The 12 courses you need to try in 2013

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  • Spring is coming (MC HQ is already filled with vases of beautiful daffodils), so brush off the cobwebs and give yourself a new lease of life with one of these amazing part time and evening courses

    1. Floristry

    A house isn’t a home unless it’s teaming with fresh flowers (that’s what mother used to tell us anyway) so move your skill set on from simply dumping a bouquet in a vase to creating beautiful and unique arrangements. The internationally renowned McQueens Flower School situated in Old Street, Shoreditch, offers a range of courses for beginners to professionals. All under the watchful eye of Luis da Silva, who has fifteen years experience in the floristry industry as a top designer.

    For more information:

    2. Interior design

    If doing your own home up has given you a taste for all things interior design, there are a whole load of courses out there to choose from. For the serious Kelly Hoppen wannabes among you, the Interior Design module one (parts two and three can follow on as a more serious qualification in view to a career change) at the Chelsea College of Art & Design is just the thing. Priced at £1695, the course will use lectures, workshops and demonstrations to teach you everything you need to know about the world of domestic interiors and the emphasis is on developing practical skills. Visit

    If that all seems a bit full on, Inchbald offer some fabulous online courses which can be done from the comfort of your pyjamas. For more information visit

    3. Bag making

    We’ve all dreamed of wearing our own bespoke creations. So why not do it? Add your name to the famous and fabulous fashion alumni that have studied at Central St Martins (think Sarah Burton, Mary Katrantzou, Stella McCartney and Christopher Kane) and enrol on its exciting and hands-on bag making weekend course.

    For more information visit

    4. Cupcake decorating

    Everytime we wrap our lips around a red velvet we ache to know how to recreate the perfectly pretty icing. Cookie Girls, set up by the beautiful Xanthe Milton, who we like to think of as the Nigella Lawson of the cupcake world, has a range of cupcake decorating classes which will teach you how to pipe to perfection, make flowers from sugar paste and ice with flair.

    Choose from a simple two-hour Cupcake Decorating Class (£55) or a more involved full day Cupcake Decorating Course (£190).

    For more information visit

    5. Photography

    Although fancy apps like Instagram can make us seem like we’re pro photographers, wouldn’t it be great to actually be the real deal without cheating?

    Up north, Neil Atkinson offers a range of short courses for busy people, while down south, there can be nowhere better than the creative digital photography course at Central Saint Martins which is aimed at beginners and intermediate students. Visit

    6. Certified Sommelier course

    Take your Saturday (and Friday, and Sunday) night love of wine a step further by enrolling on a sommelier course. No previous knowledge of vino is required but once completed you’ll have a broad knowledge of viticulture and food and wine pairing. The best part about the course? You’ll get to taste over 100 fine wines. Sign us up.

    For more information visit

    7. Learn to play the guitar

    Unleash your inner rock goddess and make like Jimi Hendrix on a 10-week guitar course. After the allotted 10 weeks beginners should be able to strum through a range of modern and classic songs, read TAB style sheet music, understand chord charts and basic music theory.

    10 will set you back £225. For more information visit

    8. Massage

    The Neal’s Yard Remedies Introduction to Massage course will teach you all you need to know to give a wonderful relaxing and therapeutic back, shoulder and neck massage at home. As well as the technique, you’ll also learn how to combine essential oils to help balance emotions. Warning: you may find friends start banging down your door offering to be guinea pigs.

    For more information visit

    9. Creative writing

    Everyone has at least one good book in them. Blah blah. Whether it’s true or not writing can be a theraputic, fun and extremely rewarding hobby. Flex your literary muscles with the creative writing course City Lit. They have an endless list of options to chose from including screenwriting, comic prose and plotting a novel.

    For more information visit

    10. Songwriting and performing

    Adele you may not be but it doesn’t mean you can’t give it a darn good go. The London Song Company holds a performance masterclass at the Distillers Pub in Hammersmith. Led by Juliet Russell, professional singer and vocal coach on the BBC1 series The Voice UK, you’ll learn all about vocal technique, song interpretation and physical performance techniques through analysis, discussion, professional guidance and practical, usable exercises. Individual performer feedback will be given so a thick skin may be required.

    For more information

    11. Printmaking

    Forget life drawing classes, because who really does want to stare at a middle aged naked man’s dangly bits for two hours? And think about screenprinting. The East London Printmakers is achingly cool and hip, and offers accessible workshops for beginners wanting to learn the art of screenprinting, etching, and relief printing.

    For more information visit

    12. Nutrition

    We all know that beauty and wellbeing comes from within and there is no better place to start than by looking at what we put in our bodies. The Food & Thrive course run by Down To Earth Training is a fun and informal way of learning all about nutrition and vitality, as well as how to cut out the confusion surrounding healthy eating. The course promises to make you think about food in a totally different way.

    For more information visit

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