13 Online Classes, Tastings And Events To Keep You Busy For The Next Fortnight

Your social life is sorted for the next two weeks. From life drawing workshops to wine tasting events, try one of these if you're bored of being bored.

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If you’ve baked all the banana bread you can muster and are frequently finding yourself twiddling your thumbs with nothing to do, listen up.

There are loads of things to keep you busy on the internet in lockdown, you just need to know where to find them. Take, for example, Airbnb’s newly launched online experiences hub where you can buy tickets to events and masterclasses with teachers from around the world. Learn how to make fresh pasta, tapas, cocktails – you name it. There are also slightly more obscure sessions, like tuning in for a chat with a shark enthusiast. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

Elsewhere on the web, businesses are turning to Instagram Live to offer creative workshops and tutorials, while Yodomo has become a source of inspiration for those wanting to learn a new skill – it offers online courses, DIY kits and webinars.

So yes, there’s plenty to be cracking on with. Here are some suggestions to fill your time over the next few weeks.

nadia_bormotova via Getty Images

1. Sweat it out

On Friday 24 April, ClassPass is hosting Together We Sweat, a series of free, live workouts broadcast around the world. All classes are 45 minutes and are taught in English. You don’t need any equipment and they’re suitable for all fitness levels. The line-up includes:

1. The Platform (Dubai) - HIIT @ 09:00am BST

2. Saints & Stars (Amsterdam) - Holy Box @ 11:00am BST

3. BLOK (London) - BLOKbarre @ 12:00pm BST

4. Rumble (NYC) - Boxing x HIIT @ 05:00pm BST

2. Experience Secret Cinema, from your sofa

Secret Cinema is bringing its immersive experience to a living room near you. Sign up with your email and then, every Tuesday, the ‘Secret Sofa’ of the week will be revealed. Sometimes they’ll tell you the title up front, other times they’ll keep you guessing.

In true Secret Cinema (sorry, Secret Sofa) style, the email you get will include all the tools needed to create your own pocket of movie universe at home – from character and costume suggestions to music, activities, and food and drink ideas. A new film is aired at 7.30pm (BST) every Friday.

3. Master your phone photography

We all want to make our lockdown lifestyles look good for the ’Gram. On Saturday 25 April at 11am, tune into Marguerite’s Instagram Live with fashion photographer Holly McGlynn, who’ll be sharing tips and tricks for taking amazing photos on your phone. You’ll need a phone, surface to take pics on, items of your choice (e.g. flowers, books, perfume bottles, jewellery) and some fabric (like a bed sheet). It’s free to attend and part of Marguerite’s series of creative workshops every weekend.

Alexander Spatari via Getty Images

4. Learn how to draw plants

Another Insta workshop: this time you can learn to draw houseplants with Hackney Arts and Jennie Webber, of Wild Life Drawing. The session takes place at 11am on Maguerite’s Instagram on Sunday 26 April. You’ll need: paper, a houseplant (or picture of one), and something to draw with (a pencil, pen, charcoal, colouring pencils, whatever you fancy).

5. Whip up tasty tacos

Chef Graciela runs regular cooking classes in Mexico, but she’s coming to a kitchen near you, via Airbnb. You can learn how to make Mexican street tacos with her on a variety of dates in the coming weeks. Find the ingredients and utensils you’ll need online. Classes cost £7 per person and tend to be held in the evenings with up to 10 people.

6. Let go and life draw

If you’re after a more calming artistic experience, check out dynamic, intuitive life drawing with yoga teacher and artist Laurie Nouchka, which takes place between 6.20-7.30pm every Wednesday on Zoom. Sessions start with a mixture of breath work, meditation and gentle movement-based exercises to get you out of your head, followed by a range of drawing exercises with a model. Prepare to let go and enjoy the presence of moving your pen around the paper.

Art by Laurie Nouchka.
Laurie Nouchka
Art by Laurie Nouchka.

7. Become a master baker

London-based bakery Bread Ahead is running daily baking classes at 2pm over on Instagram Live. On Sunday 26 April, you’ll learn how to make focaccia, Monday 27 April is all about the carrot cake, and on Wednesday 29 April you can learn how to bake brioche. We’re pumped for the sourdough pizza lesson on Saturday 2 May – see you there.

8. Make sangria and be entertained

What more could you possibly want from your evening? This is a live cocktail class making Portuguese sangria with drag queens Teresa al Dente and co. Expect unique live performances and incredible costumes. Once the sangria is finished, you get to all hang out, toast to life and talk about Lisbon and drag culture.

Interested? You’ll need sangria ingredients: wine (your choice), sprite/seven-up or sparkling citrus water or soda, oranges, apples, lemons, fresh-mint, cinnamon sticks (or powder), ginger, sugar, citric liquors like triple sec or cointreau. Dates are available from Monday 4 May onwards, with tickets priced at £28 per person.

9. Get a taste of opera

On Friday 1 May, the Royal Opera House is re-showing The Winter’s Tale by The Royal Ballet (from 2014) on Facebook and YouTube – it’s a ballet based on Shakespeare’s play. Tune in for free at 7pm or scroll through and find other productions that have already gone live on YouTube.

5PH via Getty Images

10. Swot up on your wine knowledge

Honest Grapes has been running a series of online tasting sessions since the lockdown started. One you won’t want to miss is its exploration of Italy’s ‘Hidden Gems’. Led by Tom, this tasting will cover three wines from Sicily, Piedmont and Tuscany. Join from 6.30-7.30pm on 7 May. It costs £62.50 – and that includes the event ticket as well as three wines delivered to your door.

11. Up your coffee game

Coffee snobs can pay just £4 for a coffee masterclass with Ricardo, the founder and CEO of Borola Café, who judges Mexico’s national coffee competitions.

Sessions are daily and kick off at 1.30pm (due to the time difference). You’ll need: a lime, a piece of fruit you love, 10g of cinnamon, 10g of sugar, 10g of salt and sparkling water (or regular water will also work). You also need all the equipment you use to brew your own coffee at home, one or two different coffee beans, any type of milk you like, and a pen or pencil and paper.

12. Make Polish pajaki chandeliers

Karolina Merska usually teaches people how to make beautiful Polish pajaki paper chandeliers from her London workshop (see below), and now she’s moved her classes online.

You can learn how to create a basic two-layered pajaki, with nine traditional Polish “kalinka” pom poms. The online course costs £59.99 and doesn’t include materials – you have to buy those in. But if you’re feeling crafty and have some cash to splash, it’s worth the effort and you’ll be left with a stunning decoration to hang in your home at the end of it.

13. Join a virtual dog show

Pooch fans won’t want to miss this. Cheshire-based charity, the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, has launched a virtual dog show to raise the spirits of those stuck in isolation, as well as helping an important cause. Even better, you can enter your own dog into the competition. The show itself takes place on Saturday 9 May at midday. Tickets are £2.

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