Events

Kayaking on the Thames

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Feel like a bit of adventure?  Then read on…We at The Amazing Blog are always open to new thrills. I wonder, have you ever thought of viewing London by night on the water? However, all from a very different perspective. Enter Kayaking London who give you the opportunity to bob along the Thames, tripping the lights fantastic, in a way that only London can offer. Kayaking London have bases in Chelsea and Ladbroke Groove with excellent facilities and equipment. In both centres they have hot showers, changing rooms and lockers to keep for your valuables (you’ll need a small padlock).  Kayaking London is an activity that allows you to kayak along the river Thames while sight- seeing in London.

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The tour we’re going to talk about is their Big Ben by Night. These run from now in September to April. London is equally beautiful at night as it is by day and is more beautiful as the sunset reflects on The River Thames. The trip is 2 1/2 hours long, where you glide along on the river, you’ll be able to see the Houses of Parliament and central London in all their lit-up splendour before heading back to base in Chelsea on a new tide. As the trip is run on highly stable boats, no experience in kayaking is required.

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The coaches are highly trained and qualified by British Canoe Union, fully CRB checked and have years of experience. They will prep, equip and help you master the basics of boat controlling before you begin your tour. They have a range of kayaks, spacious and stable doubles, or fast sleek singles – something to suit everyone. Quickly added you have to be over 18 years old to partake in this activity. Big Ben by Night tickets are £42. purchase your ticket here Fall in love with London all over again, as you experience night-time kayaking on the longest river in England.

 

 

The Upholstery Workshop

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Today at The Amazing Blog we’re giving you an opportunity to escape to the country and learn another new creative skill. The Upholstery Workshop offers you just this, all set in the rural countryside on the Herts/Worcestershire borders.

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The Upholstery Workshop is set in a 15th century red brick and timber farmhouse at Huntlands Farm, a rural retreat with wonderful views of the countryside. They have rooms to rent at the farmhouse from as little as £75 a night for a double bed – so you won’t have far to travel for your workshop!  Founders are Lucy and Stephen, Lucy Brodie holds a qualification with the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishings having been trained in the use of modern and traditional materials and methods.

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There are a choice of workshops either during week or at weekend workshops. We’re suggesting their two-day course where both traditional and modern upholstery techniques are taught. The course mainly entails working on small furniture project, such as a drop-in seat for a stool or a bed headboard; all incredibly useful for giving your home an uplift. On the curriculum you’ll learn anything from a simple furniture repair to handling fabrics and tools correctly, and the health and safety guidelines. It is recommended that you bring with you a piece of furniture, some tools (they will suggest what you need), an apron, your own fabrics.  You may also want to bring a camera to record the stages of your work among other things. Don’t panic if you haven’t any furniture to bring there are many local resources nearby to nip out and get some.

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The course starts from £180 including home-made lunch and snacks. You'll benefit from seeing a variety of works be completed alongside your own project. They offer a reduced rate for accommodation at £60 a night and an extra £20 if your partner wishes to join you. The cost is not inclusive of the materials used and will be charged at the end of the workshop. See here to look at available dates and book your retreat and enjoy what the countryside has to offer. 

Friday Favourites: South West Wine School

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Wine fascinates us with all the varieties, colours and flavours which are infinite; and being able to identify a specific wine is pretty much in everyone’s wish list. At The Amazing Blog we always enjoy learning more about the origin of the wines, how it affects the characteristics with the difference in taste or texture and so on. This is why we were intrigued to find out more about the South West Wine School with their Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses.

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The South West Wine School, was co-founded by Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds with the aim of providing first class wine education across the country. Both with numerous years of expertise, Hayley holds the DipWSET diploma, while Jonathan is WSET Level 3 certified and said “I have recently taken and passed my WSET Level 3. It provides such a comprehensive education on everything related to wine, from growing vines, winemaking and the different grape varieties to serving recommendations and food and wine pairings.” This year, they are holding WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses to give you the chance to get your diploma, just like Jonathan and Hayley. Sponsored by the likes of Salcombe Gin, Eversfield Organic, Enotria & Coe, Vineyard Productions, The Eco Laundry, Kingston Estate and Deer Park Country House, this event couldn’t look more promising. They offer comprehensive education from growing wines, learning about the different grape varieties, to winemaking and serving recommendations. They are also members of associations like Food & Drink Devon and Taste of the West.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was established in 1969 for the UK wine trade. It provides optimal education courses and certifications recognised globally as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge for both wine enthusiasts and professionals. The courses will take place at the South West Wine School’s headquarters in Wakeham Farm, in South Devon and will be primarily taught by Hayley Reynolds and Rebecca Mitchell (also DipWSET certified). The next available courses begin in September and go along until the end of November.

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Please see the following dates:

WSET Level 1 is on Thursday 5th September, Wednesday 9th October and Wednesday 6th November. Sign up to obtain the WSET Level 1 diploma. This course is ideal for those who are new to the wine industry. You will learn about the world of wine, explore the types and style through sight, smell and taste and gain skills to describe wines accurately to know what the best food is for pairing. Sign up for a 7 hour day course beginning at 10am for £155.

To achieve the WSET 2, they are doing 3 day courses, a total of 21 hours, for £395. This qualification is suitable for those seeking a deeper understanding of wines. From wine regions, grape varieties and styles, to classifications and labelling terminology, this course is excellent to be taken to the core of the wine industry for those aiming to achieve an intermediate level of knowledge. Moreover, you will also receive an overview of the key categories of liqueurs and spirits. WSET Level 2 – 3 day courses: Wednesday 11th, 18th, and 25th of September. Or Tuesday 12th, 19th, and 26th of November.

WSET Level 3 – 6 day course: Tuesday 10th, 17th, 24th September continuing Tuesday 1st, 8th and 15th October. In order to take the WSET Level 3 course, you will need to have passed the Level 2. This level is for those wanting to become professionals and work in the wine industry. This is a much more in-depth course, touching up on grape growing and the mastering of wine making. Once completed, you will be able to confidently assess wines accurately, delving deeper onto style and quality. The course is 6 days long and has a price of £695.

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They welcome the professional, enthusiast or beginner to these courses. You can sign up here and embark on this journey to become wine expert obtaining an international qualification. Perfect for ticking off on your wish list!

Friday Favourites: Sculpture School Workshops

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Summer is almost over, meaning more than half of the year has flown by; we wonder how you’re doing with your New Year’s resolutions? At The Amazing Blog we are trying to keep on track with a few, one of which included having fun whilst learning a new skills. Before the end of the year, we hope you’ll join us at The Sculpture School for a workshop to tick off that ‘do something new and creative’ resolution from all our lists.

Located in Devon, The Sculpture School, is one of the few establishments in the UK dedicated to teaching contemporary realist sculpture. It’s opened its doors to a new studio and workshops - perfect to help get your creative juices flowing. Tutored by Andrew Sinclair MRBS, the world-class sculptor behind the infamous David Bowie bronze sculpture in Aylesbury. You’ll have the chance to learn professional techniques and methods in order to create your own masterpieces.

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Andrew Sinclair’s portfolio has an impressive range of works of art from commission at the Royal Box at Ascot, Epsom Racecourse and Crosby Hall, to his most recent work a monument for the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment; unveiled in May in Halifax (home of the Regiment for over 300 years). His techniques have taken him around the globe, with Andrew is his colleague and co-founder Diane Coates, whose renowned for her dynamic forms, anatomical detail and sensuous lines; so who better than these two to inspire and teach you how to sculpt? Diane had always focused on painting and pastel arts; however, in 2006, she ventured into the field of sculpting. In particular, she’s recognised for her naked bronze sculptures, and has taken her work internationally with collections across Europe and the Middle East. Together they founded The Sculpture School, with the aim of changing education in sculpture and craftsmanship.

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Whether you are a beginner, experienced, or a professional sculptor they’ll be a workshop tailored for you, plus you’ll even leave the course with a sculpture of your own. These are some of the upcoming dates available:

  •       10-13 September: Level 2 Figurative Sculpture

  •        18 September: Taste of Sculpture

  •        1-4 October: Tutored Sculptor’s Retreat

  •        25-27 October: Moulding and Casting

  •    5-8 November: Level 2 Portrait Sculpture

  •        3-6 December: Level 1 Figurative Sculpture

Price wise, the workshops range from £65 to £645 per person and have a length of one to three days long. The price rates vary according to the duration of the program and the type of workshop. To see the full price list, sign up and learn more, visit The Sculpture School website here and see some of the great testimonials here.

Woodsetton Art Pottery's Workshop

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After a long week, there's nothing better than doing relaxing and creative activity. We think that pottery achieves just that, allowing us to take the time-out immersing ourselves in something that doesn't involve work, emails or social media. Something we actively try and encourage at The Amazing Blog, so we were excited to learn more about the Woodsetton Art Pottery's classes.

We came across Woodsetton Art Pottery's is the brainchild of Lorraine Bates, who aims to tailor classes, ensuring everyone leaves with a newfound knowledge (whether you're brand new to pottery, or more experienced). Based in Woodsetton, West Midlands, there is a space for everyone, from beginner classes to throwing and glazing. With a maximum of seven people per workshop, the courses aim to improve everyone’s creative skills, gaining optimum knowledge and interaction with a pottery professional. The studio is also well equipped, with electric potter wheels and a range of equipment for hand builders and sculptures.

The beginner's pottery course includes hand building, extruding and sculpting. The aim is that every student will learn to throw on the wheel, giving the opportunity to let your inner child out (and to get your hands dirty in the process). If you choose only to do this course, then you can make use of Lorraine's extensive experience, paying £2 per piece for her to tidy/turn your work, with subsequent biscuit firing, glazing and glaze firing. This means that however skilled you prove to be (or not), you will leave with a professionally finished piece.

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For a more advanced course, Lorraine offers throwing courses. These are a day long, with a maximum of five students, allowing each person access to their own wheel - improving throwing and turning techniques. Alternatively, if glazing is your interest, then there is also a separate glazing workshop. Here you will learn to apply different glazes, colours and dippings, to make your pieces true works of art. The created pots can also be decorated with sponging, stencilling and brushing.

The Raku Day workshop is slightly different, allowing students to bring in their own works from home (size permitting), to decorate and glaze in the workshop. The extensive experience of Woodsetton Pottery will ensure that you leave with new glaze recipes, with the focus being to teach correct mixing techniques, including ways in which to reduce oxidisation.

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If you’re interested in enhancing your creative personality, the workshops run from 10am-4pm during both the week, and on Saturdays. There is also the possibility to arrange a group workshop for you and your friends. Up to six wonderfully decorated objects are included in the fee, which will be bisque fired and glazed, and available for collection within four weeks. Generally, day courses are £75 each (Monday to Friday) and £90 on Saturdays, You can also purchase gift vouchers as a special treat for loved ones. You might like to attend a workshop in August (subject to availability)⚱17th August - Places - £90 - Throwing on the wheel plus associated handbuilding and decorating techniques. Suitable for beginner or those honing their techniques.⚱25th August - Places - £90 - Throwing on the wheel plus associated hand-building and decorating techniques. Suitable for beginner or those honing their techniques. Otherwise from September onwards course dates will 3 months in advance. Please visit their Tumblr page here to see an extensive list of specific workshops and prices. Enjoy!