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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. 

The Return of Brick Lane’s Oldest Market, Cheshire Street, London

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Sundays are for strolling. After an exciting Friday and jam-packed Saturday, we at The Amazing Blog like to have a bit of a change of pace... The Cheshire Street Market is new to the market scene and strives to support local traders, crafters, and artists who work with recyclable materials, fair trade products, homemade and locally sourced crafts and fashions. Located on Brick Lane, the Cheshire Street Market has an enjoyable, family-friendly environment that we have the pleasure of checking out!

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Revived by the East End Traders Guild, the Cheshire Street Market has a showcase for independent designers to present their polished work to the public. As you may know, The Amazing Blog team are huge fans of art and artisan products, like homewares, art, crafts, jewellery, vintage fashions, and clothing. No worries, Cheshire Street Market has it all! It’s powerful to see in person the hands that made the items we take home. If you’re more of a foodie than you are artsy, not a problem! There are plenty of products tailored uniquely to you such as sauces, spices, and chilli plants.

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We love how the products are handmade, sustainable, and locally produced—far more meaningful than being mass-produced. We are definitely going to get creative in at least one of their offered workshops to hone new skills! Pop by from any Sunday in September 10.00-16.00 to enjoy the lingering summer heat and discover new artisan products! Also to quickly add, many thanks to Cutlass Comms for sending us information and images which were kindly donated by Phil Maxwell and assorted photographs by Jeremy Freedman and Rossana Leal.

Sea Creatures: Life Beneath the Ocean

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We are always searching for new and exciting events happening in London, especially those where the whole family can partake. If you’re interested in marine life and the creatures that inhabit our oceans, then dive into Sea Creatures: Life Beneath the Ocean’s immersive experience. The exhibition is making its first European debut this summer, and The Amazing Blog is eager to grab tickets.

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With 200 exhibits of 50 full body and 150 body parts of ethically-sourced specimens, visitors learn about marine life and conservation through various tactile approaches. While exploring the anatomy of the sea creatures, the exhibit offers a digital interactive experience for children, virtual reality installations and a mini cinema. The exhibition creates a narrative around sea life that engages its visitors in environmental awareness, through its interesting visuals. This will also be the first time that Hai Hai, the world record-breaking Minke whale will make its way to London.

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Before the exhibition’s tour to four UK cities, the London exhibition will open on 27th July until the end of August, at Royal Horticulture Halls, Lawrence Halls. The exhibit is open from 10:00-18:00, with extended hours on Thursdays. Tickets are £18 for adults, £12 for children, or £52 for families (which include tickets for two adults and two children, or one adult and three children). It’s recommended to take public transportation as there isn’t available parking at or near the venue.

Handmade Oxford

We love to support artisan brands here at The Amazing Blog and Handmade Oxford is just the event to find unique and beautiful pieces from new craftsmen. The renowned contemporary craft design event organiser, Handmade in Britain, has launched a three-day fair at Oxford Town Hall to bring designers and craftspeople directly to the people. We think shopping directly from the wonderful designers who create our favourite pieces of jewellery or centrepieces for our kitchen makes for an incredibly special experience. Piyush Suri started Handmade in Britain over a decade ago with a mission to support design-makers and create a community where they can promote their work. We love supporting local and small businesses around here and this event has it all in one place.

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This three-day showcase boasts over 90 design-makers, so you will be sure to find something to suit your individual style. Located in the heart of Oxford, visitors can enjoy browsing the stands of high-skilled and innovative designers who have perfected their various disciplines. Getting to hear the creator’s story behind their inspiration, process and creation of a certain piece of jewellery or ceramic set is a unique experience and definitely a nice change from shopping on the high street.

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At Handmade Oxford you'll find everything from beautifully handcrafted jewellery (perfect for the upcoming wedding season) to ceramics, glass and silverware, furniture, woodwork and mixed media. Most of the designers do not sell their work on the high street, only in exhibitions and galleries like this one, so if you’re on the hunt for something special that will add a touch of style to yourself or your space, don’t miss out on this one.

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We love a unique piece of jewellery, so we are thrilled to view the work from designers like Lucy Martin, who specialises in beautiful and colourful contemporary pieces that are sure to become your new favourite accessory. Isabelle Capitain combines traditional methods with new technology to create one-of-a-kind minimal pieces that are to die for. For the home, we look forward to seeing the incredible woodwork from craftsman just like Craig Narramore, a Hollywood prop maker. There is so much more to discover that we are overly-thrilled to see all of the designer’s work.

Handmade Oxford takes place from Friday, May 18th to Sunday, May 20th, so be sure to get your tickets now to ensure you don’t miss a thing. One day entry starts at £5.50 and three-day entry from £13.20 here or here.

Mozambican Street Food from African Volcano

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We love to explore all of the wonderful food markets that London has to offer. And at The Amazing Blog, are excited to share with you London’s first ever seven-course street food tasting menu featuring a variety of different Mozambican food options. Starting this April, every Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm at the Maltby Street food market in Bermondsey, London you too can try out the Mozambican menu for yourself.

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This extensive seven-course menu is brought to us by Chef Grant Hawthorne, the owner of African Volcano. African Volcano offers a variety of hot Mozambique-style marinades and peri peri sauces. These products are based on an original Mozambique recipe and have been developed by Chef Grant Hawthorne since the mid-1990’s. Hawthorne even travelled to Mozambique last year to perfect his menu for this market.

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The menu includes homemade Portuguese bread (one of our personal favourites), crab and prawn rissois, chicken livers, trinxado prawns, baby chicken and the delicious Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarte). These unique food options allow for you to see just what is possible when it comes to peri peri sauce. Often times when people think of peri peri sauces they only think of using them on chicken dishes. However, these spicy sauces can be used in a variety of different dishes, as seen in this menu. Mozambican food is definitely an unusual cultural cuisine here in London. However, after this market that may quickly change, as these dishes are sure to satisfy all of your spicy cravings. Our mouths are watering at the very thought of tasting these peri peri dishes!

While you’re at the market, we also recommend pairing the delicious Mozambican dishes with beer and wine provided by other traders in the market for the full Maltby market experience. Don't miss it!