The festive season does’t have to be all about endless drinking, parties and excessive minced pie consumption. In the lead-up to Christmas, the West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is adding to its already impressive line-up with 14 one-day Christmas-related courses, which offer a chance to make your own cards and tree decorations.
These aren’t your typical home-made baubles though; there’s nothing naff about the classes, in certain cases requiring some serious craftsmanship – look out for the popular coloured glass Christmas decoration making workshop with Carole Grey, a member of the British Society of Master Glass Painters. Other creative courses on offer include festive metallic calligraphy, taught by leading contemporary calligrapher Kirsten Burke; small mosaic decorations; festive paper cutting and a course teaching you how to craft your own silver Christmas-themed earrings.
While at West Dean, be sure to have a stroll around the magical West Dean Gardens, just as lovely in the snow as they are in the summer, while the Garden Restaurant will serve a delicious traditional three course Christmas lunch. It’s also worth visiting the Gardens shop – which is brimming with unique Christmas present ideas you won’t find on the high street. The estate’s impressive State Rooms are additionally available to book for Christmas lunches and dinners, for group bookings of 10-90 guests.
Recognised internationally for excellence in arts conservation and education, the College was founded in 1971 by Edward James, a great patron of the Surrealist art movement – his portrait was painted by René Magritte – and poet; BBC Arts named him as ‘the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century’. The Edward James Foundation also includes the West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
1 November – 15 December 2019
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ
Courses from £133. Book via westdean.org.uk