativity, as attendees draw and learn about the animals, their habitats and distinct characteristics. The classes take place across the capital’s city farms, nature reserves, aquariums and botanical gardens, as well as in arty locations such as Somerset House, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts. Upcoming subjects include birds of prey, botanicals and – for Halloween – wolves.
GET TO KNOW ALL THINGS VINEGAR HERE: Carousel London
Beginning as a residency for a rotating cast of big-name chefs, today Carousel London also plays host to an ever-changing line-up of art exhibitions, video installations, film screenings, spoken word poetry, live acoustic sets, theatre workshops and yoga brunches. Of its masterclasses, we like the look of its upcoming Cult Vinegar workshop (29th September, 19th January), where you’ll learn about the process of making probiotic vinegar in small batches, and a calligraphy for beginners workshop with stationery designer Alice Gabb on 6th October and 17th November. Perfect for your Christmas cards.
71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 8AB
START YOUR POTTERY OBSESSION HERE: Turning Earth
Super-stylish ceramic community Turning Earth has a range of masterclasses for beginners. Across its two sites in Hoxton and Leyton, courses run year-round and every one is taught by an experienced Turning Earth artist. Each class has only 12 students per teacher so you can expect plenty of individual attention, and classes cover both hand-building techniques and wheel throwing. When students 'graduate', they can become a studio member and come and go whenever they want to get making. Due to popular demand, one-week intensive courses are now held at the Leyton studio, providing a great way to get to grips with the craft quickly without the long-term commitment of a weekly slot. Get in there quick – when new classes go on sale, they tend to sell out instantly.
361-362 Whiston Road, Hoxton, E2 8BW and 11 Argall Avenue, Leyton, E10 7QE
BECOME A FLORIST HERE: London Flower School
The London Flower School opened in 2017 and is led by co-founders Wagner Kreusch and Helen Dyson. The pair offer a wide range of professional and vocational flower courses and workshops to suit all levels of experience, all within sleek environs near King’s Cross. Its core curriculum is based on four-week intensive career courses, one-week foundation courses, and a two-week wedding and events course: each designed for those looking to pursue a career in floristry or to refresh and update existing skills. The school also runs a selection of short courses and workshops throughout the year – we tried one of its day-long hand-tied bouquet masterclasses last year, and came away with two beautiful sets of blooms (and a whole range of skills).
16-20 Wharfdale Road, King’s Cross, N1 9RY
CHANGE YOUR LIFE HERE: The School of Life
In need of a new direction? Enter School of Life’s ‘Know Yourself In A Day’ one-day class on emotional intelligence. This one-off event promises to be a highly sociable, immersive day consisting of inspiring lectures, lively conversation, food and drink, and exploratory games. The event will include films, music, psychological exercises and conversations, plus a keynote session with writer Alain de Botton, founder of The School of Life. Other courses at the school include ‘Finding a Fulfilling Job’, ‘The Steps to Calm’ and ‘Making Relationships Work’ – perfect if you feel like you’re stuck in a bit of a rut.
Bush House, Strand, WC2B 4PA; 3rd November