Masterclasses in London
Whether you’re looking to master the craft of cooking, or a new skill in Japanese carpentry, London is home to a wide range of exciting, informative and worthwhile masterclasses. We’ve rounded up the best.
The City Lit acting school bills itself as “where London learns” and they offer an impressive variety of classes. Among them are Stanislavski and Laban workshops, voice and movement classes and a plethora of professional sessions aimed at working actors.
If you’re an aspiring home cook or a seasoned pro, there’s no better way to expand your culinary repertoire than by taking a masterclass. Whether you’re looking to get stuck into classics like sushi and pasta or more adventurous dishes, London is home to plenty of top cooking classes that will help you to become a true home chef.
If a full-day course isn’t on the cards, there are plenty of quick and easy classes to choose from too – including pasta masterclasses with Michel Roux Jr and a bread-making session with Simone Remoli. Plus, if you’re looking to take your cooking skills up a level, there are also courses that focus on sustainable ingredients and recipes.
The Standard’s food columnist Anna Barnett hosts a monthly class for Londoners that covers everything from kitchen basics to her favourite tips and tricks for fuss-free cooking. The sessions are designed for groups of up to eight people and can be held at a private home or a venue near you.
You’ll get hands-on with fresh pasta, pastry and pickles in one of these quick three-hour classes. You’ll also learn essential knife skills and how to plate your dish properly.
There’s a whole world of cooking arts, wine and hospitality programmes at Le Cordon Bleu, so you’ll be sure to find a class that suits your needs. Depending on your preferred level, you can choose from a range of programmes that will allow you to earn a prestigious diploma, WSET wine qualification or Food Safety certificate if you successfully complete the courses.
For something a little more adventurous, consider a foraging course that will see you picking up edible plants and herbs from the countryside. There are 18 locations across the UK, and you’ll be taught how to gather ingredients for a wild food lunch as well as how to prepare them.
Finally, if you’re a sweet-toothed lover, check out a workshop with My Chocolate that will teach you how to make giant chocolate buttons and cocoa-infused martini cocktails. You’ll also get to delve into the art of piping and decorating your creations with toppings like strawberry curls, sea salt, honeycomb and white chocolate flakes, too.
Arts & Crafts
Craft workshops are the perfect way to relax and unwind. They’re a fun, social and creative way to spend an evening – whether you’re trying out a new hobby with friends, making trendy DIY home decor at a macrame workshop or learning a brand new skill like painting or calligraphy.
Whether you’re looking to de-stress with some soothing candle making, crocheting or jewellery making, or want to get the kids involved in art, there are plenty of fun, affordable craft classes in London. From paint your own pottery courses to terrarium building sessions, there’s something for everyone – check out our pick of the best craft workshops in London below!
Woodworking has been re-emerging in recent years, with a growing number of contemporary studios offering weekend and evening courses. The Goodlife Centre in Walthamstow has a selection of classes to suit all levels, from a one-day introduction to woodturning to an eight week programme that will see you carve your own stool or chopping board (and maybe a table) as well.
Ceramics has also become a popular alternative to modern technology, with a variety of clay-focused workshops in London bringing back the traditional craft. If you’re feeling the need to take a break from tech, wistfully browse Instagram for the return of the humble slab of clay, or head along to Lucy Attwood’s studio in Eccleston Yard, whose spacious and light-filled workspace has a vibe that could be straight out of a Bauhaus or Wiener Werkstatte installation.
If you’re an artist of any level, Scott Pohlschmidt’s workshop at Lavender Hill Colours will help you explore the make-up of your paints from the foundations to the finishing touches – with all materials provided. Students will learn to draw from plaster casts and still life set-ups, and create a range of different pieces, experimenting with colour theory and composition.
Mosaic-making is another popular arts & crafts trend, and there are a wide variety of mosaic-making masterclasses in London. For example, Stoke Newington’s Rainbow Glass Studios offers introductory day courses and evening classes in stained glass-making.
A drinks class is the perfect way to learn a new skill, and London is home to plenty of well-reputed bars offering cocktail making classes. These workshops are ideal for hen parties, birthdays and special occasions and offer a chance to mix and shake your way to a new level of expertise in the world of cocktails.
At a masterclass, you’ll learn all the basics of mixing and blending your favourite spirits into a delicious concoction, allowing you to enjoy a few at home too. These classes often include tastings of the ingredients, so you’ll have a good idea of what to expect and how they taste before you get started.
One of the most popular and exciting masterclasses in the city is at Tequila Mockingbird. In this fun evening of stirring, shaking and sipping, you’ll be taught by the experts behind the bar to create your own bespoke concoctions, and you’ll even take home some tequila of your own to keep!
Another class you won’t want to miss is the one at MAP Maison. Their expert rum ambassadors will teach you everything there is to know about rum, and you’ll also have the opportunity to make four delicious paired cocktails at the end.
You’ll start off with a cocktail each to get the juices flowing, before getting to work on your own. The class takes place in a chic restaurant with plenty of space and is suited for groups of friends or work colleagues looking for an activity that will give them a unique experience.
If you’re a fan of martini, you can sign up for a Dirty Martini masterclass at any of their locations across London, which will welcome you with a Bellini before you head back behind the bar with your bartender. Whether you prefer a Classic Espresso Martini or a Mocha and Salted Caramel version, your bartender will guide you through the process of making a fantastic drink from scratch.
A gin class is another popular choice, and at TT Liquor in Shoreditch, you’ll be able to delve into the history of Mother’s Ruin before designing your own high-end concoction for the table. You’ll be accompanied by a dedicated gin expert who will take you through the history of this premium spirit from its illicit beginnings to its present-day popularity, and you’ll end the evening with your own custom-made drink in hand!
Food & Wine
A visit to a wine bar or a fancy restaurant in London can be daunting for anyone who doesn’t have a great deal of experience. There are so many different types of wines on offer and it can be hard to know which is the right one for you.
You could always ask a sommelier for advice, but then you might end up with a glass of something that isn’t quite what you expected. It might be a slightly overly sweet or a wine that tastes more like beer.
Luckily, there are a few wine-related classes that you can take part in while you’re on holiday in London to help you navigate the labyrinthine world of wine and discover the best bottles around for your tastebuds.
In a masterclass aptly titled the ‘best of the best’, you’ll learn all about one of the world’s most exciting new grape varieties, Pinot Grigio. You’ll be guided through a tasting of five wines paired with small plates of food and given the opportunity to ask your wine guru any questions you may have about their origins, production, or the best way to pair them with other foods.
This is a wine tasting event that is a must for any true fan of the grape. It features a selection of wines sourced from the New Zealand’s most renowned vineyard, Mount Tamborine, and is accompanied by a range of delicious bites to eat.
It’s not a new phenomenon, but the advent of microbreweries has led to an explosion of new craft beers, some of which are worthy of your time and attention. At the Light Bar in Shoreditch, you’ll get to enjoy a glass of Innis & Gunn’s limited edition Islay Whisky Cask Beer, while in the LG SIGNATURE state-of-the-art Wine Cellar at 116 Pall Mall you’ll be shown four different wines with canapes.
Charles Heidsieck’s NV Mis en Cave champagne is the star of this class, and it has a special significance in that it has been aged in a special bottle for a specific amount of time, which gives it a distinct character and complexity. The bottle you’ll have a taste of will not be a normal bottle – it’s specially designed and built from the ground up, with a special bottle-shaped lid. This is the only masterclass of its kind in the UK and will be hosted by cellarmaster Cyril Brun, who has been at the helm since the 1990s.