Whilst January marks a period of new beginnings and fresh starts, that doesn’t necessarily mean traipsing reluctantly to the gym, consuming kale chips and giving up your beloved prosecco. There are a wealth of alternative activities you can try this month for that same feeling of renew, reward and accomplishment. From life drawing, to flower arranging and simply becoming more mindful, we’ve curated a round up of activities you can do in January that (thankfully) don’t involve kale or joining the gym…
Take a Life Drawing Class
Whilst exercise certainly reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, so does drawing, or ‘art therapy’ as its more commonly referred to. Awaken your inner Da Vinci and have a hand in a life drawing workshop this January with Lily Holder. The talented artist and teacher hosts an exclusive monthly life drawing class at Belgravia’s quietly luxurious No 11 Pimlico Road, where guests can get creative with the help of music, drinks and Lily’s relaxed and experienced approach. Don’t worry if your skills are a little sketchy, Holder welcomes guests of all abilities, whilst all materials are also provided. £12 per class. Next available class is 10 February. Book via darwinandwallace.co.uk
Upgrade your Cooking Skills
Whether you’re looking to make healthier meals as part of your New Year’s resolution or simply want to up your game when it comes to cuisine, a cookery class can be both a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience. Forage before cooking and feasting with The Fat Hen in Penzance, create delicious doughy treats with Bread Ahead in Borough Market, or head to the northeast for a brand-new cookery course (half or full day) at The Grand York. From Eastern to British cuisine, speciality courses to dinner party menus, you’ll indulge in plenty of fun (and food) within the school’s impressive, contemporary 16-station space. Classes from £55, thegrandyork.co.uk
Delight in a Flower Arranging Class
Although we are in the midst of winter, Spring will come around quick enough, so there’s no better time (and excuse to skip the gym) than dreary January to take an uplifting flower arranging class. McQueens flower school in Bethnal Green host a class for every occasion; floral installation, a wedding flowers workshop, valentines masterclass, and even an event and corporate design one-week course.
Meanwhile, the brand dedicated to ‘the happiness that flowers give’, Funny How Flowers Do That is hosting an Ikebana workshop at Japan House in High Street Kensington this February, where Ikebana florist and guru, Tomoko Kenny will be on hand to guide guests through the beautiful Japanese art. 8 February. funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk
Get More Mindful
As part of its new ‘Amplify Your Dry January 2020’ campaign, non-alcoholic spirits brand Amplify is encouraging people to take part in Mindful Mondays at MasterPeace, the experiential and wellbeing-centred art class founded by Zena El Farra. Located within the lively and creative setting of Eccleston Yards, the mindful evenings will take place every Monday for six weeks throughout January and February, where guests can transform their personal photographs and best-loved images into light-curated paintings, alongside an array of healthy treats and servings of delicious virgin Amplify blends. £39 for one class or £199 for six. 12 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9NF, masterpeace.studio
Master the Art of Calligraphy
Though it’s an art that’s often overlooked, calligraphy has slowly creeped its way back into the mainstream, thanks to the rise of Pinterest and Instagram. Whether you delight in an artsy challenge, want to pick up an alternative new hobby, or are looking for something relaxing and rewarding to help ease your stress, calligraphy covers the lot. London Calligraphy host two-hour classes across a range of London locations, from Marylebone to Hampstead, whilst Deptford’s charming and tranquil flower workshop, Forest, is hosting a Beginners Brush Lettering Workshop on the 16th January, ideal for those looking to dip their toes (or pens) into the craft. Calligraphy specialists at Calligraphy by Kiki – who have worked with the likes of Space NK and mental health charity, Mind – also offer a range of private and public workshops, from nib and ink to brush pen calligraphy. Catch them at the Most Curious Wedding Fair at The Old Truman Brewery on 8th February. Workshop tickets from £35.
Relax and Recharge
Nothing brightens a murky Monday like a mood-boosting lunch. So we were pleased to hear that botanical brewery Fentimans is hosting a revitalising ‘light lunch’ amongst Bourne & Hollingsworth’s reviving and botanical-clad Garden Room, which even features serotonin – the ‘happy hormone’ – boosting lighting. Delight in delicious complimentary drinks from Fentimans’ new light range as you enjoy the prepossessing panoramic views of the city. 20 January; book via bandhgardenroom.com