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I have been carrying out research and writing in the teaching and mindfulness field for a few years. I have a BA degree from the University of California. I have a strong interest in a huge range of topics around mindfulness, mental health and company productivity.
After graduating from a university in Sydney in 2013, I felt confident in my ability to get a job. I had good references, a list of diverse work experience, and had often been complimented on my interviewing skills in the past. Much to my dismay and confusion, though, I could not land a job in any ofAfter graduating from a university in Sydney in 2013, I felt confident in my ability to get a job. I had good references, a list of diverse work experience, and had often been complimented on my interviewing skills in the past. Much to my dismay and confusion, though, I could not land a job in any of the fields in which I had the most experience. The phone was just not ringing.
With a mound of student debt looming over me, I was beginning to feel desperate to find a position. From close to twenty applications, I was finally granted one interview – as a junior account executive at a small agency in Glebe, Sydney. I took the offer, gratefully.
My first few days were tough. I felt my commitment and ability tested, constantly, by those who had been there longer. Many of my senior co-workers were cold and mistrusting. Most didn’t bother to learn my name. It was not a place to make mistakes.
Luckily, I adapted to the high-stress environment quickly. Within a few months, I was training new employees, and higher-ranking account managers were requesting to be scheduled with me. I was offered a promotion and a raise a few months later.
When I had been with the company for several months, my hiring manager offered an explanation for why my start had been so rocky. She admitted that she had been tempted to throw out my resume simply because of my age. In her experience, millennials, especially those with a university degree, were not dependable.
Though she had meant to compliment me on my uniqueness, her words were troubling. I realized that in a workforce that expected me to fail, I could not simply work as hard as everyone else. I had to excel, to exceed expectations, to be extraordinary. And that was if I even got hired in the first place.
Soon, I was questioning the notion of turnover in my generation. After all, my boss had a point: I seriously considered quitting early in my employment simply because I felt I was being unjustly treated. But my unfair treatment was rooted in an understandable mistrust of my loyalty (which, based on my willingness to quit, was shaky.)
One thing is clear: the rule of generations suggests that existing companies need to hire younger workers to remain relevant just as much as younger workers need to be hired. It is the natural cycle of history. The real question is how we can adapt the modern workplace to meet the needs of millennials and the established workforce.
To achieve this equilibrium, a few attributes common in millennials need to be explained.
First, the issue of loyalty. The expectation that millennials cannot commit to any one job creates tension in the workplace for the company and the worker, alike. But where did this trend come from, and how can it be addressed constructively?
According to a report by PwC (1), the wariness that millennials feel towards settling down with a company may be the result of their intimate relationship with the global economic crisis. In other words, sparsity in the job market may have pressured millennials to take positions that did not align with their professional goals. Indeed, a survey conducted by Deloitte (2) suggests that, while not actively looking for other employment, many millennials maintain an eye on alternative positions and are highly motivated to move up in the professional world when opportunities arise.
One way to combat this tendency to jump ship: invest a little time into your younger workers. The same Deloitte survey showed that the majority of millennials are happier with employers who act as mentors and role-models, providing constructive feedback and support. This can be tricky for employers who grew up in a cut-throat work atmosphere, but there is a lot of literature (3) out there to get the positive feedback mill churning.
Another key factor driving millennial turnover: a discrepancy in the definition of the workplace. Surveys show that young people want and have come to expect a balance of work and home-life. This is partly due to a gradual blurring of the line between professional/personal divide.
Consider, for example, a typist’s job in the 1950’s. On an average day, the typist would arrive at work in the morning, sit down at her typewriter, and work for an eight hour shift. At the end of the day, she would put her cover on her typewriter, say goodnight to her boss, and head home. Once she left the building, her workday was finished. There was no way around it. The typist went home. The typewriter stayed at the office.
Alternatively, the work environment, by today’s standard, doesn’t just refer to physical space. Advances in technology have allowed us to take our work not only home, but anywhere that our smartphones can connect to the internet (e.g. the line at Starbucks, on a family vacation, in the waiting room of the dentist’s office.) This interconnectedness has broken down the distinction between home and work, often leaving millennials scrambling to redefine the workspace in reasonable terms.
It’s not very surprising, then, that millennials seek a work/life balance that doesn’t leave them feeling like a rung-out dishrag at the end of the day. That is not to say that they are not willing to put in that out-of-office work, but it has to be leveled out with some pretty flexible personal time.
When it comes down to the nuts and bolts, millennials aren’t asking for much. We want to to be rewarded fairly for our value, we want some guidance, and we want the opportunity to be a person away from the desk.
And when millennials are granted these conditions, we can offer incredible skills for our employers. We are the generation with a handle on technology, a ready willingness to collaborate with our peers, and an intense ambition to create a better society for the next generation.
Have your own millennial retention method?
Think back to your earliest childhood memories of school. Do you remember playing outside? Do you remember finger painting? Do you remember singing songs?
For most children, early education is all crafts, coloring, games and music. It is a time for exploration, expression, happiness. It is care-free.Think back to your earliest childhood memories of school. Do you remember playing outside? Do you remember finger painting? Do you remember singing songs?
For most children, early education is all crafts, coloring, games and music. It is a time for exploration, expression, happiness. It is care-free. It is wonderful.
Somewhere along the way, though, the things that make learning fun fade out of curriculum. Pens replace paintbrushes. Songs become rote memorization. Physical education picks up where games of tag left off.
Put bluntly, it’s time to get serious.
As we get older, the things that characterized our early childhood don’t completely fade out of our lives, but they do undergo a tragic transformation. For, when an adult wants to sing, play an instrument, join a sports team, or take up knitting, there is a special name for it: a hobby.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a hobby as, “an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working.” Examples include traveling, sailing, and restoring motorcycles.
Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad. But, there’s something about the definition that suggests a hierarchy of responsibility. The understanding is: you work, and when you are not busy working, you can engage in a hobby. So inherently, hobbies are done in our free time, when we have nothing better to do.
Ironically, this work-minded mentality may actually be limiting our productivity. Sources like Forbes and Harvard Business Review (1) agree that increases in work-related stress can culminate in a debilitating sense of burnout, characterized by disengagement and a dip in job performance.
Just how serious is the problem? Dealing with burnout in a high-intensity job is kind of like sprinting through the first three kilometers of a marathon. You’ll feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and will probably think of dropping out of the race. And if you don’t find a way to fix the problem quickly, you might even damage your body and your mental state in the process.
Workplace burnout can also be characterized by a lack of motivation, antipathy towards coworkers and family, physical ailments, and cognitive breakdowns. Negative effects on productivity aside, employers who care about the wellbeing of their workforce should take burnouts very seriously, making sure to implement preventative measures and be able to identify the signs early.
Try out a workshop
The same studies that outline the dangers of burnout put forward an exciting suggestion: take up a hobby. Leisure-time activities are shown to combat the feelings of anxiety and exhaustion that characterize burnout, and should thus be considered a necessary part of employment.
Of course, no two hobbies affect a person the same way. Horseback-riding, for instance, offers a completely different array of benefits than taking a pottery class. So, to help you on your search for the perfect hobby, let’s get down to some specifics. Each of the categories listed below contains its own set of unique advantages, so you may even want to dabble in a bit of everything!
1.Build something beautiful (or not so beautiful, as long as you’re having fun!)
Activities like crocheting, painting, woodworking, or pottery are all great hobbies for anyone interested in reducing stress while also creating something practical or artistic.
The New York Times (2) has laid out a long list of the health benefits of knitting, from reduced chronic pain to the “development of neural pathways in the brain that help to maintain cognitive health.” Perhaps one of the best ways for these types of hobbies to address the concerns of burnout is the disruption of rumination that is a common indication of workplace unhappiness and exhaustion.
Alternatively, hobbies like painting and drawing are shown (3) to increase emotional intelligence, hone communication skills, and, again, reduce stress. Indeed, an article from the Huffington Post (4) suggests that creating art instead of consuming it is great for emotional health.
2.Have a game night!
From board games, to cards games, to charades, engaging in social fun is the perfect antidote for work-related stress.
Much like the effects on mental health of the previous two categories, playing games with family members, friends, or coworkers can reduce stress and disrupt rumination patterns. These benefits can also aid in the improvement in your immune system.
Board games have an additional bonus. They strengthen social relationships, which is important because research (5) indicates that strong, positive social connections are critical for physical and mental wellbeing.
Whether you want the competitiveness of tennis or the wackiness of inner tube water polo, there are sports teams available for you to explore. In addition to being simply fun, athletic games have both physical and mental advantages that will help beat the workplace blues.
Physical exercise is widely considered (6) crucial for overall health, leading to reduced blood pressure, improved stamina, stronger bones and mitigated risk of heart disease, just to name a few. Yet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (7) in 2011, only 43% of adults met the sufficient threshold for daily physical exertion.
Research (8) shows that athletic pursuits aren’t just good for your body. Exertion releases certain chemicals in the brain related to overall good mood, elation, and brain cell growth. It is also responsible for lower stress levels and decreased likelihood of depression or anxiety. There are even physical hobbies that exclusively teach mindfulness and meditation, such as yoga and tai chi.
As you have probably already noticed, each type of recreational class listed above offers the potential to create a fulfilling, stress-free life that can not only make you happy outside of work, but can also greatly reduce the risk of professional burnout. The key is to find a hobby that truly makes you happy, and stick with it. After all, prioritizing your wellbeing is perhaps the best way to ensure that work-related stress doesn’t creep up so that you can be at the top of your professional game.
One article couldn’t possibly cover the expansive world of workshops and recreational classes in Sydney, but hopefully you have a few good ideas to get started. If you’d like to share your own remedies for workplace burn out, let us know!
7 abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/4364.0.55.004Chapter1002011-12
Imagine the lobby of a hospital. White walls, white linoleum flooring, black entrance mat. Bright fluorescent bulbs line the ceilings of long, branching hallways. Across from the reception desk, a waiting area is furnished with metal bench seating arranged around a black, plastic coffee table. HangingImagine the lobby of a hospital. White walls, white linoleum flooring, black entrance mat. Bright fluorescent bulbs line the ceilings of long, branching hallways. Across from the reception desk, a waiting area is furnished with metal bench seating arranged around a black, plastic coffee table. Hanging racks hold magazines and colorful health pamphlets. The news is being silently broadcast from flatscreen TVs hung on the walls.
Everything is sterile, hard, and cold.
Now, imagine that when you walk into that same lobby, your eyes are automatically attracted to a large floral arrangement in a clear glass vase sitting proudly on the reception desk. Lightly pink peonies and white lilies are interspersed with green hydrangea, creating a lush, full design that cascades over the sides of the round bowl. Approaching the desk, the scent of the freshly-cut, sweet flowers replaces the harsh smell of disinfectant, and you are tempted to touch the soft petals. The result of hands on floristry classes in Sydney.
Perhaps, as a patient, you feel more comfortable walking up to the reception desk. Perhaps the receptionist behind the counter has a little more energy and a brighter smile when welcoming clients. Perhaps everyone in the room can breathe a little easier.
If you’re a little skeptical of the difference a simple pot of flowers can make in a setting like a hospital, prepare to be surprised. The benefits of floristry are quickly becoming lauded by healthcare professionals and many hobbyists are turning to the activity as a way to improve physical and mental health. To be sure, floristry has always had a special place in Western society, and the best place for a budding florist to start is with the trade’s rich history.
So, just how far back does this go?
Human civilization has seemingly always been fascinated by flowers. The history of floral design (1) tells us that Ancient Egyptians decorated their architectural masterpieces with floral designs, while Olympians and Greek warriors were rewarded intricate floral wreaths for victory. We can also thank these societies for the innovation of perfume made from the essence of flowers.
The importance of floristry is closely tied to the development of European art, as well. Throughout European aristocracy, nobles and ladies were often painted holding flowers or lounging next to grand flower arrangements. According to historians (2), botanical imagery contained important societal significance as early as the fifteen century, and art dedicated solely to floral design has continued to be popular with artists as renown and worshipped as Van Gogh and Monet.
So, it’s no surprise that, today, floristry plays an important role in Western society. A wide array of events, from funerals to graduations to courageous acts of love, require the keen and creative eye of a seasoned florist. Even the First Lady of the United States has a close professional relationship with the White House Chief Floral Designer.
Why pursue floristry as a hobby?
Cultural significance aside, floristry is a fun and beneficial hobby, with some very interesting effects on our overall wellbeing.
Consider again the hospital lobby described above. Can we really believe that floristry can positively impact a medical setting? According to scientific evidence coming out of Kansas State University, the answer is a strong yes. Based on a 2008 study (3) of patients undergoing abdominal surgery, researchers discovered that patients exposed to flowering plants and floral arrangements not only reported feeling less anxious, but were recorded to have lower blood pressure and heart rate on the day of surgery and subsequent days of recovery. Similar studies have found higher pain tolerance for patients exposed to floral arrangements.
Given the intensity of surgery, the significance of these findings cannot be understated. For, if bouquets of flowers can help us during our most stressful moments, what can they do for us as a part of our daily lives?
Well, the journal Evolutionary Psychology (4) reveals that flowers have both immediate and long-term effects on our mood, increasing happiness and invoking intimacy. Interestingly, men and women both benefit from the presence of floral arrangements, despite social preconceptions of flowers as inherently feminine.
Are there any other perks?
Excitingly, floristry has a few other hidden benefits as well. As a creative outlet, floral design requires its students to hone in on specific visual arts skills which could improve cognitive processing and memory. For instance, a study (5) from Georgia Southern University revealed by “engaging in a highly creative act, individuals may be able to process information on a deeper level, then generalize to another task”.
In addition to improved brain functioning, floristry offers benefits such as creative expression, enhanced focus on detail, and problem solving.
What exactly does a floristry class entail?
If you’re excited about improving your mental health by learning more about floristry in Sydney, a beginner’s class is a great place to start. Even at a novice level, there are plenty of options to choose from: you can start with a class on home flower arrangements, floristry for special events, or even floral design for very special events, like weddings. Ikebana flower class at Yugaflora in Glebe and the flower arranging workshop with Laura Jade are great places to start your workshop search. They offer a range of pricing and class length, and even provide all flowers and materials to get you started!
Depending on the workshop you attend, a typical introductory class will cover basics, such as vase selection, seasonal pairings, and simple terrarium designs. Most classes are between two and four hours, so be prepared to spend an entire lovely morning surrounded by your favorite flora and fauna. Better yet, invite your friends for an enjoyable social engagement!
That’s the gist, now find out for yourself!
With floristry, the sky is the limit. By simply engaging in the field as a hobby, you can be sure to have access to a creative outlet that is available virtually anywhere in Australia or even the world! You may even start to feel the benefits on your wellbeing after your first workshop.
Or, if your first workshop completely sweeps you off your feet, consider pursuing a certification in the field. What better way to achieve personal fulfillment than to make your floristry hobby into a career!
The weekend before my great-grandmother passed away at 98-years-old, she took me outside to plant sunflowers. Her daughter and granddaughter put up a fuss, claiming that it was too hot outside, and that she should rest instead.
She just waved a hand and motioned for me to help her stand up.
“I’mThe weekend before my great-grandmother passed away at 98-years-old, she took me outside to plant sunflowers. Her daughter and granddaughter put up a fuss, claiming that it was too hot outside, and that she should rest instead.
She just waved a hand and motioned for me to help her stand up.
“I’m going to teach my great-granddaughter how to garden,” she said.
I think we were all a little bit surprised. In her old age, Nora wasn’t usually so lucid.
It was hot that day (the sunflowers wouldn’t survive the sweltering heat waves of the next few months,) but my great-grandmother didn’t seem to mind. Under her sun visor, she was all smiles.
As she walked me through the steps of preparing the flowerbed and spreading the seeds in the fresh soil, my great-grandmother was radiating joy. Of course, she was always excited to spend time with family, but this was something different.
This energy and warmth had something to do with gardening.
In the years since her passing, I’ve always been incredibly grateful for the chance to share that afternoon with her. I was able to see first-hand how a simple task, like caring for a garden, could have such a powerful impact on a woman who had lived for a century. The fact that something as small as planting a seed could still put such a radiant smile on her face astounded me and pushed me to find more information on the power of leisure activities on the elderly.
As it turns out, the benefits of leisure activities for everyone are vast, but they can have a particularly powerful effect on the mental health of middle-aged and advanced-aged citizens.
Why should we focus on older individuals?
As middle age passes into advanced years, our senior citizens have a difficult transition. The things they took for granted in youth, such as mobility and memory, have become less accessible in older age. Even the most joyful and lighthearted of people have to admit that this loss of function can be frustrating, scary, and depressing. The awareness of this slowing down can be especially accentuated in retired individuals, who can no longer focus on a career or feel a sense of fulfillment in their jobs.
Luckily, there are ways to ease the transition. Researchers across the world have been searching for solutions to the problems associated exclusively with the experience of aging, and what they found was something that community centers and elderly facilities have been saying all along: creative hobbies are good for our mental state and physical health.
Multi-cultural methods: what are they doing in Japan?
A 2015 study (1) from the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Japan sought to put previous claims of the effectiveness of certain leisure activities to the test. Though they disproved earlier beliefs that participating in social activities could improve mental health in middle-aged and elderly individuals, they did find some overall uplifting benefits to other leisure activities.
Their findings found, for instance, that hobbies, cultural activities, physical exercise, and sports all improved the mental health of elderly Japanese citizens. The effect was compounded when such activities were shared with a companion or group.
What about Australians?
A similar study (2) was conducted by three scholars in 2013 exploring the effect of hobbies on the mental health of elderly women living in Australia. Their impetus for conducting the study was a body of precedent publications that, although dealing with the benefits of creative activities on mental wellbeing, had largely excluded the effects of such hobbies on the older generation.
Their definition of creative hobby was expansive: everything from needlework to photography to china painting was included in study.
And their findings were incredible:
Women involved in such activities were more likely to be socially engaged and showed a lower tendency toward “osteoarthritis, stroke, depression or anxiety/nervous disorder compared with women not involved in those hobbies” (2, page 7). These women were also more likely to be in physically good shape in terms of functionality and enjoy an overall higher quality of life.
The reasoning for these benefits is still somewhat unclear. Experts believe that these types of hobbies probably improve mental health by lowering stress, sparking cognitive activity, and producing feelings of fulfillment and pride in participants.
How can we use this information?
We can all agree that investing our elderly population is a valuable use of effort and resources. After all, they are our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They are future versions of ourselves, as we navigate our own aging process. We certainly wouldn’t be here without them.
And in this vulnerable time in their lives, we should put this scientific knowledge to good use.
There are lots of possible workshops that retirees and try out or even start themselves such as paint-and-sip classes, stand up paddle boarding, water aerobics, yarn bombing (the rebellious act of covering public spaces with crocheted or knitted works of art). These are just a few examples of the plethora of wacky, fun, unique hobbies out there.
This is one of the reasons why ClassBento was started, to make it easier for retirees to try out new hobbies and also allow them to teach their passions and get paid, giving them purpose back in their lives.
Our elders deserve it
Based on my personal experience with my great-grandmother, I cannot understate the effect of leisure activities on elderly individuals. Seeing the smile light up her face when her advanced years had caused her so much strain and exhaustion was truly a gift that I would encourage every young person to be a part of.
So get the older people in your lives involved in a creative pursuit. It will benefit you both!
In today’s fast-paced, business-oriented society, there is a clear hierarchy of work ethic and lack of focus on the employee wellbeing. Those who sacrifice everything for the company are lauded as loyal and hard-working. They are highly regarded in the workplace for their commitment and selflessness.
WithoutIn today’s fast-paced, business-oriented society, there is a clear hierarchy of work ethic and lack of focus on the employee wellbeing. Those who sacrifice everything for the company are lauded as loyal and hard-working. They are highly regarded in the workplace for their commitment and selflessness.
Without a doubt, these workers are admirable for their effort to stay relevant in their competitive environment. Often times they don’t ask for recognition, they don’t bring up the emotional toll of their work to their superiors, and their compromises have very real consequences in their interpersonal lives.
But recent studies suggest that all the effort put forth by these superstars does not mean much if that individual is physically rundown or unhappy with the job. In short, there’s more to the ideal worker than sheer will, and interestingly, energy levels have a lot to do with the effectiveness of such employees.
What are the experts saying?
Tony Schwartz, the president and CEO of the Energy Project, has become a prominent voice in the movement to redefine work productivity strategy. His in-depth research (1) in the effectiveness of work habits has allowed him to make some striking prescriptions. Among them: take care of your health, tap into that powerful brain of yours, manage your mentality, and find your drive.
Simple enough, right? Let’s break it down.
Start with the body
We all know that we should be eating a good breakfast. We should be turning in at a reasonable hour to get a full night’s rest. We should be fueling our bodies with nutritious food.
But many of us simply don’t make an effort to take care of our bodies. There are various reasons for this: we don’t have time, or we don’t have the energy. Additionally, the benefits of physical health manifest themselves gradually, making it difficult for us to notice just how much of an effect a healthy lifestyle can have on our professional lives.
Making small changes for physical health, like snacking on health foods, sleeping well, and maintaining an exercise routine, though, can have dramatic effects on our energy levels and make us infinitely better workers. As energy coach Annie Perrin (2) says to employees who are feeling a little burned out, effective physical renewal is “generally comprised of very simple actions and behavioral practices that individually may seem ‘trivial,’ but when done consistently can cumulatively add up and make a profound difference in our quality of life.”
Take care of the powerhouse
As it turns out, in addition to making sure that our physical health is at its best, there are ways that we can take care of brains, too. Caring for that massive powerhouse in our head is incredibly important if we want to be energized in the workplace.
A useful tip: take frequent breaks. Schwartz found the participants of his study to have increased work performance when the workday was interspersed with short, distracting breaks.
Also, don’t multi-task. As tempting as it is to catch up on emails during a meeting, or listen to your voicemails while writing up a report, the experts say that our brain is at its most productive when it doesn’t have to juggle more than one request.
The result: higher quality work produced in less time.
Next, fuel your emotions
Now that you’ve taken the steps to maximize the energy reserves in the brain, the next step is to make sure that your emotional state doesn’t get in the way.
According to Schwartz (3) in an article posted in the New York Times Dealbook, emotions have a profound influence on how well we can perform tasks. The reason, he says, is because humans are driven by two brains: the survival brain and the rational brain. When we allow ourselves to get bogged down with the everyday triage of stress at work, the rational brain takes a backseat to the fight or flight responses of the sympathetic (or instinctual) nervous system.
You may be saying to yourself, I never feel like I’m in physical danger at work. Why would my body go into survival mode? Well, the science shows that sympathetic responses can be triggered by emotional threats, such as interactions that leave us feeling vulnerable or unworthy.
While in this state, we lose our ability to think clearly and our emotions begin to slide into negativity. This is an energy-intensive state, and can leave us feeling ragged at the end of the day.
Luckily, there is a simple solution. Change the narrative. The trick is to identify the moment when our cognitive mind begins to tip towards those unsafe feelings of self-doubt. Instead of giving in to those fears of worthlessness, Schwartz encouraged the participants of his study to think of the situation from a different, more positive angle.
Because we’re often harder on ourselves than an onlooker would be, changing the perspective - asking questions like how would someone else describe this situation? - can strengthen the rational brain by focusing on a less emotional view on our role in the workplace. Participants found this practice empowering and energizing, making them more productive and aware employees.
Last, and probably most important: don’t forget your spirit
Each of the steps outlined above will do nothing to improve the productivity of your work if you are lacking one very important element: fulfillment. According to Schwartz, the most productive work comes from what he calls a “sweet spot,” in which an individual’s best skills match up with that individual’s personal goals and desires.
In this overlap, workers can benefit from a well of energy that also gives off feelings of happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. As mentioned earlier, these are the perfect emotions for rational cognitive function, leading some of our best work.
How can you make sure that you’re dedicating your time to finding the “sweet spot?” Here are a few questions to get you started thinking about what motivates you:
What are your core values?
Are you forced to compromise on those values for your job?
Do you feel that you are contributing to a cause that you believe in?
Answering these questions honestly can be very helpful in make sure that your career goals align with the work that you’re doing. Otherwise, you may experience dissatisfaction, disengagement, and exhaustion at your job, the perfect storm for the sympathetic brain to step in and damage your productivity and deplete your energy reserves.
All in all, there are many ways that we can make sure that we are at our best in the workplace. And the research shows that the answer is pretty clear: Take care of yourself, and find your passion.
My morning schedule is generally the same every day: wake up, scroll through social media, check my email accounts (one for work, one personal, and one just for spam), listen to voicemail, answer text messages, turn on the morning news for background noise, peruse the newspaper, rush to get ready forMy morning schedule is generally the same every day: wake up, scroll through social media, check my email accounts (one for work, one personal, and one just for spam), listen to voicemail, answer text messages, turn on the morning news for background noise, peruse the newspaper, rush to get ready for work, plug in my headphones, and head out the door. Before I’ve even finished my first coffee, I feel accomplished and extremely tired.
My mornings weren’t always like this. I used to wake up to an alarm clock and head straight to the kitchen for my morning expresso. The methodic process of brewing my French roast always brought me joy: boil water, hand-grind the beans, stir everything together and read a book while waiting patiently for my first cup. Then, sit by the window and watch the city wake up until I, myself, was ready to pick up the phone, turn on the TV and let the chaos begin.
Somewhere along the way, though, my morning routine started gaining negative attention from my peers and superiors and there was no focus on my employee wellbeing. I started having to answer questions like,
Why didn’t you answer your phone? You wake up early, don’t you?
And I couldn't say no to work tasks, such as,
I’ll send you a briefing to read in the morning so that we can start the meeting when you arrive.
It didn’t take long for my mornings to cease being totally mine. Before I knew it, I was throwing in additional stimuli: television, music, scheduled video calls. These days, I never seem to finish my beloved cup of coffee, distracted as I am with everything else I feel I need to do.
But, with the help of some strong research in the area of focus and productivity, I am making an effort to take back my mornings (and maybe even a few afternoons and weekends while I’m at it!)
Our world has undergone an astounding change in the last fifty years. Our communities have grown, our networks have extended, and our technology has advanced. We’re heading towards progress like a rollercoaster without brakes.
We think we’re doing fine.
But, studies show we’re not adapting to the transition as well as we think we are. For instance, consider our only defense against the onslaught of information, responsibilities, and outside stimuli that constantly keep us busy: multi-tasking. If we could simply learn how to multi-task, we would be able to squeeze three hours of work into one, right?
Daniel Levitin (1), a leading expert in the organizational challenges of the modern world, goes so far as to call multi-tasking an myth. According to his research, the closest the brain can get to completing more than one thing at a time is to quickly and sloppily switch between the two tasks. The final product of the multi-tasker is woefully deficient in quality and efficiency.
Far more concerning than simply a dip in productivity, multi-tasking can also negatively affect our mental health. This can be hard to grasp, because completing projects, even as small as returning a text message, can feel good (2). Good like scratching a bug bite or fueling an addiction, that is.
Levitin urges us to see our multi-tasking behavior as just that: addiction. While we may be euphorically buzzing through our workday with two phones in hand and an eye on email, our mental and physical capacities are withering under the pressure. Increased cortisol levels and the rapid depletion of oxygenated glucose lead to anxiety, exhaustion, and truly poor decision-making.
I, for one, had the realisation of how serious my addiction was when I found myself skipping meals, overloading on caffeine, and staying longer at the office when I had promised myself that I would hit the gym after work. I couldn’t understand why my work was suffering when I felt that I was working harder than ever. So, I decided to make a change.
The steps are simple, but make no mistake: cultivating focus while living in technology-driven world can be difficult. The best way I found to get organized was to get creative with expert suggestions. Here are two of my best tactics:
1. According to Dr. Hammerness (3), an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, a great way to reel in the frenzy of distractions in the workplace is to manage our emotional wellbeing. An abundance of negative thoughts, he says, makes us more prone to straying off-course and making cognitive mistakes.
Psychology research (4) shows that by setting a goal of 3 positive thoughts to every negative one, we can be sure that our brains stay engaged and focused throughout the day. I have found that engaging in extra-curricular activities, like learning to play an instrument or making appreciation cards for my loved ones, keeps my mood light and happy, even when I’m in a particularly stressful setting.
2. After I found some emotional zen in my life, the next step was to wrestle the constant itch to check my technology throughout the day. Dr. Hammernness proposes a seemingly easy solution: try focusing on a task for a short period of time. No phone, no internet, not even a bowl of carrots for mindless snacking. Just the task at hand.
I have to admit, this step is difficult for me. Even the smallest of distractions, like an interesting cloud outside my window, can veer me off course. So instead of taking Dr. Hammerness’s suggestion to my workplace, where my first attempts have been unsuccessful, I’ve started with something more accessible: yoga. The key is to attend an actual class (instead of an online video) in which an instructor keeps me engaged and minimizes all distractions. Since attending classes, I’ve noticed that my focus in other areas has improved. Other focus-driven hobbies, like painting, rowing, or origami have similar effects on our ability to manage the frenzy of our daily lives.
So far, my path towards a technology-reduced lifestyle has had tremendous effects on my mental and physical well-being. By maintaining my positivity, refusing to multi-task, and fostering my ability to focus, I’ve also noticed gains in productivity and quality of work.
There’s really nothing to lose, other than the hours I’ve spent watching kitten videos online.
Of the array of materials available to the modern artist, probably the most sophisticated tool is the paintbrush. From thin to thick, fine to fan, sable to synthetic, a painter in today’s world can chose a brush for any number of textures and techniques. You can learn how at fun painting classesOf the array of materials available to the modern artist, probably the most sophisticated tool is the paintbrush. From thin to thick, fine to fan, sable to synthetic, a painter in today’s world can chose a brush for any number of textures and techniques. You can learn how at fun painting classes in Sydney.
So, given this range of brush possibility, the fairly recent trend of Palette Knife Painting is surprising. Why use such an unforgiving tool when the brushes on the market can provide the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel or the broad strokes of a muralist?
Well, many artists swear by its superiority, and the technique has gained a loyal following in the past few decades. If painting with a blade doesn’t quite make sense to you, perhaps it would help to conjure up some similarly satisfying experiences.
Take decorating a cake, for example. There’s something soothing about globbing a layer of icing onto a freshly baked cake and smoothing it with the edge of the spatula. Maybe you create a completely flat surface, skillfully hiding the lines of your work into infinite perfection. Or maybe your technique incorporates swirls and waves, each layer of icing adding character and depth to your work. The end result is delicious, sure, but decorating it was the real fun.
Consider, also, the simple joy of smearing avocado or jam onto a piece of toast in the morning.
Or perhaps you were one of the kids lucky enough to play in the mud after a rain, when the earth was your canvas and a plastic shovel your artist’s tool. Of course, this was also true if you were a child that spent time making sand castles as the beach. There was just something about smoothing the sides of your imaginary fortress that was undeniably perfect.
What all of these activities have in common is their incorporation of a technique called impasto, which is defined as:
Paint that stands up from the surface it has been applied to, due either to the method of its application or to the sheer quantity of paint used (1).
Originally, this technique was used by famous European painters to create the effect of aging skin or the illusion of light on reflective objects like jewelry. Later on, Vincent Van Gogh gave new life to the practice, with each of his works seeming to exist in three dimensions, simply by layering thick oil paint onto his canvases.
The method seeped into the Australian art scene sometime around the early 1900’s, when Frederick McCubbin’s Autumn Morning, South Yarra was completed (2). Judging by the absence of brush strokes, it is believed that the artist relied on palette knives, brush handles and cloth to create texture and depth in the painting. Today, the work is regarded as one of Australia’s most important impastos.
Indeed, as we noticed with the everyday instances of creative joy, any number of tools can be used to achieve this technique. After all, Jackson Pollock (3) created his famous impastos by dripping vibrant wet paint onto the canvas while Richard Larter (4) opted for a hypodermic syringe. Other methods include dry rollers, sponges - even fingertips can work.
Yet, nowadays, it seems that most impasto works of art are created with the use of the palette knife. A simple tool, the knife is constructed of a metal blade attached to an ergonomic wooden handle. Its primary function has always been to mix paints on the palette, but now artists are recasting the tool as the star of the show. And, because of its rising popularity, the tool is available in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be found in art stores in Sydney and online.
There are even workshops taught in person through ClassBento, in which students can gather under the tutelage of Sydney-based artist, Jacqueline Molina. The classes cover the fundamentals of abstract painting and explore various techniques and tricks to encourage experimentation and growth.
One of the great take-aways from attending a class is that you can familiarize yourself with the palette knife’s versatility: it can be used with acrylic or oil paints on virtually any surface. Spanish artist Francisco De Goya, for example, created his famous palette knife paintings on the walls of his living space, though you’re probably more likely to start off on canvas or a wooden board(5).
And with versatility comes creativity. While early Australian art encompassed the landscapes that completely awed colonist explorers, today’s impasto paintings can showcase any style, from abstract to impressionism to realism.
To be sure, having a creative outlet is enjoyable, but the field of psychology reveals that tapping into your creativity can improve your mental health, too. Art therapy, for instance, has become a prominent method in health care services because of the efforts of professional organizations like ANZATA (6) and ACATA (7), while the Department of Health supports the inclusion of creative arts as a medium for expression, awareness and recovery (8). According to these programs, the opportunity for self-expression through art is invaluable to the healing process and can greatly better the lives of anyone dealing with mental illness.
Of course, the benefits are available even for those not experiencing mental distress. An article in Scientific American, for example, suggests that individuals who explore creative endeavors are likely to be more motivated, optimistic, and open (9). Through creative expression, they report a higher overall mental state and personal development than their peers less engaged in artistic pursuits.
So the next time you’re near an art store, make an investment in yourself and check out the palette knife section. Though many classes provide all the materials you need, sometimes just being around the array of tools is enough to get the creativity flowing. It’s kind of like being a kid in a candy shop (or a kid with a plastic shovel at the beach!)
If you’ve ever had the luck of enjoying a truly well-made cocktail, you’ve probably also had the thought, I wish I could do that myself! Imagine being able to whip up the perfect cocktail for dinner parties, for intimate get togethers, or to impress your colleagues at an after works drinkIf you’ve ever had the luck of enjoying a truly well-made cocktail, you’ve probably also had the thought, I wish I could do that myself! Imagine being able to whip up the perfect cocktail for dinner parties, for intimate get togethers, or to impress your colleagues at an after works drink event. Making a great cocktail is more than simply swishing around a hodge-podge of ingredients or throwing a couple of ice cubes in a fancy glass. If you’ve tried, and failed, to make a tasty cocktail, don’t worry - you’re not alone. There’s an art behind cocktail making, and the best way to learn is with an experienced instructor and one of our fun cocktail making classes in Melbourne.
If you don’t believe us, just consider some of the things that a certified mixologist must learn before being able to call themselves a true expert:
Mastery of the balance of weak, strong, sour and sweet elements in the cocktail
When to stir, shake, muddle, strain, or double-strain
How to work with egg whites and other delicate ingredients
The proper use of organic, fresh ingredients
When to use crushed, cubed, or carefully shaped ice
A working knowledge of hundreds of different alcohol types and brands
An understanding of the history of specific cocktails
If any of this sounds interesting to you, you’ll really enjoy taking a cocktail making course. At ClassBento, we’re always excited to talk about some of the mixology-based classes we have to offer in the Melbourne region. Check out some of these options!
Private Cocktail Class
If you're looking for a fun team cocktail making class at a chic Melbourne bar, look no further than Mofo Lounge. Your team will have some fun mixing, muddling and shaking while they enjoy cheese boards and canapés.
Mobile Cocktail Making Class
The perfect choice for large corporate team building events. Kubarz run cocktail making classes all over Australia and their mixologists can show you how to make everything from an espresso martini to a margarita. You'll also get personalised menus and mixing notes on the day.
Themed Cocktail Making Class
South-East Asian dishes served alongside two signature cocktails. What more could you want? Rice Paper Scissors in Melbourne take care of your food and cocktail needs in style with this hands on class led by one of their experienced bartenders.
What materials do you need to prepare for these cocktail-making courses?
For the courses themselves, you’ll be provided all the materials that you need to make an amazing drink. That said, if you’re super excited to translate that knowledge into your own kitchen, here are a few items that you’ll want to introduce to your cooking supplies:
Ice tray or mould
Muddler or pestle
Alcohol of your choice
High quality fresh fruits of your choice
A range of glasses
With these supplies, you’ll look like a certified pro.
Right now, the bar scene in Australia is grappling with the idea of sustainability. Some are calling it zero waste. Some are calling it anti waste. Some are simply doing the work of sustainable bartending without making too much of a fuss about it. If you've already tried a cocktail makingRight now, the bar scene in Australia is grappling with the idea of sustainability. Some are calling it zero waste. Some are calling it anti waste. Some are simply doing the work of sustainable bartending without making too much of a fuss about it. If you've already tried a cocktail making class in Melbourne you'll know the bartending basics like how to mix, muddle and shake. However sustainable cocktails take this one step further, and are all about mixology with the least amount of impact on the Earth. In order to do this, bartenders are getting inventive with the way they use ingredients and adopting techniques like dehydration, fermentation and infusions to minimise wastage. Intrigued? Read on, because as it turns out, sustainable cocktails are not only good for the environment, but they’re absolutely delicious too.
First of all, are cocktails really that unsustainable?
Sustainability is a hard term to pin down. It can mean different things to different people. The WWF Australia has a pretty rounded definition that might help us better understand the sustainable cocktail movement. They say in order to promote sustainability, there are four main solutions to focus on:
That businesses and industry work to promote sustainable production in order to maintain a healthy supply of raw materials
That industry partners and farmers use less evasive tactics like tree clearing and pollution
That we all rely more on renewable energy alternatives
That we create and maintain protected natural areas.
Now, how does that translate to a cocktail? Well, there’s a lot that goes into a cocktail that you might not consider as being harmful to the environment. Consider the following ingredients and ask yourself whether they strike you as sustainable as the WWF Australia defines it:
Liquor. Does your base liquor come from Australia? Does it come from your state? Does it come from your backyard? If not, then someone had to package and ship your liquor from wherever it was produced to the store where you bought it.
Juice. Let’s say you’re using fresh pineapple juice. Do you know how the farmers were able to grow that pineapple? Is it possible that they had to deforest and area in order to create the pineapple farm? You can also ask yourself if pineapples are in season or grown in your area. If not, chances are, they had to be transported to you.
Tonic water. If you purchase tonic water in a plastic bottle, it’s important to think about the impact that has on the environment. Are those plastic bottles going to be a threat to protected natural areas?
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that a simple cocktail can have a negative impact on the environment. But don’t worry, the sustainable cocktail movement has already gathered momentum, and you can join!
Some of the groundbreakers in the sustainable cocktail movement
In 2018, the vodka company, 42 BELOW, invited contestants from all over Australia and New Zealand to see who could make the most sustainable cocktail. Competitors came together for a Sustainable Cocktail Showcase to share their sustainability projects, and the most original and delicious sustainable cocktails were voted best. Winners, including bars from Sydney, Hobart, and Adelaide, won an eco trip to Bali to celebrate the victory. There were creative glasses made out of fruit. Foraged garnishes. And, while most drinks had no straw, the ones that did made sure to create highly degradable ones. If you want to learn more about how bars in your area are making their own contributions to the movement, make sure to check out Australian Bartender magazine. They have an entire online index of sustainable bartending with stories of trendsetting bars all over the country.
How can you make sure you’re part of the movement, too?
Whether you make your own cocktails at home or you like to go out for a nice drink every once in a while, you might be thinking about how you can make your own habits more sustainable. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Ditch all one-use plastics. Straws, stirrers, plastic cups - they’ve all got to go.
Use fresh ingredients that are local and in season. You can do a bit of research to figure out what is in season in your area and only drink or make cocktails that highlight those ingredients. Not only is it better for the environment, but your cocktails will be more delicious. And if you’re making them at home, they’ll actually be cheaper to make.
Take a class on sustainable cocktail making. As the trend becomes more popular, you’ll find that it’s easy to learn from professionals about how to create sustainable cocktails that you can make right at home.
Spread the word! The more that you talk to your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else who will listen about the sustainable cocktail movement, the more we will all benefit. The next time you’re at your favourite cocktail bar, make sure to ask if there’s a sustainable option on the menu, or at least if there’s a cocktail on the menu that uses local, in season ingredients. The more customers make sustainability a priority, the more likely bars will be to hop on the trend to a zero-waste bar scene.
Ikebana is making a comeback, and as far as floristry classes in Melbourne go, it's easy to see why. The arrangements are simple, exquisite, the practice promotes mindfulness, and with one Ikebana class you can learn the basics of this Japanese flower arranging technique. If you’veIkebana is making a comeback, and as far as floristry classes in Melbourne go, it's easy to see why. The arrangements are simple, exquisite, the practice promotes mindfulness, and with one Ikebana class you can learn the basics of this Japanese flower arranging technique. If you’ve never heard of this ancient flower arranging tradition before, here’s a brief rundown of the history.
Most experts agree that Ikebana started when Buddhism made its way to Japan from Korea and China during the 6th century. Before this time, the Japanese already had practices of using floral arrangements as offerings or gifts, but it was the introduction of Buddhist teachings that brought a new level of balance and minimalism to the art form. The first iteration of Ikebana was Ikenobo. It remains the largest school of Ikebana and encompasses both traditional and modern Ikebana practices. Historical records show that the practice of Ikenobo began at a pond-side temple built by Prince Shōtoku about five hundred and fifty years ago.
Over the next few hundred years, Ikebana developed alongside similar practices that focused on aesthetics - think tea ceremonies and Japanese garden design, among many others. It was largely practiced by Buddhist priests, but it also gained in popularity among Japanese generals looking to find peace when faced with difficult strategic decisions. In fact, Ikebana held only a religious meaning until aristocrats and wealthy families brought the flower arrangements into their home as decoration.
During these years of development, Ikebana came to be understood as a metaphor for the unity of human, spirit, and the earth. Its dimensionality is key. Everything from the height of the different elements, to the contrast of delicate and sturdy, down to the colour composition and slant of the piece has meaning. Some arrangements even seem to defy nature. Others are playful, modern, and unexpected. And each unique piece, as a temporary work of art, speaks volumes to the fleetingness of the human condition.
It’s interesting to learn how much consideration goes into the artistic process given that the finished product looks – to the untrained eye, of course – like a couple of flowers and twigs standing upright in a container. The more you learn about the care and precision behind every single detail, though, the more amazed and awestruck you become. This is a practice with truly deep roots.
These days, Ikebana is a popular hobby because it is at once accessible to newcomers and also limitless for those who want to take their craft to new levels. There are over 3,000 distinct schools of Ikebana, which means there’s always more to learn, and you’ll be challenged at every stage. And, just as the early artists knew, Ikebana is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness. You’ll find yourself completely immersed in the craft, which has a range of benefits for your mental health. In fact, the Department of Health states that dedicating time to a creative hobby, especially a visual art like Ikebana, has the ability to promote psychological functioning and boost creativity in the other areas of your life.
Each stage of the Ikebana process is meditative. You spent time selecting meaningful elements. You place them precisely and carefully in order to give the piece a narrative. You make adjustments to ensure that the entire work is balance and harmonious. It is a mental challenge without compare. Once you’ve created one Ikebana, you’ll be thinking about the message you can create with the next one. That’s when you know you’re hooked.
Ikebana Class in Melbourne
Ikebana is available to Melbourne residents through ClassBento’s popular Ikebana class taught by Ikebana master Shoso Shimbo. This is a short floristry course for any experience level, in which you will explore the world of Japanese flower arrangement.
You’ll learn from an experienced Ikebana instructor a few of the different techniques of Ikebana, and you’ll get plenty of time to experiment with your favourites. The instructor will provide a variety of different flowers and other elements that you can incorporate in your design, and at the end of the class you can bring your work home and wow your friends and family. Or, follow the tradition and give away your arrangement as a token of gratitude.
One of the wonderful things about this class is that you’ll learn a skill that you can continue to build over time. And, because it’s as unique as it is beautiful, you’ll find that Ikebana makes for the perfect gift for any occasion.
We’re all trying to figure out how we can do our part to help save the planet. The good news is, you can start right in your kitchen. The sustainable cooking movement is taking Australia by storm, and you can learn easy ways to incorporate sustainable cooking practices into your everyday meal planning. SustainableWe’re all trying to figure out how we can do our part to help save the planet. The good news is, you can start right in your kitchen. The sustainable cooking movement is taking Australia by storm, and you can learn easy ways to incorporate sustainable cooking practices into your everyday meal planning. Sustainable cooking is not only great for the environment, but it’s also going to make your homemade food more delicious and healthy. You can arm yourself with delicious easy recipes at our range of cooking classes in Melbourne, but in the meantime here's some fast ways you can make the sustainable food switch in your home. So tie on an apron and let’s get started!
What is sustainable cooking?
The idea behind sustainable cooking is pretty simple. You’re trying to lower your impact on the environment through cooking. There are a few different elements that go into sustainable cooking. On the one hand, you’re going to think about the ingredients - how they’re farmed and where they come from. Then, you’re going to take a look at your cooking practices, things like cooking times, serving ware, and even leftovers are all elements to think about if you want to make the switch to a more sustainable household.
When you think about whether the ingredients you use are responsible and sustainable, you might ask questions like:
- What is the farming process like?
- Does the farm use renewable energy?
- Are the ingredients packaged in one-use plastic?
- Does the ingredient go through processing that would include electricity or chemicals that might damage the environment?
And, that’s just the beginning. You might also consider whether your ingredients had to travel a long distance to get to you. If so, they had a higher impact on the environment than if you had bought local ingredients.
Now let's take a look at your cooking practices. If you’re considering making a Sunday roast, how long do you need to burn energy in order to cook that big piece of meat? What kind of plates are you serving your food on, and what is the impact of your dishwasher? Are you going to have to launder the table clothes after the big meal? You might also think about things like whether your leftovers will actually be eaten or if they’re going to be added to a landfill. Making small changes like simply cooking a slightly smaller roast can reduce your impact by shortening the cooking time and reducing the amount of leftovers.
History of sustainable kitchen practices
When you really think about it, sustainability in the kitchen is actually a very old concept. We don’t have to go back very many generations to a time when families had to use responsible ingredients because, well, that’s all there was. You ate apples when apples were in season because the infrastructure for shipping wasn’t the same as it is today. You bought your meat from a local butcher from a pig that grazed in an open field instead of a feedlot. And your family probably had quite a few recipes for the not-so sought-out parts of the pig to reduce waste and save money. And the other waste? Well, without the plastics and other non-biodegradable items that we have today, the impact of cooking was much, much lower. But yes, for a number of years, those built-in sustainable cooking practices went away. They resurfaced with environmentalist movements in the 1960s and 1970s, and today, with the increasing threat of climate change, it seems that the sustainability movement is here to stay.
Why is sustainability important?
Well, the obvious reason is that it feels good to be doing your part to promote environmentalism. Your choices about what to eat for dinner may seem small, but they contribute to sustainable farming practices that can benefit all of us in the long run. And, there’s another benefit to sustainable cooking - it’s absolutely delicious. You’re going to be using farm fresh ingredients without processing or preservatives and everything you eat will be perfectly in season. Sustainable cooking will invite you to use ingredients in new ways (with as little discarded as possible), you’re going to love the chance to try new flavours and textures.
Five easy ways you can be more sustainable in your kitchen:
A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of incorporating sustainable cooking into their daily routine. But even small steps can make a big difference. As you get started, you’ll notice that you’ll naturally start to want to add more sustainable recipes into your diet because they are so tasty. Here are a couple of easy things you can do to start cooking more sustainably at home:
Buy only fresh ingredients that are in season: Fill your fridge with fruits and vegetables that are in season and local to your area. This might require you to do a little research to figure out what is being grown locally versus imported. But once you start buying local, seasonal ingredients, you’ll see that all of your dishes taste better.
Try veganism or eat less meat: This is a really hard one for many people, but cutting back on meat is good for the environment. You don’t have to cut meat out completely, but eating smaller portions or having a vegetarian day once a week can go a long way.
Make sure the meat you do buy is responsibly sourced: For the dishes that require meat, make sure you have a sustainable source. No matter if it’s fish, chicken, pork, or beef, you can make your cooking more sustainable by buying meat that hasn’t been mass-produced (or overfished).
Take a sustainable cooking class: You don’t have to learn everything by trial and error! There are plenty of sustainable cooking classes that can teach you how to make delicious meals that are also environmentally friendly!
Grow your own vegetable garden: Supplement your groceries with homegrown veggies! Not only is gardening a great way to get outside and stay active, you'll also save money, reduce your waste and help the planet.
The sustainable cooking movement is around for good, so it’s a great time to make the switch. Get in the kitchen and start thinking about how you can make your meals with the environment in mind!
This year, mobile classes are making everyone’s list of top 10 things to do in Melbourne. That’s because you can get the quality of a formal class in the location you want. Have the best cocktail making classes in Melbourne, painting, perfume blending, and ceramics teachers comeThis year, mobile classes are making everyone’s list of top 10 things to do in Melbourne. That’s because you can get the quality of a formal class in the location you want. Have the best cocktail making classes in Melbourne, painting, perfume blending, and ceramics teachers come to your home or office space to lead a fun and engaging class for a group of your closest friends, family, or coworkers.
Why are mobile classes so popular for corporate team building?
Everyone is looking for the best way to give back to their employees and build a better workplace. Mobile classes are a wonderful way to do that, and as it turns out, there are actually tangible benefits to providing your employees with a little creative relief. Reputable organisations like the Black Dog Institute, Safe Work Australia, and Beyond Blue have all suggested that self care and mental wellness in the workplace can improve employee retention, boost productivity and create a general sense of happiness in the office.
ClassBento mobile classes go far beyond simply putting people together in a room and hoping that they’ll mingle and bond. With a shared goal in mind, a supportive and passionate instructor, and the chance to learn something new, you’ll watch your team connect and grow together, all while having a great time.
For a fun work break during the day, you might organise a mobile art class so that your team has the chance to destress with ceramics or a mosaic workshop. Or, for an after hours group bonding activity, you might schedule a professional mixologist to come to the workplace to teach your team how to create the perfect cocktail in a fun cocktail making class. You can be sure that the group of coworkers that become mixologists together, will enjoy working together more after this hands on mobile class.
Mobile classes are a great option for corporate teams because they can happen right in the workplace. That’s crucial decision factor for the employees on your team who may not be able to commute to a different location in order to attend a class. If you want to schedule your team building class during the day, you won’t lose valuable productivity time in the commute or have to reimburse their travel expenses – your employees can simply walk over to the conference room, enjoy the class, and then head back to their desks.
If your business has been looking for creative ways to utilise large spaces in the office such as meeting rooms or even larger halls, a mobile class is a good way to bring the team together and use that space for some quality bonding time. Most of the mobile classes ClassBento offers can accommodate groups between 10 to 40 people, or even as high as 70 people in one particular mobile cocktail making class in Melbourne.
Mobile classes are great for other occasions too!
If you’re looking for unique activities for an upcoming birthday, retirement party, graduation celebration, hen’s party, bridal shower, or other group activity, a mobile class is the perfect solution.
These classes are specifically designed to be accessible for everyone, absolutely enjoyable, and totally relaxing. Whatever class you choose, you’ll learn from an experienced instructor who will walk you through the entire process from start to finish. Your group will have helpful instruction and one-on-one guidance, but each class is designed to be casual enough that you’ll be able to chat, laugh, and relax with your friends and loved ones. It’s the perfect balance of learning and simply enjoying time with your group.
And, the best part? It all takes place in the comfort of your own home or the venue of your choice. Your mobile class teacher will come to you at the time of your party, with all of the materials for the class in hand. That way, all you have to do is get your list of guests together and enjoy the workshop!
There are plenty of mobile classes available for you to choose from. For a more artistically-minded group, you might organise a fun mobile acrylic pouring class, or a mobile group paint and sip class. Or, for even more of a boozy option, go for a tasty mobile cocktail making class. Looking for something even more unique and out of the box? Try a mobile flower crown and cocktail making workshop or a mobile perfume blending class.
Sign up for a mobile class today!
For a fun time without ever having to leave the house or office, you sign up for a mobile class with ClassBento. Take a look at our long list of options and get in touch with one of our experienced mobile class instructors in Melbourne to set up your next mobile class party. All classes are designed for groups of different sizes so whether you’ve got 10 participants, or 70, you’ll find a class that is perfect for your party!
If you’ve been wracking your brain to come up with unique ideas for your next party or corporate event, you should consider organising a mobile paint and sip class in Melbourne. Mobile art classes are an increasingly popular way to boost creativity while having a great time with friends, family,If you’ve been wracking your brain to come up with unique ideas for your next party or corporate event, you should consider organising a mobile paint and sip class in Melbourne. Mobile art classes are an increasingly popular way to boost creativity while having a great time with friends, family, and coworkers. So, what exactly is a mobile art class? The idea is simple. You choose the place of your party, invite 10 or more guests, and stock up on some booze! An experienced teacher will come to your location with all the art supplies you need to have a boozy painting workshop that everyone will love.
How can you be sure art classes for adults will be right for your party?
In our busy lives, the idea of taking the time to dedicate to painting lessons or going to a paint and sip class can seem impossible. And, of course, our egos often get in the way. Formal painting classes, even painting classes for beginners, seem intimidating, especially if we don’t feel we have ‘natural talent.’ So what happens when you bring a mobile art class to a corporate event or casual get together with friends? Well, these casual classes are designed to be fun, relaxed, and open to all skill levels. No one will feel left behind, and everyone will be so grateful that you gave them the chance to try something new.
And there are a few other benefits too. Studies show that even just 45 minutes of painting can lower the stress hormone, cortisol. What’s more, art is great for self expression and focus, and can even be meditative. We’re always talking about how we can create a self-care routine, and painting is an excellent way to do that. Plus, when you practice art with friends, loved ones, and coworkers, those benefits have the potential to skyrocket. Watch your corporate team bond more during a sip and paint class than they ever would at an afterwork mixer, and you’ll be wondering why you hadn’t done something this fun sooner!
These classes are wonderful for hen’s parties, birthday parties, or for no special reason at all! It’s such a lovely experience that you’ll be planning your next mobile art party before this one is even over.
Why choose a mobile paint and sip class versus a paint and sip studio?
There are a few benefits to having your art teacher come to you instead of attending painting lessons in a studio. On the one hand, you’ll have the comfort of practicing art in the comfort of your own home or a neutral location like your workplace. This can be much more accessible for the guests of your party who may feel more at ease in a place they already know. Especially when exploring their creativity is involved, you might notice that your guests will open up more easily when they’re in a familiar place. That wine, beer or mixed drink in their hands will help too!
In addition to being in a comfortable location, mobile paint and sip classes are also more intimate. You won’t be sharing a space with other art students who are not in your party, and your art instructor will be able to give everyone in the group a more personalised experience. Another hidden benefit of a mobile paint and sip class is that you can make it a total surprise. Have your guests show up with the idea that they’ll be attending a regular party, and then watch their faces light up when they realise you’ve got something much more special planned for them.
Mobile art parties are a trend that’s here to stay
Your guests are going to be talking about your mobile art party long after the class is over. Plus, the skills they learn during their paint and sip class will stick with them so that they can continue painting on their own. Don’t be surprised if your guests tell you that you helped them find their favourite new hobby.
Booking a mobile art class for your next party is easy. All you have to do is contact a ClassBento art teacher in your area and set up the perfect date and time. Melbourne has tons of great paint and sip classes that will accommodate your group of 15 to 40 people (or less if you’re willing to pay a bit more per person), and all you have to do is find a venue with enough seating and table space for everyone.
Then, simply have everyone bring their favourite drinks and ask them to wear comfortable clothes that they don’t mind splashing a bit of paint on. Your art instructor will provide the materials and guide your group through a very fun paint and sip class. At the end of the painting workshop, everyone will be able to take their finished project home so that they can remember the great time they had at your mobile art party!
Looking for some fun cocktail making classes in Sydney? You have to try out these six unique drink experiences in Sydney and take your cocktail making (and tasting!) skills to a whole new level. All of these Sydney-based classes are led by experienced instructors who are passionate about sharingLooking for some fun cocktail making classes in Sydney? You have to try out these six unique drink experiences in Sydney and take your cocktail making (and tasting!) skills to a whole new level. All of these Sydney-based classes are led by experienced instructors who are passionate about sharing their skills and know-how with their students. They’ll teach you everything you need to know about the world of mixology so that you can walk away with a newfound appreciation for everything cocktail-related. Round up a group of friends and try out these unique drink classes in Sydney!
1. Cocktail Making with Australian Native Plants
It’s no secret that Australia is home to some of the most unique and interesting flora and fauna our planet has to offer. But now, you’ll get a chance to harness that natural goodness in drink form. In this wonderfully Australian cocktail making class, you’ll get a chance to learn about all the delicious ingredients that have been growing right outside your home. Lilly pilly, riberies, myrtle, Illawarra plum, and acacia are just some of the names that will pop up in your Australian native plants cocktail making workshop. Everyone is looking for local, fresh, in season ingredients, and this one-of-a-kind class is the perfect way to connect with just such ingredients. And, all of the cocktails you make in this class will be absolutely delicious.
2. Tea Infused Vodka Cocktail Making Class
This class is led by the founder of LongLeaf Vodka, a 100 percent Australian made vodka company with very unique twist. LongLeaf Vodka is made with Sri Lankan Ceylon tea, and if you’ve never tried this unique vodka, you’re in for a treat. Right when you walk in the door, you’ll be greeted with a tasty welcome beverage made with LongLeaf Vodka - what a great way to start a class! Over the course of the workshop, you’ll learn how to make amazing vodka-based cocktails. You’ll also be able to pair your delicious beverages with a Sri Lankan entree. This class isn’t just about learning techniques. There’s plenty of time to experiment, too. In fact, make sure you have a few potential drink names ready, because you’ll also be the proud creator of your own signature LongLeaf Vodka cocktail.
3. Gin and Tonic Tasting Sydney
You’ll never underestimate the power of a gin and tonic after you’ve tried this unique tasting class. Over the course of an hour and a half, you’ll learn more about this classic drink than you ever expected. In this class you’ll go far beyond simply tasting different gin and tonics. Instead, your passionate instructor will walk you through a tasting of four different tonics and four different gins before you even set your sights on a full gin and tonic. Only after you’ve familiarised yourself with the separate components of this cocktail will you get a chance to taste them together. Obviously, you’ll get plenty of time to taste different variations of this delicious beverage, along with a delightful snack platter
4. Tour Cool Bars of a Niche Sydney Scene
Get ready to spend four hours exploring some of the best bars that Redfern has to offer. This is the perfect opportunity for an insider to guide you to the best kept secrets of the area where great cocktails, live music, and interesting performances await you. Your group will be small - no more than eight people - and you’ll spend the night hopping from bar to bar with the chance to have tasty drinks and food throughout the evening. The locations you’ll visit are hidden small bars, so if you’re looking for a unique way to explore Redfern this is the way to do it.
5. Fun Health-focused Cocktail Making Class (Mobile)
It’s not everyday that you get to drink alcohol for your health! But with this fun class, you’ll learn how to turn a regular cocktail into a health-boosting beverage. By incorporating healing, natural ingredients like fresh grapefruit, herbal tea, elderflower and kombucha, your cocktails will be as healthy as they are delicious. And the really special part about this class? It’s mobile! You can have the certified instructor come to your home, office, or venue of your choice with all the materials you’ll need for the class.
6. Rum Spicing Masterclass
This workshop is both a distillery tour of Brix Distillers and a rum infusion class all in one special night. With a glass of Brix Spiced & Dry in hand, you’ll spend the first part of this workshop touring the rum distillery and learning about the art of rum spicing. In the second phase of the evening, you’ll have the chance to create your own signature infusions. They may include cinnamon, mango, cloves, or a number of other tasty flavours. At the end of the night, you’ll walk away with a bottle of your very own spiced rum to share with friends and loved ones.
Explore the world of drinks and cocktail making with these unique classes!
Having a hard time choosing between these 6 exciting classes? Why not try a few! And if you’re looking for more fun and unique workshops, check out the ClassBento class list. Whether you’re looking for a boozy night out or a family friendly class, you’ll find something perfect with ClassBento.
Wondering what kids cooking classes in Melbourne can do for your family? Well, as it turns out, there is a long list of reasons why involving kids in the cooking process is beneficial for everyone, especially your kids! Here's some reasons why kids should be encouraged to get in the kitchenWondering what kids cooking classes in Melbourne can do for your family? Well, as it turns out, there is a long list of reasons why involving kids in the cooking process is beneficial for everyone, especially your kids! Here's some reasons why kids should be encouraged to get in the kitchen and don their little chef uniforms (other than the fact that it’s adorable to watch.)
Some of the benefits of cooking for kids
Cooking is not only fun for a child, but it can also develop important life skills. When kids learn to cook, they build confidence, develop better decision making abilities, and strengthen their math and vocabulary skills. And, because cooking classes are social and fun, you’ll never have to convince your little one to go - they’ll be more than excited!
You’ll watch your children develop a newfound appreciation for food when they’re able to make it themselves. Kids who may have been picky eaters will now be excited to try new things simply because they made it themselves. A good place to start is by exploring the nutrition website Eat For Health, where you’ll find colourful ingredient charts that will pique the interest of even the most closed minded of kids.
As the parenting website Raising Children points out, teaching children to cook is also a great way to instil healthy eating habits. It’s an opportunity to get them familiar with and excited about healthy ingredients. After all, prepackaged food may taste good to a child, but it’s definitely not as fun to stick something in the microwave as it is to pick out, prepare, and cook fresh ingredients.
While you may not be thinking about your little one growing up just yet, knowing how to cook will be a wonderful advantage for them in the future. According to Kids News, the statistics show that a staggering number of Australian teens are a bit lost in the kitchen. When they’re ready to move out on their own, it will be hard for them to be self reliant without being able to feed themselves. That’s why teaching children to cook at a young age is such an important gift we can give to the next generation. When they’re ready to go off on their own, they’ll have the experience and confidence to cook for themselves - and probably their university buddies, too!
Why families love kid-friendly cooking classes
During most of the year, many of us get distracted by life’s daily responsibilities. School, work, team sports, recitals, and household chores get in the way of us being able to spend more than a few moments together every day. In fact, for many families, mealtimes are the only chance we have to sit down and enjoy each other’s company.
Taking cooking classes expands the quality time that we get to spend together. Instead of everyone gathering around the dinner table, the family has the opportunity to spend time cooking together, too. And, once a child learns that cooking can be a time for creativity and fun, they’ll be drawn to the kitchen long after the cooking classes are over. And it’s not just the kids who will love taking cooking classes. As adults, we can always develop our skills in the kitchen and renew our love for cooking. Just because a cooking class is designed for kids doesn’t mean that you won’t also learn some great new recipes and cooking techniques.
Plus, you’ll have a chance to meet other parents and learn best practices for getting your kids engaged in the kitchen. Especially if you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, it can be really beneficial to learn from other parents about how to get your kids enthused about healthy foods.
Kids cooking classes in Melbourne
Finding a kids cooking class that will appeal to your little one and the rest of the family doesn’t have to be tricky. OTAO Kitchen in Melbourne offers unique and fun kids cooking classes - like Kids Asian Cooking - that are great for kids and parents. They also have longer kids cooking workshops like their five part Kids Cooking Course for children ages eight to 11, or their four part Kids Masterchef Cooking Course that caters to ages 12 to 16. No matter which kids cooking class you choose, your children will love the fun, supportive atmosphere that experienced instructor and chef Hà Nguyen creates in these amazing workshops.
A kids cooking class is just the beginning
You’ll find that the skills your child develops in a kids cooking class is really just the beginning of a lifelong relationship with food. There’s no end to their culinary journey, and your entire family will enjoy watching them take their love for cooking to new levels all the time.
So go ahead and buy your family members matching aprons and sign up for the next kids cooking class!
Hens parties can be tricky to organise. If you’ve never planned one, the whole process seems overwhelming. And even if you have planned one, every bride has a different personality and a unique group of friends and family in her bridal party. Luckily, ClassBento has a full list of fun hens partyHens parties can be tricky to organise. If you’ve never planned one, the whole process seems overwhelming. And even if you have planned one, every bride has a different personality and a unique group of friends and family in her bridal party. Luckily, ClassBento has a full list of fun hens party ideas that will appeal to everyone in attendance. Let us help you plan the perfect hens party in Melbourne, and give you some helpful tips to make the whole process a little less stressful.
Try out some fun workshops for your hens party
If you’ve got a group of creative hens coming to the party, there are plenty of workshops to choose from. Here are a few of our favourite Melbourne workshops:
Perfume Making Workshop
This is a two hour course that will allow the girls to get creative with fragrances. After learning the basics of perfume mixing, each hen will have the chance to choose from over 50 unique fragrances to create their very own signature perfume. And, everyone will walk away with a 50mL bottle of their custom fragrance.
DIY Organic Skincare Essentials Workshop
We can’t think of anything more fun than a traditional girl’s night - complete with luxurious beauty products. In this three hour class, your experienced instructor will teach you how to make three different products - body balm, lip balm, and face serum - all while relaxing and having a great hens party.
Private Flower Crown Workshop
Learning to make flower crowns is a relaxing and delightful activity for a hens party. You’ll all look Instagram ready with this two hour flower crown workshop, and you’ll be able to take your wonderful creations home with you.
Need a little more booze? Try these fun classes in Melbourne!
Of course, if you’re looking for a bit of a boozy hens party, there are also some great options to get everyone nice and buzzed.
Tipples and Tints: Paint and Sip Class
This class is the perfect balance of exploring your creative side and relaxing and having a great time with friends. You’ll spend two and a half hours with a paintbrush in one hand and a delicious cocktail in the other. And, by the end of the class, everyone will have a beautiful masterpiece to commemorate the evening.
Cocktail Making Masterclass
Maybe arts and crafts isn’t going to go over well with the bridesmaids, and that’s okay! With this fun cocktail making class, you can get right down to the boozy business of making wonderful cocktails. For an hour and a half, you’ll learn the insider tricks of making great beverages from Red Spice Road’s bar manager, Kasey. She’ll create the perfect party experience for your group of girls!
Mobile Cocktail Making Class
If you’ve already got a venue for your hens party, you might consider bringing the cocktail making course to you! With this mobile cocktail making class, an experienced mixologist from Mofo Lounge will bring all the cocktail making supplies to your party. The girls will love the chance to get creative with new cocktails in this intimate setting.
This list is just the beginning
If nothing on this list resonated with you, don’t worry! There are plenty of other classes that will be perfect for your upcoming hens party. Take a look at our full list of classes in Melbourne to find the right hens party activity for you.
And before we let you go, some tried-and-true tips for planning hens parties
Planning a hens party is never without its unique challenges, so here are some tested pieces of advice that will help the process run a little more smoothly:
Start early. You’re going to be trying to wrangle multiple calendars, so it’s a good idea to lock down a date for the hens party early and start the planning process as soon as possible.
Keep an eye on your budget. Some bridesmaids will be more comfortable than others handing over money for the hens party activities. Make sure that you talk to everyone ahead of time to gauge where everyone is at in terms of the budget. After all, you don’t want to book an instructor only to find out that the girls aren’t able to pay for the class.
Arrange transport. Especially if you’re going to be organising an booze-filled night, you’re going to want to have someone to take the girls home. It might be one of the bridesmaids who’s willing to stay sober to drive a van, or a hired driver. Another option might be to budget for rideshares to and from the event. Whatever you choose, make sure you’ve organised it all ahead of time.
And the last piece of advice? Have fun!
Don’t forget that you’re also part of the hens party! You’ve done the hard work of getting everyone together and finding the right activity.. You deserve to partake in the celebration, too!
Maybe you’ve been going through all of the options for gifts for men and just can’t find the right fit. Well, with ClassBento’s long list of amazing experience gifts for men, the search is over. Whether you’re looking for birthday present experiences, experiences for couples,Maybe you’ve been going through all of the options for gifts for men and just can’t find the right fit. Well, with ClassBento’s long list of amazing experience gifts for men, the search is over. Whether you’re looking for birthday present experiences, experiences for couples, or gift options for dads, these fun, creative, tasty, and relaxing experience gifts are sure to please. Here are our top 10 experience gifts for men 2019 in Sydney.
Cocktail making with Australian native plants
If you’re looking for the perfect experience gift for the man in your life who loves a good cocktail, this is the workshop for you. Over the course of two hours, he’ll learn how to make delicious cocktails using natural ingredients that grow right outside. Not only will your gift recipient learn how to make tasty beverages, he’ll also get the opportunity to taste test some of the best cocktails in Sydney.
Beginner’s pottery class
As an experience gift for him, a beginner’s pottery class is absolutely perfect for every man in your life, whether he would consider himself artistic or not. Pottery is a great hobby for anyone who loves exploring their creativity in a relaxed and supportive setting. This class is broken up into three sessions lasting two hours each, and it’s been designed specifically for beginners. An experienced instructor will be there every step of the way to help workshop participants create something they can be proud of, whether it’s a set of plates, flower vases or pet food bowls.
Make a ring in a day
It just takes one afternoon to create a great metal ring with this fun workshop. If you know a man in your life who loves metalsmithing and can appreciate a beautifully crafted copper, silver or gold ring, this class has to be added to your list of experience gift ideas. Over the course of five hours, your silversmith in training will learn how to design, hammer, saw, measure, anneal, solder, fill, and polish a one-of-a-kind ring to bring home. He’ll love creating his work of art as much as he’ll love wearing it.
This has long been one of our most popular classes, and it’s not surprising why. With no special equipment other than a smartphone, you can give the gift of photography to a loved one and watch their creativity soar. This is a three hour class that focuses on Sydney’s most beautiful landscapes and points of interest, and your gift recipient will learn valuable skills like composition, shutter speed, and style development.
Know a coffee lover who would enjoy learning how to make a tastier cup at home? Barista courses make wonderful experience gifts for anyone who can appreciate a great cup of coffee. In this three hour class, your coffee lover will learn all the fundamentals of barista training from a trained barista. That includes brew ratios, tamping, grinding and extraction, and even a bit of latte art. This workshop is also open to children, making it right at home on any list of experience gifts for dad to do with the kids.
If you know a guy who seems to have an endless supply of amazing graphic tees, this workshop is going to be one of the best experience gifts. He’ll love having the chance to design his own image and make it come to life on the textile of his choice. This is a two to four hour class with plenty of guidance and instruction from one of our well-rated screen printing teachers in Sydney. Your gift recipient doesn’t need any prior experience, just a willingness to show up and make some incredible art.
Italian Bread Making Class
You may be looking for experience vouchers for a man in your life, but believe us, you’ll benefit from him learning how to make the most delicious Italian bread you can imagine. Breadmaking is a great way to get creative in the kitchen, learn a new useful skill, and enjoy some tasty treats. Each class lasts two hours, and your gift recipient will not only learn how to make bread, but will also be able to enjoy some tasty cheeses and a perfectly paired glass of wine while they learn. If you’re trying to transform your friends and loved ones into professional-level bakers so that you can constantly snack on fresh bread, this is one of the best experience gift ideas we can share with you!
Speaker Building Workshop
This workshop is wildly popular with tinkerers and builders who love taking on fun new projects. We offer gift vouchers that cover four sessions that are three hours each, and will allow your gift recipient to build their own speaker from the ground up. With the perfect balance of creativity and handiwork, participants of this class learn about speaker component basics, electrical circuit theory, Hi-Fi systems and more.
Sustainable Living: Composting in Tiny Spaces
This class is ideal for anyone in your life who wants to live a more sustainable life. Composting is the latest trend in eco friendly living, but many of us are unsure of how to do that, especially if we live in a small space. In just one hour, your gift recipient will learn everything they need to know about how to compost in any setting, from family homes to townhouses to inner-city apartments. Eco friendly experience gifts are wonderful for anyone looking to make a positive impact on the world.
Portrait Sketching Class
We all have one of those people in our lives with some untapped artistic talent waiting to be explored. That’s what makes these portrait sketching classes the perfect experience gifts for men who just need a little push to become the artist he was meant to be. This two hour class was designed specifically for beginners or anyone looking to hone their skills in a different area of art. Your gift recipient will learn important techniques to create depth and perfect proportions in their portrait drawings.
There are so many experience gifts for him to choose from!
Take a look at our full list of Sydney workshops available and find the best experience gifts for the friend, boyfriend, husband, father, or son in your life.
If you’re looking for gifts for a man in your life, be it your roommate, boyfriend, dad, or coworker, you might find that many of the men’s gifts out there tend to be generic and unimaginative. If you’re looking for unique gift experiences for him, ClassBento has all of the different,If you’re looking for gifts for a man in your life, be it your roommate, boyfriend, dad, or coworker, you might find that many of the men’s gifts out there tend to be generic and unimaginative. If you’re looking for unique gift experiences for him, ClassBento has all of the different, thoughtful, and exciting Sydney workshops to make your gift truly memorable. Here are our top recommendations for unique gift experiences for him:
Beginner’s Kintsugi Workshop
Kintsugi is the ancient art of Japanese broken pottery repair. Through the use of lacquer with metal like gold or silver, the artist can rebuild the original piece, highlighting the imperfections instead of trying to hide them. If it sounds niche and precise, that’s because it is. And that’s what makes these workshops some of the most perfect things to do in Sydney for the detail-oriented, patient, and focused people in your life.
The workshop lasts two hours and covers the basics of Kintsugi, including some of the basic techniques of this ancient practice. Your gift recipient will have the chance to repair their own broken pottery piece and take it home with them. As a beginner’s class, everyone is welcome whether they have any experience or knowledge of Kintsugi or not. But, even if you sign up for only one or two gift vouchers, he could continue learning this artform by taking more advanced courses afterward.
Resin Art Stool Workshop
We’ve all seen those enticing resin pour videos online, but did you know that learning how to work with resin is also a must do in Sydney? These resin art stool workshops make great experience gifts for men who like to work with their hands, and have an eye for design. Everyone in this class will walk away with an amazing, functional piece of art - a chic resin art stool to be exact. Your gift recipient will be able to select their pigments and powders so that their resin stool comes out with the colour of their choice. Then, their instructor will walk them through the pouring process, and they’ll leave their gorgeous stool top to dry. 24 hours later, they’ll be ready for pickup and safe to sit on. If you’re giving these workshops as experience gifts, make sure to remind your gift receiver to dress casually. This workshop is one of the messier art classes Sydney has to offer.
Glass Blowing Taster Session
Next on our list of unique gift experiences for him is this very special glass blowing taster session. This two hour class is packed with information on glass blowing techniques and hands-on glass blowing. If you’re looking for gift ideas for men who want to play with fire while also making something beautiful, well, we couldn’t recommend a more perfect option. Of course, this class is serious business too. Under the instruction of a professional glass blower, your gift recipient will learn about different glass rods and tubes, as well as some basic methods like sculpting, joining, stretching and blowing. They’ll also learn about colour mixing, and how to balance planning with improvisation to create stunning pieces. At the end of the class, he’ll walk away with at least one handmade glass object, and a brand new favourite hobby.
Simple Leather Card Holder
Working with leather is a rewarding experience, but not one that many of us can explore on our own. Because this material is so valuable, this is one of those DIY projects that you really need to learn from an expert. That’s what makes these unique gift experiences for him so desirable. He’ll have the chance to learn from a professional leatherworker how to turn a simple piece of leather into a work of art, no frustration or waste of precious materials included.
During these three hour Sydney workshops, your gift receiver will create a simple leather card holder made from 100% Italian leather and cotton threads. He’ll have the opportunity to select the colour of his choice, and his expert instructor will walk him through the cutting and saddling process. By the time he’s finished with this fun and unique course, he’ll be wondering how to keep this hobby alive to create more beautiful card holders and wallets.
Make Your Own Glasses Frame
If there’s one thing we all want, it’s a pair of glasses that was literally made for us. And with this exciting workshop, you can give the man in your life the opportunity to do just that. There’s no way anyone else in his life could have come up with unique experience gift ideas like this one.
With four hours, your gift recipient will learn how to take a slab of Acetate - there will be over 20 different colours to choose from - and stainless steel sides and turn it into the glasses of his dreams. With the direction of his helpful instructor, your gift recipient will use an array of professional tools, like files, a jewellers saw, a dremel and sandpaper to make his ideal glasses frames come to life. And when the workshop is over, the lucky man in your life will walk away with a complete glasses frame, and a spectacle case with cleaning cloth. Then, he’ll either be able to send his glasses in to get fitted with his lenses, or the instructor can arrange all of that for him.
You can imagine that there are few Sydney activities that he’ll remember every time he puts on his glasses, but this amazing class can be one of them.
There are so many more unique gift experiences for him to explore
This is just a snapshot of all of the exciting and different classes that you can find on the ClassBento website. There are classes for the creative, adventurous, outdoorsy, and food-loving men who might not be happy with the standard gift ideas for men. Whether you’re looking for anniversary gifts, Christmas presents or birthday experiences for a man in your life, you are sure to find something as unique as he is.
Whether you’re looking for housewarming gifts, anniversary gifts, or birthday gifts for women, experience gifts in Sydney are trendy and fun. Instead of giving her something that you can only hope she’ll like, why not give her an experience that you know she’ll never forget. NoWhether you’re looking for housewarming gifts, anniversary gifts, or birthday gifts for women, experience gifts in Sydney are trendy and fun. Instead of giving her something that you can only hope she’ll like, why not give her an experience that you know she’ll never forget. No more of the same store-bought candles, flowers, or other impersonal gifts that she gets for every birthday and anniversary. If you’re looking for something that will really surprise her, sign her up for gift experiences for her in Sydney. No matter if she’s interested in cooking, crafts, dance, or art, the perfect workshop is waiting for her. Here are our top experience gifts for that special coworker, girlfriend, bestie, or family member.
We all have that friend who wouldn’t be happy with the same old stereotypical gifts for her. And with a skateboarding class, you can give that woman in your life something she can truly enjoy. These skateboarding classes last one hour, and they cater to total beginners, so no prior experience is necessary. The instructors also provide all protective gear, so no worries about injuries. These workshops are kid-friendly Sydney activities, making them the perfect experience gifts for parents to share with their kids. They also have group lessons for adults if you think your gift receiver would have more fun learning this new skills with her besties. It’s great exercise, and it’s one of the most unique experiences Sydney has to offer.
Rum Spicing Masterclass
If you’re looking for more adult-friendly experience gift ideas, this rum-filled workshop is a popular one. Whether you know a rum connoisseur or someone who enjoys a good Piña Colada, this two hour class is enjoyable for any level of rum lover. The class is broken down into two parts. For the first half hour or so, your gift recipient will get a full distillery tour of Brix Distillers to learn how rum is made and spiced on a professional level. Then, they’ll have the rest of the class to try their own rum spice concoctions using a variety of different flavours, some classic and some Australian native. As your gift receiver is sampling and perfecting their signature rum, they’ll be able to snack on charcuterie and chat with other rum lovers in the class.
Greenhouse Terrarium Making Class
This is one of those highly rated things to do in Sydney that anyone can love. It’s easy, relaxing, and at the end of it, your gift receiver will be able to take their own tiny greenhouse home with them. This is a one and a half hour workshop in which participants will learn how to create a beautiful miniature ecosystem inside of a vintage style glass jar. All the materials will be provided, and they consist of the best quality elements so that the terrariums look impressive and last for years. Don’t worry if this is for someone who can’t keep a plant alive - these terrariums are self-contained and take little effort to maintain. The class sizes for these Sydney workshops are small, so everyone gets plenty of feedback and direction to make a stunning terrarium.
Guitar Course for Beginners
How many of us wish that we could play an instrument but don’t take that first step to start the journey? If you have a friend of loved one who has talked about wanting to play guitar but has always had some excuse to put it off until tomorrow, add this class to your list of experience gift ideas for her. This course is beginner friendly, so she doesn’t have to have any prior knowledge. Over the course of ten one our sessions, she’ll learn the basics like tuning, strumming, and how to read simple music and interpret cloud diagrams and strumming patterns.
The beauty of experience gifts like this one is that your gift recipient could carry on this hobby for years to come. She’ll be so grateful that you helped her to finally pick up a guitar and start learning.
Unicorn Macaron Masterclass
Now is the perfect time to give a macaron class as a gift experience. This sweet treat has soared in popularity and learning how to make them is one of the most fun things to do in Sydney. Your gift receiver will get to go to behind the scenes in a macaron shop, where she’ll learn everything she needs to know to recreate these delicious and adorable treats at home. After her two hour class, she’ll walk away with a complimentary gift bag and everything she needs to whip up these goodies on her own.
Introduction to Brush Lettering Workshop
Brush lettering and calligraphy are a major trend right now. Brush lettering can take any ordinary card, letter, or sign and make it look stunning and professional. But as impressive as those online videos of brush lettering are, learning how to do it yourself can be tricky.
These brush lettering workshops are the perfect gifts for women who are creative and crafty. Prior experience is not required, as this class is specifically designed to break down the art of brush lettering into more approachable techniques. The course lasts two and a half hours, participants are given their own set of pens and materials, and plenty of time to mingle with new friends while they practice their new skills.
Handmade Gnocchi Making Class
This class is one of those Sydney attractions that was created with your foodie friend in mind. In this two hour class, she’ll learn how to create the perfect restaurant quality handmade gnocchi from the masters at Salt Meats Cheese. This is one of those special experience gift ideas that you’re not going to want to miss out on yourself. So why not book a couple of experience vouchers so that you can enjoy that gourmet pasta and wine together! These classes make great gift experiences for couples or friends.
Find the best experience gifts for her with ClassBento
You can find the whole list of experience gifts for women here.
Not every man in your life is going to be happy with the stereotypical gifts for men like power tools and work boots. There are sensitive types that might find calm arranging flowers or crafting their own handmade chocolates. Creatives that aren’t satisfied unless they’re doing somethingNot every man in your life is going to be happy with the stereotypical gifts for men like power tools and work boots. There are sensitive types that might find calm arranging flowers or crafting their own handmade chocolates. Creatives that aren’t satisfied unless they’re doing something with their hands, and others that are more concerned about their strict vegan diets and sustainable living. If you’re hoping to surprise him for his upcoming birthday, anniversary or other special occasion, it’s time to start thinking about gifts outside of the box.
With mindful, unique gift experiences, you can give your friend, boyfriend, husband, or father something that he’ll enjoy so much more than anything you could have bought online or from a retail store. Here are some alternative experience gifts for every kind of man in your life.
The creative man
Alright, there’s a little bit of creativity in everyone, but what kind of gift can you get for the men in your life who are most comfortable behind an easel or a camera? It’s a tricky question. Let’s say you’re friends with a talented landscape photographer and you want to sign him up for a photography workshop. A beginner’s class is going to be too basic for him, and you might not know enough about his skill level to put him in the appropriate class.
Instead, why not try to expand his creativity by signing him up for something unexpected? A Line Art Drawing and Perspective Workshop, for example, would invite him to capture landscapes with a pencil instead of a camera. Not only would he be learning a new skill that could become a hobby, but exploring this creative pursuit could make his photography practice even richer and more full-bodied.
The fashionable man
Whether he would admit it or not, you probably know a man in your life who puts thought and care into his wardrobe and style. Maybe he wears only the best cologne or he’s got a great collection of graphic t-shirts and fashionable sneakers. You can draw on those passions by signing him up for classes where he can create his own signature accessories. In a Screen Printing Workshop, he could print his own designs on a t-shirt. Or, you can sign him up for a Make Your Own Glasses Frames Workshop so that he can wear his own designer glasses.
Who knows? These experience gifts for men could be the start of his very own fashion line! And you would be the one who started it all.
The man who is always tinkering
If you know a man who spends all of his free time tinkering with the car or looking for things to fix around the house, it can be hard to find the right gift. Do you go with the unoriginal toolbox set that he probably already has? Maybe a toolbelt? A gift card to his favourite home improvement store? No! We can think of a few experience gift ideas that will be right up his alley. He’ll love them, and he would never have thought of them himself.
Consider, for instance, signing him up for a Beginner’s Kintsugi Workshop. In these fun classes, the man in your life will get the chance to use those precision skills to practice the ancient Japanese art of mending broken pottery. But instead of having fixed the leaky pipe under the sink or replaced the old fuse in the car, he’ll walk away with a piece of art that he can proudly display in his home. Another option to get that tinkering man out of his comfort zone could be a Weaving Workshop. Did you know that weaving was a predominantly male profession in the Middle Ages? It’s true! And it’s about time that we give our male friends and loved ones the opportunity to pick up the loom again.
The food-loving man
The food classes that men routinely get signed up for usually have to do with meat-grilling or whiskey tasting or some other stereotypically male endeavour. This year, it’s time to buck tradition and sign him up for something that will surprise and delight him more than another BBQing class ever could. If you know a health-conscious man who could benefit from more vegetables in his diet, why not sign him up for a Vegetarian Cooking Class. Even if he’s not fully vegetarian, he’ll still enjoy learning the basics of gourmet veggie-based cooking. Before, he might have never thought of cooking with ingredients like beetroot and quinoa, but after he uses his experience vouchers, he’ll be inviting over his friends and family to try his plant-based creations.
Or, maybe you’re looking for experience gift ideas for the tea connoisseurs in your life. With a Creative Tea Blending Workshop, he’ll be able to design his own signature tea blend. Not only will he think of this special workshop every time that he sits down for tea, but you also might be able to enjoy his wonderful blend. If he’ll share with you, that is!
The musical man
Is there a man in your life who is just full of rhythm but has never signed himself up for a music class? Maybe he sings in the car or dances in the supermarket or tells you all the time that he wished he had learned to play guitar when he was young. Well, lucky for him, there are plenty of music-related gifts for men available through ClassBento. No matter his musical talent, there are classes that he’ll love, even if he never would have signed up on his own.
A Kizomba Dance Class, for instance, can be a great gift if you’re looking for fun things to do in Sydney for couples. He may never have heard of this Angolan style of dance, but once you get started, he’ll be dancing around the house in no time! And it’s not just dance classes that make for interesting alternative experience gifts. You can sign him up for Saxophone for Beginners Classes or Voice Lessons to help him explore his inner musician. Maybe he never would have seen himself onstage at an open mic, but with these experience gifts for men, anything is possible.
Ready or not, the Christmas season is just about here. If you haven’t started already, you’ll soon feel that familiar holiday stress start to creep up. What kinds of gifts are you going to buy this year? Is the last minute gift rush at the shops really as bad as you remember it? And willReady or not, the Christmas season is just about here. If you haven’t started already, you’ll soon feel that familiar holiday stress start to creep up. What kinds of gifts are you going to buy this year? Is the last minute gift rush at the shops really as bad as you remember it? And will this finally be the year that you drown in Christmas debt? If you’re ready to say goodbye to the holiday nightmares of years past, it’s time to get creative with your gift-giving. Making your own DIY Christmas gifts by attending creative Sydney workshops, or giving experience gift cards as Christmas presents is the secret to a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season.
So, stop driving far and wide to find a unique present. Say goodbye to fighting over parking at the shopping centre, and stop wrapping expensive gifts (that probably end up stuffed in the back of a closet somewhere) in excess waste. Here’s how you can DIY this holiday season in style.
Why handmade Christmas gifts should be your go-to this year
If you’ve never given a handmade gift, you’re really missing out. There’s something so special about giving your loved one something you worked hard to make. And the feeling is mutual. Your gift receiver will appreciate that you care about them enough to give them something you couldn’t just buy online. And that’s not the only reason why handmade gifts are so trendy this year. People are catching onto the fact that it’s better to spend the holiday season learning a new skill and lowering stress and anxiety with an experience workshop than spending countless hours meandering around a huge commercial store. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never considered yourself to be a crafty person. ClassBento offers so many fun workshops for beginners that will allow you to make professional-looking handmade gifts with zero previous experience.
One popular option is the Natural Soy Candle Making Class in Annandale. Not only will you learn how to make environmentally-friendly vegan candles, but you’ll also walk away with three candles of different sizes that you can give away as unique Christmas gifts. You’ll also get a book-guide so that you can continue to make more candles when you get home for your other loved ones this holiday. Customise your candles with your mum’s favourite flowers, your brother’s favourite pine scent, or that style of container that you know would look amazing in your bestie’s house.
If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney with kids, why not involve them in the handmade Christmas gift idea too! With the DIY Pop Up Christmas Cards Class, you’ll have the chance to make one-of-a-kind Christmas cards that anyone in your family will love! During the course of the workshop, you’ll make one pop-up card, and then you’ll go home with a whole set of supplies to keep making them for everyone on your gift list.
Don’t have time to DIY Christmas gifts? Workshops experience gift cards have you covered...
There’s a long list of reasons why giving someone an experience gift for Christmas is better than buying them something at the store. On the one hand, experience gifts are perfect for the creative people in your life who already have hobbies but just can’t take the time to enjoy them. When you sign them up for a class, they’ll be much more likely to set aside the time to do what they love.
Experience gifts are also great options for people in your life who don’t have a hobby but are open to trying something new. It’s well known that hobbies like knitting, playing an instrument, dancing, painting, and photography have a range of health benefits. And unlike a set of at-home spa products that they could easily buy for themselves, an experience gift will be both relaxing and unexpected.
And finally, if you’re looking for the best things to do in Sydney to boost the local economy instead of spending your money in huge corporations, then giving experience gifts is the solution. All of these Sydney workshops are led by local artisan teachers, which means that you can feel good about the money that you spend on the vouchers.
What does a workshop experience gift look like?
For that friend or coworker that you always end up giving a bottle of booze, you can sign them up for something much more exciting, like a Cocktail Masterclass in Circular Quay. You can still keep up the tradition of giving them a bottle of their favourite booze if you’d like. But with the skills they learn from their cocktail masterclass, now they’ll know how to make an even better cocktail with it!
Sweets are always a beloved part of the Christmas season, so why not sign a loved one up for a Fun Chocolate Truffle Workshop. The participants spend this workshop learning about chocolate, learning different chocolate-making techniques, and, of course, sampling some delicious chocolate truffles. It’s the perfect gift for your sweet-toothed friends and family.
If you’re looking for arts and crafts, don’t worry. The list of painting, photography, pottery, and textile art classes that you can find with ClassBento is long. There are drawing classes for that cousin who doodles on everything in sight. There are yarn dyeing classes for that friend who always makes knitted gifts for Christmas. There are jewellery making workshops for your mum who has such a picky taste in jewellery that she should probably be making it herself!
No matter who you’re shopping for, there are plenty of classes to choose from. You can also make it a family affair by organizing a mobile group class for your family. It’s a unique and exciting way to transform any generic Christmas party into an event that they’ll be talking about all year long.
Make your own handmade Christmas gifts or give an experience gift! This holiday will be one to remember! We’re so excited to get away from the yearly holiday nightmare of stressful gift-buying and generic gift-giving. These Sydney workshops are sure to make this Christmas something really special.
It's time we get away from the idea that men can be categorised into one of two camps: the creative artist or the manly man. If you think of the men in your life, chances are, they are more creative than the world gives them credit for - even the ones who are first to fire up the grill or changeIt's time we get away from the idea that men can be categorised into one of two camps: the creative artist or the manly man. If you think of the men in your life, chances are, they are more creative than the world gives them credit for - even the ones who are first to fire up the grill or change their own car tyres. Actively encouraging men to explore their creative side can have positive effects on their mental health and overall wellbeing. And no, picking up a paintbrush or learning a new style of dance isn’t going to radically change his personality. But it will open doors for him, give him a confidence boost, and provide him with an outlet to relax and recharge. And although he might not have thought to sign up for an art class on his own, just wait until he attends his first one. He’s going to love it.
So, if you’ve got a man in your life who could use a little push to explore his creativity, we’ve got just the experience gift ideas for him in Sydney.
The visual arts
Interested in how the man in your life sees the world? Sign him up for Sydney workshops that explore the visual arts. Visual arts are anything having to do with drawing, painting, sculpture or photography. There are plenty of art classes that will introduce him to any medium he finds interesting.
A Smartphone Photography Course is great because he won’t need any special equipment to develop this new hobby. In fact, don’t be surprised if you find him capturing his perspective on his iPhone with the skills that he learned from his introductory class. Not only will he be able to explore the world through a new lens, but you’ll have your own personal photographer. Not a bad deal! Another popular option would be a Tumi-isi Painting Class. This centuries-old practice incorporates visual arts and minimalism, inviting the participants to paint a stack of five wooden blocks. It seems simple, but he’ll be deep in meditation by the time this class is over.
The culinary arts
We don’t often think of cooking a tasty meal as a creative outlet, which makes these Sydney workshops the perfect gifts for men who aren’t too keen on exploring their creativity. He’ll still get the chance to tap into his inner artist, even if it just feels like he’s cooking a meal.
A Middle Eastern Cooking Class is a great place to start. Food from this region of the world requires an incredible attention to detail. Your chef-in-the-making will be required to find the perfect balance of conflicting flavours and create a visually stunning end result. And, he’ll love eating what he makes so much, he’ll want to explore more on his own - a bonus for you! If you’re really looking to challenge the stereotypes, why not explore experience gifts that involve baking? This part of the culinary arts may be traditionally reserved for women, but what about the man in your life that loves a good sweet treat? With a French Croissant Making Class, he can make his own delicious desserts.
The textile arts
It’s pretty rare to see a man with a pair of knitting needles, but with all of the wonderful benefits of textile arts, from mood improvement to better focus and more, we should be encouraging all of the men in our lives to explore textile arts.
If you know a man who is always building something or fixing something or doing something similarly useful with his hands, why not teach him a hands-on skill in the textile arts? One of the most popular experience gifts in Sydney is the Small Leather Goods Making DIY Class, in which participants transform leather swatches into beautiful cardholders or earphone cases. If you’re looking for even more non-traditional experience gift ideas, you might sign him up for a Beginner’s Macrame Pot Hanger Workshop. This class will appeal especially to the men in your life who might already know some knot-tying techniques from spending time on boats or going fishing. The difference here is that he’ll walk away with a lovely plant hanger that he can display in his home or give away as a gift.
The performing arts
Performing arts like singing, dance, or theatre can have incredible benefits on a person’s sense of confidence and self-awareness. And for men who are in leadership or engage in public speaking, performing arts classes make useful experience gifts for him!
You might give him the gift of a Hiphop Dance Class, where he’ll not only have a great time but will also get an amazing workout. These classes are an opportunity to blow off some steam, enjoy good music, and, most importantly, have fun. Before you know it, the man in your life will be developing his own dance routines and breaking them out at the party, or even in the living room. Singing is another wonderful way to let go of stress and build confidence. With one-on-one singing lessons, these Sydney workshops are ideal for the man in your life who could benefit from performing arts but would never want to attend a group class. His instructor will help him to find his inner voice, and you’ll get to hear him belt out the high notes when he realises how lovely his singing voice is.
Try out these fun experience gifts for your creative man!
We’ve all heard the outdated tropes about men being left-brained and non-creative and unwilling to explore their hidden talents. But it’s time to let those old thinking patterns go! With experience gifts for men, you can foster his inner photographer, chef, sculptor, or weaver. He’ll be glad that you gave him that extra little push to let his creativity run free. The man in your life may not have thought to sign up for Sydney workshops, but once he’s attended his first one, he’ll want experience gifts for his next birthday, anniversary, or any other special occasion he can think of.
You might have heard of the recent mental health trend of culinary therapy. The idea is that being in the kitchen can have amazing effects on our mental wellbeing. And we couldn’t be more excited. Why not try exploring some of the many cooking classes in Melbourne to reap the benefits of culinaryYou might have heard of the recent mental health trend of culinary therapy. The idea is that being in the kitchen can have amazing effects on our mental wellbeing. And we couldn’t be more excited. Why not try exploring some of the many cooking classes in Melbourne to reap the benefits of culinary therapy for yourself? You’ll relax. You’ll explore your creativity. And you’ll make some delicious food. Your mental wellbeing will be as satisfied as your stomach!
Is culinary therapy a real thing?
This is a fairly new area of study in psychology, so we understand some of the hesitation. How can something as mundane as cooking really be part of a persons’ self-care routine? After all, we’ve all seen those cooking shows with high-strung chefs right out of cooking school. They do not look so relaxed. But, take a moment to think about the last time you were in the kitchen, cooking up your favourite homemade meal. You might not have realised it, but you were taking care of your mental health in a variety of ways.
On the one hand, there may have been the simple task of peeling a potato or selecting the best spinach leaves for your salad. The washing, peeling, slicing and dicing part of making your meal probably put you in something of a meditative state. Then, there’s the grounding effect. When you cook, you rely on senses that go mostly untapped throughout the day. Suddenly, you’re shifting your focus away from your thoughts - about work, bills, responsibilities - to your other senses: smell and taste and touch. A little more salt, a little less heat, another slice of ginger, you get the point. This is also a form of meditation that has been shown to lower anxiety and encourage concentration. There’s even evidence that this kind of mindfulness can promote brain growth for improved memory, empathy, and cognitive ability.
Finally, you sit down to eat your tasty meal. Even if things didn’t go completely according to plan, you likely feel a good amount of pride and accomplishment. Much more than you would have if you had ordered food delivery. Cooking for yourself, then, is a great way to build self-esteem and competence. And, we can guess that while you were cooking, you didn’t have a phone in your hand the whole time. The chance to unplug from technology and focus on the physical world in front of you is a practice that can make us all a little less frazzled throughout the week.
How about the nutritional effects?
As it turns out, the meditative effects of cooking are only part of the equation. You don’t have to go to culinary school to realise that the ingredients you use in your home cooking can improve your mood and physical health. When you cook at home, you have more control over the ingredients you use. By opting for fresh vegetables and a wider variety of herbs and spices, for instance, you can create a diet that will improve your mental health, says Psychology Today’s Linda Wasmer Andrews.
The key, of course, is to stay away from overly processed foods, which many home recipes do naturally. So, the more you cook for yourself, the more you can phase out ingredients that will make you feel sluggish and slow.
What to do if you "think" you can't cook
We get it, not everyone has that inherent talent for cooking. Even those who do enjoy being in the kitchen are prone to cooking boredom and repetition. That’s where the wide variety of cooking classes in Melbourne comes in. No matter what your level of culinary skill, ClassBento offers cooking classes that are going to make you excited to get back into the kitchen. You can learn from talented and trained cooking instructors to learn new styles from all over the world.
You might, for example, try a Korean Cooking Class to learn how to perfect the flavour profile of popular Korean meals. While you might have been too intimidated to buy the particular spices and ingredients used in Korean dishes in the past, you’ll now be so much more comfortable whipping up meals like Korean Style Chicken or Stir-fried Glass Noodles with Vegetables. Another popular option is a Spanish Cooking Class, in which you can learn how to make everything from Spanish Omelettes to Seafood Paella to Saffron-infused Sweet Pears. The wonderful thing about this class is that it’s run to mimic a typical Spanish community meal. Everyone will have the chance to take a seat and get to know each other.
Of course, you don’t want to just learn how to make meals for special occasions like romantic dates. That’s why you can also find plenty of cooking classes in Melbourne to do with kids! There are different classes based on age and cooking styles so that you and the kids will never run out of fun cooking classes to try together. Introducing your children to cooking so early in life is a special gift that will pay off for the rest of their lives. And, you’ll be boosting your mental health together!
Cooking classes have social benefits too
As if the opportunity to practice mindfulness and mood-boosting diet wasn’t enough, there’s another way that cooking classes can improve your mental health: community. When you take cooking classes in Melbourne, you meet new, fun members of your community to cook and enjoy delicious meals together. The passionate instructors in these cooking courses do an excellent job of bringing people together in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Don’t be surprised if, after learning how to make an amazing meal together, you remain friends with some of the other students from your cooking lessons!
Add cooking classes in Melbourne to your self-care routine! If it’s not obvious by now, culinary therapy is a very real, and very exciting new field that we can all benefit from. By taking the time to unplug, focus on our senses and the world around us, eat healthy nourishing food, and enjoy a meal with friends and loved ones, culinary therapy has earned its place as a part of our self-care routines. What cooking classes in Melbourne will you try to start your culinary therapy journey?
If you’ve ever had authentic American BBQ, you could probably tell that this form of cooking is something more than just technique. There’s simply more to it than roasting a slab of meat over a hot grill, and it’s not until you read the history that you can fully appreciate justIf you’ve ever had authentic American BBQ, you could probably tell that this form of cooking is something more than just technique. There’s simply more to it than roasting a slab of meat over a hot grill, and it’s not until you read the history that you can fully appreciate just how steeped in culture and history this culinary tradition is. So, if you’ve been wondering about the magic of American BBQ or what to expect from BBQ classes in Melbourne, read on! We’re about to take a deep dive into the world of American BBQ.
What exactly is American BBQ and where did it come from?
There are plenty of people out there who think, “What’s so special about American BBQ? Americans weren’t the first people to realise that grilling meat is delicious." Of course, Americans didn’t discover cooking meat over fire – that’s a method of cooking that humans have used since we first discovered fire thousands of years ago. However, there’s something quite unique about American BBQ, and it goes far beyond simply throwing a piece of meat on the fire.
American BBQ actually refers to a long, slow process of cooking meat over indirect flame. Early colonisers in the United States learned this technique from the Native American peoples, who would dry and smoke their protein sources instead of cooking them over a flame. This method was not only delicious, but it preserved the meat so that it could be stored in the winter. Some communities were preserving fish with this method, while others were smoking deer, rabbits and other furry animals further inland.
One key thing that many historians leave out of the origin story of American BBQ is the influence of enslaved Africans. As culinary historian Michael Twitty explains, communities in West and Central Africa were using some of the same methods of cooking meat as Native American peoples, long before slavery. Their spicing may have been different, but the smoking and slow roasting was similar. In the United States, then, those traditions lived on, and it was primarily enslaved men who became the best BBQ pitmasters of America. If European immigrants are said to have developed BBQ in places like Texas, Kentucky, and the Carolinas, it’s because they learned from the original BBQ masters in the South.
What kind of meat is used in American BBQ?
Although it may surprise you, this question can be pretty emotionally charged! In the South, American BBQ means pork. Pigs were brought over with Spanish colonialism, and these wily animals quickly became feral and widespread. Hunting one may have been a challenge, but the end result was an absolutely delicious meal. One thing that you might learn from BBQ cooking classes is that a true pitmaster would never simply cook one part of the pig. Instead, the entire animal is roasted using a method of low and slow heat until the meat is tender and smoky. You can learn this technique at meat smoking classes in Melbourne.
The further West you go in the United States, BBQ can encompass beef as well. Texans, for instance, had more land for cattle farming than was possible in the South, making beef the obvious choice. Then, there are those crazy Californians, who think you can BBQ chicken and veggies, but even they know not to proclaim that they’re eating authentic American BBQ.
Did you want sauce with that?
Just like meat preferences, to sauce or not to sauce (and which sauces to use) is a philosophical debate. In some regions of the States, it would be irreverent to flavour the meat with anything other than salt and spices. Other BBQ traditions include a vinegar sauce. There are even pockets on the American BBQ map where mustard-based sauces are a-okay.
If you were to do a tour of American BBQ in the US, you would find a varied palette: tangy, vinegary, tart, sweet, savoury, garlicky, and spicy. Just be careful about how loudly you voice your favourites depending on where you’re located.
How to learn American BBQ at cooking classes in Melbourne
American BBQ is a difficult culinary style to master. Part of the problem is that most of us don’t have the tools at home to roast an entire pig. Sure, you can invest in the proper equipment and devote the many hours - somewhere between six and 12 - to keep the fire going and shovelling the coals underneath the pig. But, if you’re not 100 per cent sure that you will enjoy the traditional pitmaster way of doing things, there are some other options.
You can take BBQ cooking classes in Hawthorn or meat smoking classes in Melbourne, for instance, to learn the basics of this American tradition. This is a great way to learn about the many different styles of American BBQ from Texas-style beef briskets to Southern-style Pulled Pork. Then, if you find a style that you particularly like, then maybe you can start experimenting at home to become the pitmaster of the neighbourhood. Trust us, the wonderful smell alone will attract enough people that you’ll never have leftovers.
What’s new in American BBQ?
Despite the idea that American BBQ is a static tradition, there are constantly new twists and turns in the BBQ world. One of the most exciting recent trends in American BBQ is the emphasis on using heritage-breed whole hogs for better flavour. These pigs are raised, not on commercial feed which produces a bland meat, but on diverse omnivorous diets in free-range environments.
Another swing in the culinary tradition has to do with the fuel. Obviously, the original pitmasters were using whatever wood they had on hand. Today, we can use a variety of specially-designed grills and smokers to get the end result we want. But the latest trend? Get back to the basics. Cherry Wood and other native trees are making their way into the best American BBQ restaurants in the US.
Here in Australia, it would be interesting to explore how our unique native plants could be used to create distinctive American BBQ, Australia style. Of course, there’s only one way to find out - take some BBQ cooking classes in Melbourne and start experimenting!
One of the things we love most about Christmas is the decorations! The baubles, the wrapping paper, the cards, the Christmas day spread, you name it. But instead of buying the same decorations as everyone else in your family, why not treat yourself to a pre-Christmas experience gift and get creativeOne of the things we love most about Christmas is the decorations! The baubles, the wrapping paper, the cards, the Christmas day spread, you name it. But instead of buying the same decorations as everyone else in your family, why not treat yourself to a pre-Christmas experience gift and get creative with some unique DIY Christmas decorations this year? Try these fun Sydney workshops and your homemade decorations will be the envy of your friends and family.
Why you should DIY this Christmas
It’s easy enough to go to the store and buy a few streamers and baubles for your tree, right? The drawback, though, is that your decorations end up looking generic and unoriginal. Everyone seems to end up with the same store-bought Christmas decorations. And come January 1, they probably all end up in the bin because the styles change from year to year. Homemade decorations, on the other hand, never go out of style, look better than what you can find at the store, and are cheaper to make. The decorations you make yourself will be so beautiful that you won’t feel bad about using them every year. That means less waste when the holiday season is over.
The best part of all? You’ll enjoy making your own Christmas decorations. Whether you’re making your own wreaths or painting your own Christmas tree ornaments, attending these fun Sydney workshops will be the most relaxing and enjoyable part of your Christmas preparation. Here are just some ideas of how you can get creative with some DIY Christmas decorations.
DIY Christmas Cards
As Christmas approaches, we all feel the pressure of getting the Christmas cards out. But when you buy a pack of cards and write a generic message inside, the whole process can feel unoriginal. Instead, you can make your cards more unique and genuine by making them yourself. They’ll look better than any store-bought card, and your loved ones will treasure them long after Christmas is over. That means fewer cards thrown in the bin and more authentic Christmas joy. This is a great activity to involve the kids in and can give you some quality time together in the busiest season of the year.
If you don’t feel particularly crafty when it comes to cards, no worries! Attend a Brush Art and Lettering Christmas Workshop in Sydney and learn how to make amazing Christmas cards for all your friends and family.
Wreaths can be one of those holiday expenses that is surprisingly high. And for something that is going to be hanging on your door, welcoming guests for your special holiday activities, you don’t want a wreath that looks just like your neighbour’s. Making your own Christmas wreaths is fun and relaxing. You’ll be able to use only the materials that you find the most festive and beautiful, and no two DIY Christmas wreaths will ever be exactly the same.
This year, dried floral Christmas wreaths are going to be the hottest house decoration, and you can customise yours to reflect your personality and taste by using only your favourite flowers. Not only will your holiday wreath be one-of-a-kind, but you can keep it up long after Christmas is over. Every time you see your handmade wreath hanging proudly in your home, you’ll have warm feelings of a happy holiday season.
To make your own Christmas wreath, buy your vouchers for the next Christmas Wreath Making Workshop in Sydney.
Unique Christmas Baubles
Christmas baubles are another of those holiday decorations that are easy to buy in bulk. But, often what you get are cheaply made, generic Christmas baubles that are the same as everyone else’s. DIY Christmas baubles are so much better for anyone wanting to create a unique and stunning Christmas setting. DIY Christmas baubles are easy and enjoyable to make. You can paint them, dip them in swirled ink, roll them in glitter or cover them in upcycled materials. Once you’ve made a set that you love, you will want to bring them out every year. No more Christmas tree balls that end up being thrown out with the rest of the decorations.
Take a Christmas Bauble Bling class in Sydney to learn how to upgrade your Christmas tree with homemade baubles.
Christmas gift tags
Gift-giving is a big part of Christmas, and do you know what can really take your Christmas presents to another level? Taking special care with the presentations. Don’t just throw your presents into a decorative bag and write your loved ones’ names with a permanent marker. Instead, learn how to make each gift unique and gorgeous with brush lettering gift tags or artistically decorated gift bags. Your gifts will look picture-perfect under the tree, and your friends and family will be so excited to see their gifts so beautifully personalised.
If you have no experience with brush lettering or painting or you just want to improve your skills, try out a Christmas Illustrations Workshop. You’ll learn how to make your gift presentation look inviting so that your loved ones will be eager to see what’s inside!
Don’t forget the Christmas sweets!
If there’s one thing that completes a Christmas setting, it’s a big tray of Christmas cookies, chocolates and other tasty sweets. Delicious bite-sized morsels are one of the best things about Christmas, and this year, you can make treats that even your most health-conscious relatives can’t resist. Maybe you opt for Christmas tree sugar cookies. Maybe you learn to make your own chocolate truffles. Maybe you can dig into the family recipe archives to find something that your grandmother used to make every year. And if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, you might go to an Iced Cookie Decorating Class - Christmas Edition.
Think your loved ones would like these DIY Christmas Decoration workshops? Give them as an experience gift!
Who says you have to give your Christmas gifts on the actual day of Christmas? Have Santa come early this year with experience gift vouchers for your friends and family. Everyone can benefit from some relaxing creative classes this holiday season.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I think I’d make a pretty good bartender,” then it’s about time that you try out some fun cocktail classes in Melbourne. Taking a cocktail course is the best way to test out your bartender skills, learn a bit of mixology, and meet theIf you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I think I’d make a pretty good bartender,” then it’s about time that you try out some fun cocktail classes in Melbourne. Taking a cocktail course is the best way to test out your bartender skills, learn a bit of mixology, and meet the great people running the show at your favourite local spot. We’ve got a ton of fun cocktail making classes in Melbourne, this article can help you narrow down which cocktail course you might want to try first. As you’ll see, each venue has something unique and special planned for their mixologists-in-training, so you’ll want to put all of these cocktail classes on your upcoming schedule.
Cocktail Making Masterclass with Red Spice Road
Red Spice Road is a must-do in Melbourne if you’re looking for high-quality Asian food. They’ve made a name for themselves in the foodie scene and their cocktails are as stunning as they are delicious. And the thing that really stands out here? The friendly service. You can tell that the team at Red Spice has created a restaurant family for their communal-style setup. It’s a welcoming atmosphere that makes this place the perfect spot for hens parties and birthday events.
So, it’s no surprise that their cocktail making masterclass feels more like a social gathering than a formal bartending course. Kasey, the Bar Manager, will lead you through a fun night of creating great cocktails and enjoying tasty canapés, and you’ll feel like a part of the team by the time your class is over. This class is an hour and a half, but there’s also an option to add on a lunch or dinner banquet. After all, Red Spice Road has amazing food that pairs perfectly with their signature cocktails and you really won’t want to miss that.
Oasis Cocktail Making Class
The foundational belief behind Oasis is that food can bring us together. It was an important idea for the Makool family, who emigrated to Melbourne from Lebanon in the 70’s, and they’ve done a wonderful job bringing it to life with Oasis.
While this special marketplace may have had humble beginnings, with its founder Marwa Markool working long, hard hours to renovate and upgrade the cafe, it is now a huge, gourmet foodie destination. Walking through Oasis, you can brush elbows with foodies, families, young professionals, and groups of friends from all over the world, all looking for a warm atmosphere and gourmet food. They frequently put on cooking classes and demonstrations, and their cocktail classes are super popular. Their masterclass is based on three summer style cocktails that are sure to be enjoyed during the hot months to come. Not only will you learn from the top mixologists at Oasis, but you’ll also get a behind-the-scenes experience, complete with a grazing style private dinner.
This class is an hour and a half and can accommodate anywhere from a few to 80 people for private classes.
Signature Cocktails with Rice Paper Scissors
Rice Paper Scissors started as the dream of two travelling friends eating all the street food in Bangkok, Saigon, and Singapore that they could get their hands on. What they’ve created in Melbourne is a casual restaurant with good food, boozy, beverages, and a fun atmosphere. Rice Paper Scissors is a trendy spot, and this small space is usually packed. It’s one of those places that we would all love to see on a slow day, without having to put our names on the waitlist or enjoy our tasty beverages standing up.
But, when you have a restaurant that has a great vibe and serves delicious food, well, then you generally want to get there before 7pm on the weekends. Otherwise, it’s you against the rest of Melbourne in the fight for great food. If you are looking for that personalised experience, another option could be to sign up for one of their cocktail making classes. They host private events for hens parties, birthdays, and corporate teams, so that and your friends and family can find out what it’s like to get the special treatment. Up to 30 of your closest friends or coworkers can attend this fun workshop with you.
With this cocktail course, you’ll learn from a Rice Paper Scissors mixologist how to make two of their most popular cocktails, and that’s after they’ve already served you a glass of prosecco and a canapé. If you opt for the banquet option, they’ll also serve you a five-course sit-down meal so that you can get the full dining experience. If you’re a frequent visitor to Rice Paper Scissors, this is a great way to get to know the staff and learn about mixology from your favourite bartender. This class runs for three hours and you can decide between three different themes: Vietnamese, Thai, or Tiki.
Mofo Lounge’s Mobile Cocktail Making Class
So far, we’ve only mentioned cocktail classes that take place in bars around Melbourne. With a mobile class, though, your favourite bartender will come to you.
When you sign up for a mobile cocktail making class with the Mofo Lounge, an experienced mixologist will show up at your next event with all of the supplies to make amazing cocktails. You and your group of friends will learn all of the techniques that you need to look like professional mixologists yourself, and you’ll get to enjoy some delicious drinks. This is an ideal option if you’ve been wanting to take cocktail classes but are hesitant about taking a class in a bar where it might be loud or crowded. With a mobile class, you pick the venue and your professional bartender from Mofo Lounge will create the perfect intimate cocktail course.
This class runs for two hours and can accommodate between 10 and 40 people.
There are always new cocktail classes in Melbourne to explore! Didn’t see an option that felt like the perfect cocktail making adventure? Check out our full list of cocktail classes in Melbourne and you’re bound to find the right mixology class for you and your friends. You’ll love putting your new cocktail making skills to use and you’ll enjoy the Melbourne bar scene from a more intimate perspective!
Australia has made a name for itself in the international coffee community, and Melbourne is one of the cities leading the pack. There are endless amazing coffee shops, coffee festivals and expos, and plenty of fun barista courses in Melbourne to explore. In other words, if you’re a coffee loverAustralia has made a name for itself in the international coffee community, and Melbourne is one of the cities leading the pack. There are endless amazing coffee shops, coffee festivals and expos, and plenty of fun barista courses in Melbourne to explore. In other words, if you’re a coffee lover in Melbourne, you’re in the right place. Now that the sustainability movement has hit Melbourne, we’re all thinking about how to make our love for coffee more environmentally friendly. Some coffee shops are banning one-use cups. At home, baristas are ditching their high-waste k-cups in favour of reusable pods. And one that we’re particularly excited about: finding creative uses for the leftover coffee grounds. Here's the latest ideas about how to give those leftover coffee grounds a new life.
Before we talk about reusing coffee grounds, where does the waste end up now?
Most of us don’t think twice about throwing our coffee grounds into the bin or rinsing them down the sink. Unfortunately, there are negative environmental impacts that we should be considering. According to the Australian-based recycling organisation, Closed Loop, about 90 per cent of coffee grounds end up in landfills. What’s more, an average cafe can produce around 60 kilograms of coffee grounds per week.
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the big issue with coffee grounds ending up in a landfill? It’s organic material right? Won’t it just break down?” The big issue is that when coffee grounds end up in landfills, they produce methane, a greenhouse gas more damaging than carbon dioxide. Coffee grounds in landfills also contribute what are known as leachates, potentially toxic liquid runoff from landfills.
Another way to look at coffee grounds in landfills is as a wasted recourse. When coffee grounds are recycled effectively, they can be used to create energy-rich, diverse, and nutritious soil. By using coffee grounds that we already have at our disposal, we reduce our reliance on manufactured, mined, or imported fertiliser.
7 creative ways you can reuse your coffee grounds
Don’t worry, no one is saying that we should stop drinking coffee altogether and switch to green tea. We can still enjoy our daily coffee and our barista training workshops and coffee flavoured ice cream, however, we can make a big impact when we make the choice to be more mindful about our coffee ground waste. Here are a few creative ideas that we can all incorporate into our normal coffee routines:
1. Compost it
Composting coffee grounds is a great use for old coffee grounds! As long as you don’t overdo it (coffee has a lot of acid), the grounds can offer a good amount of nitrogen for your compost pile.
3. Sprinkle it around your property
Coffee grounds can ward off feral cats and they can also be used in your garden to keep out snails and slugs.
4. Introduce coffee grounds in your DIY projects
Coffee can create a beautiful, affordable wood stain for your next furniture project. It can also be used to give your furniture an antique look.
5. Use them as a deodoriser
When coffee grounds are dry, they do an excellent job absorbing odours around your home. You can mix coffee grounds with baking soda to make their odour-eliminating powers even stronger. Not only will your coffee grounds deodoriser cancel out bad smells, but you’ll have that pleasant fresh coffee smell all-around your home. Some good places for a coffee ground deodoriser could be the back of the fridge, your bedroom, the bathroom, your shoe closet, or really anywhere else that could use a good freshening up. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to replace the coffee grounds about once a week for maximum effectiveness.
6. Clean with it and minimise elbow grease
You can use coffee grounds for caked-on grime, dirt and other residue in the kitchen and bathroom, coffee grounds can be helpful. Just like a scrubbing pad, coffee grounds can help you tackle the hardest-to-remove messes in your kitchen and bathroom.
7. Make a candle with them
Put those coffee grounds in a candle - ever tried making your own candles? You can make them even more tasty-smelling with recycled coffee grounds.
8. Make natural body products
Pamper yourself with a coffee ground face and body scrub - coffee grounds are wonderfully exfoliant and will make your skin feel amazing. Simply mix one cup of your leftover coffee grounds with a fourth of a cup of sugar, a spoonful of cinnamon, and a half cup of body oil (or coconut oil). You can also add a sprinkle of coffee grounds to your shampoo as a hair exfoliant, as well!
Still have leftover coffee grounds?
If you’re still feeling guilty about the waste from your daily latte art habit, don’t fret. Talk to people in your community to ask if anyone could use your leftover coffee grounds. Families who don’t drink coffee might love the chance to get a boost of nitrogen in their compost pile.
Another alternative could be to have your coffee grounds and the coffee grounds of other families in your neighbourhood recycled by an organisation. There are a few recycling companies in Melbourne, like Reground, who specialise in coffee ground collection and composting. Although many companies focus on corporate recycling, now is the time to get active and start requesting options for individual coffee drinkers.
Start your own coffee ground upcycling business
If you’re inspired to take your coffee ground recycling even further, you can find a list of some of the most interesting uses for coffee grounds so far from the Barista Institute in Helsinki. Everything from designer clothing and shoes to furniture, to coffee cups, and art, there are entrepreneurs, artists, and engineers looking for new ways to use coffee grounds. And there are already entrepreneurs doing this kind of work right here in Australia! Textura is a Melbourne-based furniture and lighting design store that stocks Spanish designer Raul Lauri’s range of home decor made from recycled coffee grounds. They sell bowls, light fixtures, jewellery and candle holders that are as environmentally friendly as they are beautiful.
Not all of us are going to be turning our coffee grounds into tennis shoes, but hopefully, we can all start thinking about creative uses for our coffee waste!
When planning a hen’s party, you want to make sure that you strike the right balance of fun and classy. It should be something that everyone can enjoy while still having all the elegance that the bride-to-be deserves for her special day. Luckily, we’ve got all the best things to do in MelbourneWhen planning a hen’s party, you want to make sure that you strike the right balance of fun and classy. It should be something that everyone can enjoy while still having all the elegance that the bride-to-be deserves for her special day. Luckily, we’ve got all the best things to do in Melbourne for a classy hen’s party that everyone will love.
A pampering hen’s party
What we love about a luxurious hen’s party is that it achieves both comfort and class. A classic version of the pampering hen’s party includes a trip to a day spa or a relaxing overnight retreat. If you’re looking for something a little bit more hands-on and social, there are classes that can make the pampering more active and engaging. By signing the girls up for a soap making class, soy candle workshop or essential oils class, you can add a creative spin to the traditional luxurious hens party ideas. Plus, after this classy hens party is over, everyone in the group will go home with their pampering handmade creations as a memento from the day.
Flower-based hens party activities are both beautiful and meditative. And there are so many unique ways to incorporate flowers into your special event. One option is to arrange for a professional floristry teacher to come to your hen’s party with all of the materials to create amazing bouquets. Or, you can plan to attend an outdoor flower crown making class in Albert Park.
If you’re looking for something with even more of a meditative aspect, you can centre your hens party around a tranquil Ikebana class. Another option - ditch the real flowers altogether. You can create a classy and fun activity where you learn how to make amazing floral art with embroidery. No matter how you incorporate flowers into your hen’s party, they will make everyone in the group feel relaxed while keeping all of the elegance of a great hens party.
What bride-to-be doesn’t want to roll up her sleeves and share a wonderful meal with her best friends and loved ones? But finding the right food-based activity for a hens party is not easy. You want the food to be more on the high-end side to keep the party as classy as possible, but you don’t want the whole vibe to be stuffy and over the top.
Luckily, there are plenty of classes to choose from that will give you the hens party elegance you’re looking for. The Vegan Grazing Platter Workshop, for instance, will allow the girls in your group to create visually stunning and delicious food plates. Another great option is a fun Japanese Cooking Class, where you’ll learn how to make quintessential dishes like sushi and tempura. Spanish Cooking classes are another of the most popular things to do in Melbourne for hens weekends. These fun classes are sure to engage all of the women in the group, and you’ll be amazed at how amazing the gourmet food options taste.
Boozy and bougie
Alright, maybe you’re looking for a classy way to start a long night of fun, because while you may turn up the volume on the hen night later on, the group may still want to start things off slowly. So, what can you do to start things off with a little bit of elegance and grace? A cocktail making hens party.
There are cocktail making classes to match any bride-to-be’s taste and preference. You can choose from classes led by the mixologists at some of the most popular restaurants and liquor distilleries in Melbourne, such as OASIS, Rice Paper Scissors, the Mofo Lounge and mobile company The Cocktail Queen. Everyone in the group will have a chance to create their own signature cocktails and there will plenty of time for tasting. If this activity is part of a long night of fun, it will be the perfect way to get the ball rolling, and take some pictures before everyone has a little too much fun.
You’ve heard the old saying, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” It’s an old rhyme that suggests what a bride should wear on her wedding day for good luck. And one trend we’re excited to see is a something blue hen party themes. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to produce the blue item that the bride will wear on her big day, but it can help to give the day a fun and classy theme. You might, for instance, invite all of the guests to wear blue dresses while the bride-to-be stands out in white.
Another way to incorporate the something blue theme is to sign up for activities where blue is the star of the show. Indigo Shibori Dyeing classes, for instance, use stunning blue dye to transform clothing and linen bags into works of art that the bride-to-be will cherish forever. In a Stoneware Ceramics Class, each member of the hen’s group will walk away with an elegant mug or cup with a beautiful blue glaze. You might even sign the girls up for a fun earring making class where each bridesmaid can make blue earrings to wear for the rest of the night.
There are lots of fun ways to incorporate something blue into classy hens party ideas. And the theme is unique enough to be appreciated by the bride-to-be and all of her guests.
Which classy hens party idea will you choose?
Brides want their hens to be special and classy, but the important thing is that all of her friends and loved ones are engaged and having a good time. With any of the options we’ve shared, you can be sure that the celebration will be classy and elegant while also encouraging a social and friendly atmosphere for the group. So will you choose the classic pampering party? The gourmet cooking class? The something blue theme? Or something completely different?
Is cooking going out of style? It’s a question that nutritionists, food delivery service companies, restaurant investors, grocery stores, farmers markets, and pretty much everyone else is asking. Australians may be watching television shows about cooking, but how often do they take cooking classesIs cooking going out of style? It’s a question that nutritionists, food delivery service companies, restaurant investors, grocery stores, farmers markets, and pretty much everyone else is asking. Australians may be watching television shows about cooking, but how often do they take cooking classes in Melbourne? How many really know how to cook? And are we heading for a future in which everything we eat will be delivered to us in a neat little box?
Just like with any period of cultural change, there are a lot of opinions and theories thrown around about what is happening to Australian eating and cooking habits. Without laying blame or stirring the pot too much, we wanted to give a fact-based rundown of how, where, and why Aussies are picking up the fork these days. So, if you’ve been curious about whether Australians even cook anymore, read on!
Where do Australians buy their meals today?
It’s an interesting time to be alive, culinarily speaking. According to research released by HelloFresh, we’re all extremely busy - about 68% of us feel that there’s not enough time in the day to cook a good wholesome meal. So we’re looking for convenience, which is why it’s probably not surprising that places like Woolworths and Coles are now offering ready-to-eat meals.
At the same time, we love to spend our leisure time watching other people cook. In 2016, almost two million of us watched the MasterChef finale, and last year, our second most popular television show was My Kitchen Rules. This may inspire some of us to spend more time in the kitchen, but hey, it’s also pretty great to order in and watch professional chefs whip up gourmet meals while we pour over our take-out containers.
With online food delivery services like UberEats and Deliveroo, it’s become much easier to do just that. This year, Statista estimates that 3.4 million Australians have used some kind of food delivery platform, and that number is expected to rise to over four million within the next few years.
We’re also seeing an upward trend in eating out. Australian Food News reported that we’re now more likely to eat out at pubs, cafes, restaurants, and fast food locations than we were fifteen years ago. But here’s the really interesting part. We’re also more health-conscious and environmentally-conscious than we were before. As QSR Media points out, Australians nowadays want to know what’s in their food and where it came from. We’re also continually looking for more sustainably responsible sourcing and packaging.
With all of these different considerations, the understandable result is that Australians get stressed out about mealtimes. After all, how are we supposed to find the time to cook great meals, pay attention to which ingredients are healthy, and fight that urge to open an app and have food delivered?
What are the benefits of cooking at home?
Clearly, there’s a problem, here. We’ve got a whole lot of options, a lack of time, a desire to be healthy, an overall feeling of can’t be bothered, and another feeling of remorse when we order in. It’s a mix that leads to stress and pressure and guilt. However, that research from Hello Fresh revealed another very interesting fact: Australians want to cook more. 87% said that they would like to be more adventurous in the kitchen and learn how to make healthy alternatives.
And there are plenty of reasons why we should spend a bit more time cooking our own meals. It’s healthier, cheaper, and can be amazing for mental wellness.
We recently wrote an article explaining why cooking classes are being prescribed as a new form of therapy. Here’s the gist:
Cooking encourages a meditative state. By introducing mindfulness and allowing yourself to relax and be present in the kitchen, you’ll find the simple act of chopping veggies or stirring a pot of noodles will calm you down.
You can switch off your thinking brain for a while to make way for your other senses - smell and taste will gladly step up and take your attention away from a long day of work or your other responsibilities
Cooking forces you to put down the phone and disconnect for a little while
You can be more health-conscious when you cook your meals yourself because you have more control over the ingredients you use
Cooking classes have a few of their own benefits too. There’s the advantage of learning from a professional so that cooking becomes fun and accessible. You get the chance to cook with ingredients that you might never have tried before. And when you take cooking classes in Melbourne, you get to meet a community of other food-lovers wanting to try more home cooking.
Cooking at home is good for the environment
Learning how to cook at home is the sustainable option that many Australians are looking for. Whether you buy your ingredients at a farmer’s market to cut down on transport and packaging, or you order a recipe box service like Hello Fresh or Marley Spoon with perfectly portioned meals, you can feel better about your environmental impact. That’s because, when you’re in control of your ingredients, you also pay more attention to things like seasonality and locality of your food. Whereas a restaurant may have a certain item on their menu year-round, having to import that product to keep up with demand, when you cook at home, you can eat foods with minimal carbon footprint.
Cook with in-season ingredients from local sources and you’re good to go! Not only will you feel better about your environmental impact, but you’ll be eating the freshest, tastiest ingredients.
What does the future look like?
Despite the trend towards at-home delivery, Australians aren’t opposed to learning how to cook at home. In fact, many of us have been inspired to get back in the kitchen, not just because it’s good for our health and our bank accounts, but because it’s fun! If you’re ready to dust off that old apron and get back in the kitchen, the perfect way to start is by taking some cooking classes.
Some brides-to-be love the idea of spending a quality day exploring the best things to do in Melbourne with her closest friends and loved ones. Instead of the party-all-night bachelorette party, a hen’s day full of fun and relaxing activities is much more her style. That might mean creative indoorSome brides-to-be love the idea of spending a quality day exploring the best things to do in Melbourne with her closest friends and loved ones. Instead of the party-all-night bachelorette party, a hen’s day full of fun and relaxing activities is much more her style. That might mean creative indoor activities Melbourne residents have been buzzing about or adventurous outdoor events that you've never had the time to try. No matter what, you want to arrange her hen’s party around the Melbourne activities that will allow the bride and her bridal party to bond and socialise all day.
If you’ve been trying to find the perfect hen’s day activities for an upcoming hen’s party, ClassBento has you covered. We’ve got some great ideas for the creative brides, the foodie brides, the active brides, and all of her bridesmaids too! Let’s take a look at some hen’s day activities that everyone will love.
A hens day to relax and rejuvenate
With all the wedding planning that the bride-to-be has to deal with, you can bet she’s pretty stressed. So what better way to help her out than to throw a relaxing hen’s day for her and her bridesmaids? These hens day activities will help her let go of all the wedding responsibilities, from dress shopping to family dramas to budgeting and all the rest. Plus, the rest of the bridesmaids will love the chance to relax and rewind, too!
First, you might ask the bride (or her loved ones if you want it to be a surprise) about her favourite ways to relax. Does she love a good spa day? Is she one for a bubble bath? Maybe she lights her favourite candle or incense. Then, organise the hen’s party around that particular interest. There are plenty of hands-on classes in which you and the ladies can learn how to make soy candles, organic skincare, natural soap, incense and more. At the end of your three to four-hour class, each member of the hen’s group will walk away with their own pampering product to use at home.
What we love about these relaxing hen’s day activities is that they’re designed to encourage your group to relax and maybe even practice mindfulness by learning something new. But even after the hen’s day is over, the bride-to-be will have a wonderful handmade product that she can use whenever she’s feeling stressed in the days leading up to her wedding.
A hens day for the outdoorsy bride
One of the wonderful benefits of having a hen’s party during the day is that it caters to the adventurous and outdoorsy bride. While this kind of bride-to-be may enjoy a night on the town with her best friends, she’ll probably be even more excited about the chance to spend a wonderful day outside with them.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to pull this off without feeling like you’re giving up the hen’s day vibe altogether. You might, for instance, arrange for a mobile flower crown workshop in which a talented florist will come to a location of your choice. This is great if you’re planning a hen’s day at a park or in a backyard space. What we love about this hen’s day idea is that your flower crowns can become the perfect props for an outdoor photoshoot. Simply have everyone make their own flower crown and then get outside for the perfect fairytale photos.
And that brings us to our next outdoor hen’s day activity: photography! If the bride-to-be loves to take photos, why not sign the group up for a photography-based walking tour of the city? With a fun smartphone photography class, the hen’s party members don’t need a fancy camera or any photography experience. Your experienced photography instructor will take the hen’s party to all the best Melbourne attractions for a great day enjoying the fresh air and spending quality time with the bride.
Or, maybe the bride-to-be is more of a health enthusiast. Instead of making flower crowns and trying out her photography skills, she might be interested in taking an outdoor movement class like a private Tai Chi Class or a hula hoop dance and fitness class. If you’re planning something like a dinner or drinks later in the evening, this is a great way to loosen everyone one.
A hens day with a creative twist
If you’re struggling to find the right activities to fill up a day hen’s party, creative workshops are a great option. They’ll give your group a chance to sit down and dig into a new skill that the bride has been wanting to try. Maybe she always wanted to learn how to do macrame or crochet or paint. Well, this is the perfect opportunity!
Many craft workshops fall flat for a hen’s party because they speed through the basics and don’t give you time to try out your newfound skills. However, ClassBento workshops are designed for groups, so that you can all sit back, relax, chat, and work on your projects. Most of these classes have a running time of between two and four hours which will give you plenty of quality time for your hen’s party.
The classes that are most popular for hen’s day activities include paint and sip classes, crochet workshops to learn how to make a scarf, hand building with clay classes and beginners terrarium making classes. There are so many options that you’ll easily find one that will cater to the bride-to-be’s preferences and interests.
There are so many ways to make her day hens party amazing!
A hen’s party that takes place during the day opens you up for so many wonderful activities. Instead of going with the common night on the town tradition, a day hen’s party can cater to brides-to-be who want something a bit more tailored to their interests. If you’re looking to plan the perfect event for a loved one who would rather explore, create, or sit back and relax, these hens day activities are sure to be a hit.
Here in Melbourne, it’s more common than not to have your coffee served to you with some gorgeous latte art on the top. And let’s be honest, we’ve all spent our fair share of time mesmerised on social media watching baristas create some mind-blowing pieces of coffee art. It’sHere in Melbourne, it’s more common than not to have your coffee served to you with some gorgeous latte art on the top. And let’s be honest, we’ve all spent our fair share of time mesmerised on social media watching baristas create some mind-blowing pieces of coffee art. It’s enough to make you want to sign up for latte art classes in Melbourne and become the latte artist you were destined to be.
Maybe you're wondering where this interesting skill developed? Is it an ancient form of art? Who deserves to be named the latte art creator? And how has it developed over the years? In this article, we’re going to cover it all. In the time it takes for you to finish that latte in your hand, you’ll know everything you ever wanted to know about how to make coffee art.
What is the history of latte art?
The interesting thing about the history of latte art is that it’s a bit shrouded in mystery. We know who made latte art popular, but we don’t really know who invented it. What we know for sure is that latte art as a global sensation started in the 1980s in the U.S., in Seattle - which also happens to be the birthplace of Starbucks.
David Schomer of Espresso Vivace was making strides in the coffee world for his innovations in grinding and roasting his coffee beans. Then, he saw a photograph of a latte art design and started experimenting with his own. Schomer quickly became an expert and has been credited with creating the quintessential Rosetta latte art design. It’s that nice feathery design that has become one of the most common in latte art. In fact, if you were to take a latte art class in Melbourne, chances are, you would probably learn this design first.
Suddenly, Schomer was making coffee that didn’t just taste good - it was also a work of art! A latte art craze was started that soon overtook the world. But what’s the story behind the picture that started it all for Schomer? It came from an Italian restaurant named Caffe Mateki, which no longer exists. So there’s not much more to learn from that lead.
And there’s more to the story. In Italy, around the same time, a coffee master named Luigi Lupi was also developing an iconic latte art design: the tulip. Over the years, he and Schomer collaborated, sharing videos online and defining latte art. Today, they’re considered co-founders of this artform.
But where did Lupi get his idea? According to him, another coffee enthusiast, Piero Merlo, was adding a small signature to his lattes - a tiny heart or flower, but nothing too fancy. Lupi expanded upon the idea to create more intricate tulip designs. But when Lupi asked Merlo who taught him, Merlo said he couldn’t remember. Maybe the same person who taught Merlo was the inspiration for Schomer. Maybe there’s a whole secret society of latte artists who were working underground long before Schomer and Lupi came onto the scene. Okay, it’s probably not that, but we may never know for sure.
Why did it take so long to work out how to make coffee art?
You might be asking yourself, “What took baristas so long to figure out how to make coffee art?” After all, we’ve been drinking coffee for a lot longer than 40 years. What was the holdup?
To answer that question, it’s important to know exactly how latte art is created. The designs that you see on the top of your tasty beverage are the result of microfoam creating contrast with something called the crema of the espresso. Crema is a layer of foam that sits on top of the espresso, and it should be a dark, reddish rich colour.
And, while Italians and other Europeans had been developing the proper machinery to make espressos since the 1800s, they weren’t able to achieve crema until the 1950’s when a man named Achille Gaggia created a new steam pressure lever espresso machine. In fact, according to Smithsonian records, when Gaggia first started serving espresso shots with his new machine, he had to convince his hesitant customers that the foam floating on the top of the espresso was a good thing.
As the new machinery started to make its way to every edge of the world, the ways of drinking espresso changed and adapted. In the US, for instance, coffee drinkers were unaccustomed to the strength of the coffee flavour and began developing new ways to take the edge off, milk being one of the best ways to soften the kick.
It was during this time, between the 1950s and the 1980s that baristas were able to refine their frothing methods to create microfoam. With this new steamed milk method, baristas were able to create the perfect consistency for latte art.
What are the latest latte art trends?
Wherever you go, you’re bound to see the timeless favourites - rosetta latte art and the tulips. They are classic and elegant, and baristas can show their skills by perfecting these two designs. But, as with any creative endeavour, there are plenty of people who are willing to upgrade the classics. And with the rise of social media, latte art has seen a whole new wave of popularity. Whatever animal you want to see on the top of a latte, whether it’s swan latte art or a whale or an adorable puppy, a quick browse on social media will give you the perfect picture or video.
Baristas have even been exploring the third dimension with their latte art, creating cute cats, giraffes, and more that look like they’re floating in a relaxing coffee jacuzzi. And in the new year, we expect to see more colourful latte art, with unicorn and rainbow themes.
Learn latte art for beginners
Learning how to make coffee art is fun and exciting. You don’t have to become a full-fledged barista to learn how to create intricate designs on your morning latte. All you need is a latte art for beginners class and a little bit of time to practice. Who knows? You might be the world’s next big innovator in the latte art designs.
A weekend-long hen party is such a great way to celebrate a bride-to-be. With all the stress of planning a wedding, she’s going to love the chance to relax, laugh until she cries, take silly pictures and make memories that she’ll never forget. But if you’re the one planning thisA weekend-long hen party is such a great way to celebrate a bride-to-be. With all the stress of planning a wedding, she’s going to love the chance to relax, laugh until she cries, take silly pictures and make memories that she’ll never forget. But if you’re the one planning this special hens weekend in Melbourne, you might be feeling the pressure to make it as fun as it is affordable. After all, you want this weekend to be wonderful without asking the guests to hand over all of their savings. No worries, we’ve got just the thing.
Why not arrange an amazing hens weekend right here in Melbourne? You and the girls can book an apartment or house big enough to accommodate everyone. Then, start planning the ultimate girls weekend. You can sign up for Melbourne workshops or bring in some mobile classes. You can stock up on the bride-to-be’s favourite snacks and wine. You can watch movies or look for the best things to do in Melbourne that weekend. The possibilities are endless. Here’s how you can plan it
Schedule in some slumber party favourites
Clearly, the big draw of having a hen night in is that you and the girls will have a chance to wear your comfiest pyjamas, put your favourite movies on in the background, pour the wine, chat and relax. If you want to take the relaxation up a level, you might also schedule in a fun DIY Organic Skincare Essentials Workshop. You’ll learn how to make high-quality vegan skincare products for you and the bridesmaids to try out at your hens party sleepover. Have everyone bring their best cosy robe and slippers for this pampering hens weekend activity!
Another option could be to arrange for a Mobile Perfume Blending Workshop. For this relaxing class, a trained aromatherapist will show up at the location of your choice with all of the supplies to make your own perfumes. You and the group will have a great time trying out different blends and learning more about oils and fragrances. Plus, your hen party accommodation will smell heavenly!
No matter what you decide for the pampering portion of your hen weekend, make sure there’s a facial mask at some point. You can’t miss out on those adorable bridal party face mask pictures. Extra points for cucumbers over the eyes.
Don’t forget the food (and drinks!)
If there’s one thing that can make a hens weekend even better, it’s great food. Sure, you can order in or have the girls go out to a restaurant, but why not try something even more adventurous and engaging? Cooking classes are a fun way to make the weekend more unique, and everyone in the group will walk away with a new skill that they’ll be able to use long after the hen weekend is over.
Plus, the quality of food from a cooking class will be amazing. All you have to do is figure out which style of food the bride-to-be will most enjoy and sign the girls up for one of these fun cooking classes. If she loves pizza, there’s a Pizza Making Party Class. If she’s vegan, there’s a Vegan Essentials Cooking Class. There are also classes for Mexican food, Indian cuisine, dumplings and more.
But it’s not all about the food! With exciting and delicious mixology classes, the hen’s weekend can be boozy, too. Mobile cocktail classes mean that a trained mixologist can come to your location to teach you all how to make professional, tasty drinks. With mobile workshops, no one at the hen party has to worry about staying sober to drive. Learn everything you need from your mixology instructor and then keep the drinks flowing for the rest of the hen night in.
Or, call an Uber and get the hen party treatment by signing the girls up for a cocktail making class at the bride-to-be’s favourite bar. Everyone in the group will have a chance to create their own signature cocktail and then you can have a fun night on the town before ridesharing back to your shared weekend headquarters.
Fun hen party games and activities
Now, the food, the drinks and the pampering products have been taken care of. What other fun hen’s weekend activities can you plan to fill the time? Games are a great way to keep the ball rolling and promote bonding for all of the group members. With an entire weekend of bonding time, games are sure to keep everyone engaged and focused on what’s important: celebrating the bride-to-be!
A few of our favourites include trivia quizzes about the bride, hen party Pictionary, dance-offs, and of course, any fun and safe drinking game that you can think of. If you’re looking for activities that are a bit more relaxed and casual, you might also think about some fun arts and crafts. Paint and sip classes are ideal for hen parties, or you might try something like a Resin Jewellery Workshop or a Beginner’s Leather Craft Workshop.
Final tips your hens weekend ideas
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, and we hope that you’re feeling inspired to start planning this weekend-long hen party. If there are any other suggestions we could share, it would be to make sure there’s some downtime or resting time in between activities. And, be absolutely sure that everyone is drinking plenty of water.
Of course, the most important thing of all: keep the bride-to-be front and centre. This weekend is all about her, so make sure that you get a feel for what she would most enjoy about her hens party. Clearly, there are so many amazing things that you can do during this weekend, so as long as you take her interests into consideration, you’ll be golden.
Oh, and one final word of advice: take plenty of pictures! The bride-to-be is going to look back on this event with her best friends fondly, and everyone will love to have pictures to remember this wonderful weekend.
Who doesn’t love some good homemade candles in their house? And this year, it’s been all about sustainable candle making. No more harsh and environmentally-damaging ingredients. No more plastic containers and packaging. Only high quality, natural ingredients and beautiful, reusable jars andWho doesn’t love some good homemade candles in their house? And this year, it’s been all about sustainable candle making. No more harsh and environmentally-damaging ingredients. No more plastic containers and packaging. Only high quality, natural ingredients and beautiful, reusable jars and holders. With sustainability in mind, candle making classes in Melbourne have become very popular and we think the trend is just beginning.
In this article, we’re going to get into specifics about what makes a candle sustainable, and why we should be worried about sustainability in our candles in the first place. Before you know it, you’re going to be giving homemade candles to all of your loved ones for the holidays, birthdays, and for no other reason than to put a smile on a friend’s face.
First of all, what’s wrong with paraffin wax candles?
You may be asking yourself why there’s this sudden shift from store-bought candles to sustainable homemade candles. Let’s talk about some of the downsides to buying your candles from big department stores or online. First, there are the ingredients.
Many store-bought candles are made from paraffin wax, which comes from crude oil. The process of mining the oil and converting it into the wax is unsustainable and environmentally damaging. On top of that, breathing in the fumes of paraffin wax are a safety hazard for workers. You can imagine what happens, then, when you burn paraffin wax candles in your home. According to researchers, burning paraffin wax releases chemicals and can lead to health issues with prolonged use. It’s simply not a feel-good ingredient for anyone.
The scents are another issue. Fragrances of store-bought candles are usually a mix of hazardous materials which are released into the air when you burn your candle. Toluene and benzene are the two most dangerous chemicals that can be found in synthetic candle fragrances.
The other issue to consider with store-bought candles is the environmental impact of large-scale manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. Candles have become a huge global commodity, and the result is an equally large environmental impact.
What makes a candle sustainable?
Okay, so we’re all on the same page about paraffin wax and synthetic fragrance, right? So, how can you know that your candles are better for the environment?
Let’s start with wax
Beeswax, palm wax and soy wax are three common candle alternatives, and there are pros and cons for each.
Beeswax is a natural byproduct of honey and makes for an excellent candle base. It’s said to have air-purifying qualities when burned and doesn’t release toxins. Beeswax doesn’t hold fragrances very well in candles, but its natural scent is pleasant. The one drawback of beeswax is that it may not align with a fully vegan lifestyle.
Palm wax is another good candle wax, but it can be difficult to find ethical sourcing. If you’re going to rely on this kind of wax, it’s important that you can verify that the wax didn’t come as a result of deforestation practices. Another consideration is that here in Australia, palm wax is imported. Its carbon footprint may not make it the best option for eco candles.
And then there’s soy wax. This is a vegan, sustainable option that works well for candles. Soybeans are produced worldwide, so you should be able to find it locally. Soy candles are slow-burning, they hold fragrance well, and they’re considered to be environmentally friendly.
Are scented candles bad for the environment?
Another consideration that goes into environmentally friendly candles is the scent. You can achieve amazing fragrances by using natural ingredients, so make sure that your candles steer clear of synthetic scents. Essential oils, for instance, are 100% natural. They come from distilling aromatic plants into a concentrated form without adding any chemicals.
The only thing to keep in mind about essential oils is that, while the process is natural, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s sustainable. It can take quite a lot of natural materials to produce some essential oils, so it’s important to limit the use of certain types. Sandalwood and atlas cedarwood, for instance, are two trees that are at risk for overharvesting primarily for use in essential oils.
When thinking about the kinds of fragrances you want in your candles, it can be helpful to read more about how effective the distillation process is for a particular scent. Lavender plants, for instance, produce a much higher volume of essential oil than most trees.
Reuse candle jars
Finally, there’s the candle receptacle. Sure, you can go out and buy glass containers for your candles, but it’s much better to upcycle or reuse materials that you already have.
Glass and porcelain containers can be reused over and over so there’s no reason to ever throw them out (even if there’s a little wax stuck to the bottom!) And, once you start making your own homemade candles at home, you’ll find yourself keeping an eye out for potential candle containers. Old instant coffee glass jars, discarded mason jars, old porcelain teacups, whatever you can find that can resist heat will be perfect for your soy candles.
One thing that you don’t want to do is pour your eco candle into a plastic container, such as a plastic tea light cup. These containers are cheap, but they’re not good for the environment and will likely be thrown out after one use.
How to make sustainable candles yourself!
If you’re a candle lover, learning about sustainable practices is going to make you feel better about the candles you have in your home. Making your own sustainable candles is a fun and creative hobby and there’s no better way to get started than trying out an eco candle making class.
Once you learn the basics, you can start experimenting with fragrance combinations and finding beautiful containers for your candles. And, in the process, you’ll have gifts to share with friends and loved ones, which is great all year long and especially around holidays and birthdays!
Following the coffee scene in Melbourne is a little like keeping up with your favourite Instagram influencer. You’ll get all the latest trends and tips about new techniques, ingredients, barista tricks, and more. And luckily, there are plenty of fun barista classes in Melbourne to teach you allFollowing the coffee scene in Melbourne is a little like keeping up with your favourite Instagram influencer. You’ll get all the latest trends and tips about new techniques, ingredients, barista tricks, and more. And luckily, there are plenty of fun barista classes in Melbourne to teach you all of the industry secrets. With fun and casual coffee training workshops, you don’t have to enrol in formal coffee classes or an online barista class to learn the latest in great coffee.
And because we can’t help but share the latest buzz in the coffee industry, we’re here to tell you some of the most recent trends in coffee that you can learn from upcoming barista classes in Melbourne.
Coffee ingredients and alternative milks
2019 saw a whole lot of interesting food and coffee trends. There was a trend towards keto coffee and bulletproof or butter coffee. On the other hand, we kind of got over our brief love of Turkish coffee with cardamom, and turmeric lattes left the scene. Many of us made the switch to alt milks. We even dabbled in kombucha coffee.
But 2020? It’s going to be all about getting back to the basics. High quality beans. Pure, fresh water. A great-tasting cup of coffee. No frills or fuss. It won’t matter if you’re drinking espresso, filter, cold brew, or press, the superiority of your ingredients is going to be the most important thing this year.
Maybe we can thank the recent minimalism movement for reminding us that simplicity isn’t just great for our living spaces. It can give us a better appreciation for our coffee, too. But wherever the idea came from, we’re so excited to refine our coffee palettes.
One trend that you’re likely to see more of in Melbourne this year is the chance to try out different kinds of coffee beans and grounds. We’ve been focused for a while on things like light roasts versus dark roasts, but now, we’re ready to get even further into the details. Just like a wine connoisseur would be able to tell you the year, grape type, and region of harvest, we’ll be exploring different strains of coffee plants and the best brewing methods.
2019 was the year we all said no to straws, so how will coffee culture keep up the environmentally-sustainable trend in 2020? One thing is for sure, Aussie coffee lovers this year will be thinking more about where their coffee comes from, how it’s brewed, what it’s served in, and where the waste goes.
A few years ago, you probably noticed that some coffee shops would offer discounts to anyone who brought in a reusable cup. But come 2020, it’s going to go much farther than that. Coffee shops are taking sustainability more seriously than ever before. We’re going to see more emphasis on reliable sourcing for coffee beans, more energy-efficient ways to brew coffee, and more mindfulness about waste and creative ways to reuse coffee grounds.
And, unfortunately for you cashew, peanut and almond milk lovers, 2020 coffee trends are also going to take a hard look at the sustainability of alt milks. Because while they tend to use less land and release fewer emissions, some alt milks like rice milk and almond milk still require quite a bit of water to produce. According to the BBC, almond milk only slightly better than dairy milk when it comes to water consumption.
This year, we’ll see more of an exploration in the most sustainable alt milks for coffee, including more oat milk, hemp milk, and pea protein milk, and less soy and almond milk.
Coffee brewing methods
We’re living in a golden age for coffee tools and technology. No matter what your coffee preference, there is a machine that will make you the perfect cup. Nitro, cold brew, pour over, aeropress, Chemex, French Press, Moka maker, the list goes on and on and on. What does this mean for coffee making techniques in 2020?
More of a refined understanding of how all of these different machines work. Because now that we have all of these fancy gadgets, it’s time to explore all of the options and become a pro at your favourite.
That’s why barista classes, latte art coffee classes, at-home coffee training classes are all going to be very popular this year. It’s a great way to explore different methods, try out new technology, and become very good at brewing your own coffee at home.
And where do coffee pod and capsule machines come into play? Well, they’re still popular, but the market for these kinds of machines isn’t growing as quickly as many other parts of the world. That might be due to the fact that Australians want a coffee-making method that is more environmentally friendly (even with reusable pods, a significant amount of resources go into manufacturing the machine). Plus, many of us like to have control over the coffee making process.
So, while we probably won’t see coffee lovers ditching the coffee pods altogether, we’ll also see a rise in popularity of barista classes and at-home coffee brewing methods.
Don’t miss the Melbourne International Coffee Expo and Melbourne Coffee Week in 2020
If you’re looking to learn more about the latest coffee trends and breakthroughs in the beverage we all adore, Melbourne will not disappoint. Every year in May, coffee week provides Melbourne residents and visitors with the chance to learn more about what’s brewing in the coffee world while meeting other coffee enthusiasts.
And one of the main events of Coffee Week is the annual Melbourne International Coffee Expo. Since 2012, this event has drawn members of the coffee community from all over the world, and especially the Asia Pacific, and there are frequently over 11,000 people in attendance.
So, if you’re really looking to learn about coffee trends, tips, and tricks, this is the place to go.
If you’re looking for the best corporate events in Brisbane to provide your team with relaxation and inspiration, we’ve got just the team activities you’ve been looking for. These are some of the best things to do in Brisbane specially designed to bring your team together without treadingIf you’re looking for the best corporate events in Brisbane to provide your team with relaxation and inspiration, we’ve got just the team activities you’ve been looking for. These are some of the best things to do in Brisbane specially designed to bring your team together without treading into the realm of team building cliches! With the right corporate entertainment, you’ll be able to wow your team and give them a unique and unforgettable experience.
Whatever you’re going for, whether it's a flashy launch, relaxing team bonding session, or something a little more inspirational, this is a helpful guide to corporate team activities in Brisbane that are perfect for your upcoming company event.
Corporate team activities to motivate and inspire
Are you looking to reinvigorate your team and break up the work week with something fresh and exciting? ClassBento’s array of creative, hands-on classes and workshops offer a welcome reprieve from the standard corporate entertainment and ensure that you’re staff are engaging with both the classes and each other!
When chasing team building activities, it’s hard to look past paint and sip classes. Out of the ever-growing list of fun things to do in Brisbane, paint and sip courses are enjoying newfound popularity amongst locals and interstate visitors, alike. With a range of classes across Brisbane, you have a whole selection of options to choose from.
There are many health benefits to paint and sip classes, but they work well as a team building activity due to their relaxed vibe, their emphasis on engaging in a communal atmosphere, and the creative expression that many people don’t indulge in on a daily basis. It’s also a delightful alternative to office drinks, as there’s never a shortage of wine and beer! If you’ve got a particularly close-knit team, The Paint Bar offers a unique chance to “Paint Your Date” in a unique paint and sip class where you paint your partner/co-worker! This is ideal for small teams and guaranteed to get a good laugh for weeks to come.
If you’re not looking at leaving the office, don’t stress! Our paint and sip classes can also come to you! It’s not just paint and sip classes that can inspire your next corporate team building activity. With a multitude of other creative painting classes, there’s more than enough Brisbane workshops to colour your canvas.
Corporate team activities for an unforgettable office party
Although paint and sip classes can come to your office, so can an array of workshops and courses to make your next corporate team event unforgettable.
Office drinks are a popular staple in the corporate world, and many people spend the week holding out for casual Fridays and the office drinks trolley. Take it to the next level and get your staff making their own drinks with our Mobile cocktail making class! The mixologists at Kubarz have been mixing since 2003 and cater for offices of every shape and size! You and the team will not only learn three classic cocktails, but the workshop ends with a create your own cocktail competition where the team can battle it out for cocktail bragging rights! This is a refreshing alternative to drinks that were going to be had anyway and a relaxed change of pace for a busy office.
Corporate team activities designed to de-stress
Any good corporate team building event aims to detoxify any potentially negative energy floating through your staff. That’s why its crucial to understand why it is your planning a corporate activity. If your aim is to celebrate the staff, cocktail making or paint and sip classes are perfect. Don’t forget, cooking classes are also a very popular option.
Some offices, however, require some more hardcore refreshment. After a particularly stressful period, get your staff together for a private Tai Chi class. With its focus on mental and physical relaxation, an office Tai Chi class can be a perfect way to de-stress a busy, overworked team. With its focus on mindful movement meditation group, Tai Chi has the potential to completely change the office culture, particularly if you can feel any bad vibes emanating.
If you have a few green thumbs amongst the team, a terrarium building workshop might be ideal if you’re looking for a touch of nature in your next corporate team building event! Terrarium building workshops are a very unique team building choice, but they promote mindfulness and sustainability in a way that other classes simply can’t. By creating your own mini-ecosystem within a communal environment, it offers your team the chance to detox a hectic week by getting back in touch with their creative side. This is an ideal way to round off a Friday or begin a new week with your corporate team building event.
Your team is going to love whatever corporate team activity you choose!
Organising a company event that goes beyond the typical low-budget office party can be overwhelming. How do you choose what kind of corporate team activities your employees will like? Which corporate entertainment venue is right for your employees? Is it all really worth it in the end?
If you’re unsure of the kind of company event you want to throw, you might send out a survey to get a sense of what your employees will love. ClassBento is always happy to help with the organisational aspect of your event, and many of our classes have packages that can be tailored to suit your specific team.
As for whether it’s all worth it, let us tell you, it is. Your employees will recognise the time and effort that went into planning your corporate entertainment event, which will improve workplace wellbeing pretty much immediately. When you arrange a company event around a unique experience your employees will build bonds and enjoy some much-needed relaxation time. There’s plenty of corporate team building events in Brisbane, and when you invest in your team, your company benefits.
Organising team bonding activities in Brisbane is one of the best things you can do for your company. But it can be tricky to find the right team building events that everyone can enjoy. Do you go for outdoor teamwork activities? Indoor team building activities? Active and physical exercises? Or somethingOrganising team bonding activities in Brisbane is one of the best things you can do for your company. But it can be tricky to find the right team building events that everyone can enjoy. Do you go for outdoor teamwork activities? Indoor team building activities? Active and physical exercises? Or something more geared towards relaxation and rejuvenation?
In this article, we’re going to talk about the different styles of team building activities as well as their unique potential impacts on your team. After all, an all-day outdoor adventure may have different results than a relaxing spa retreat. And if you’re not sure what your team would most enjoy, we’ll give you some tips on how to narrow down your choices.
So, let’s get to planning the best team building activities in Brisbane!
First, think about your unique team
No one knows your team better than you do, so spend some time thinking about what they would like. Are they the type to get out of their comfort zone, or would they rather stick to what they know? What are some of their interests outside of work? Their unique personalities will help you organise team building events that they’ll really light up for and engage in. Now, take a look at some of the following team bonding ideas and see which ones are best for your team!
Team Building Option One: Adventurous
Organising an outdoor adventure for your corporate team is a great investment in workplace wellbeing. Research shows that being in nature can have positive impacts on mental health. So if your team has been feeling a little bit boxed in at the office, team building events with some fresh air will have a wonderful impact.
We’re lucky to be here in Brisbane where there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Maybe you rent bikes for the team and arrange for a team bike ride on the river. Some other popular options include paddle boarding or surfing lessons. More fun team bonding ideas could include a day of hiking or a company picnic.
And if you’re looking for more unique and unusual team building activities, you might also consider something like a Smartphone Photography Course in Brisbane. This will get your team outside and teach them the skills to take wonderful photos right from their phones.
Team Building Option Two: Relaxed
Being one with nature can, of course, be zen-like, but if you’re looking to encourage some true tranquillity, you’ll want team building activities centred around relaxation.
Mindfulness meditation workshops have become wildly popular team bonding activities in Brisbane. Some companies have even been known to incorporate daily meditation breaks for their teams. Why? Because it’s one of the best indoor team building activities you can schedule for your employees. Not only will they feel immediate benefits after a short meditation, but they’ll be more focused and productive throughout the day. That’s better for business, sure, but your team will also appreciate the positive impact that meditation has on every aspect of their daily lives.
Other relaxing team building activities can include planned outings to the movies or fun classes like a wine and cheese tasting workshop. The more you can plan these team building events around what you know your employees enjoy, the easier it will be for them to relax and have a great time.
Team Building Option Three: Crafty
We’ve talked adventurous, we’ve talked relaxing, but what about the best office team building activities for the crafty people at work? Craft-based team bonding ideas are amazing because they are mentally challenging without being overwhelming, and they promote group interaction and support.
When your team gets together to learn a new skill like watercolour painting, pottery wheel throwing, or woodcut printmaking, you can bet that they’ll bond over the experience. Instead of putting coworkers together in a room and expecting them to make small talk, these kinds of craft-based workshops are just the unusual team building activities that will encourage them to dig a little deeper. They’ll be able to help each other learn, laugh through any mistakes, and make positive lasting memories.
Who knows? Your team might even continue their newfound hobby long after the workshop is over. Don’t be surprised to peek in at lunchtime to see coworkers knitting or weaving together after taking a fun craft class.
Team Building Option Four: Silly and Fun
Finally, there are teamwork activities that are just plain fun. If you’re looking for ideas that go beyond the generic team building ice breakers, these are the team bonding activities that are sure to break down barriers and promote giggles and relationship building.
Maybe you hire a DJ for a fun night of dancing and karaoke. Maybe you arrange for a delicious restaurant dinner. Or, you might organise an office roller derby team or a surfing afternoon. Even giving the team a break to try something silly and fun like hula hooping will do wonders for workplace wellbeing.
Another popular idea is to sign the team up for a fun cocktail masterclass workshop. Everyone will get the chance to make their own signature drinks - with non-alcoholic options of course - and there’s plenty of time for team building ice breakers with a cocktail in hand.
Whatever gets the team to open up and have fun will lower stress and promote bonding between coworkers.
Which team bonding ideas are right for your office?
Loop back around to what you know about your team. Would they be most interested in the outdoor activities or the indoor meditations? Would they love being a part of a company sports team? How about organising a fun crafting club?
Whatever team building activities you try out with your team, keep in mind that giving them the space to relax and bond with their coworkers is invaluable. They’ll feel more connected to their work and their teammates, and you’ll be able to see the improvements in workplace wellbeing.
So if you’re ready for the most effective team building activities in Brisbane, it’s time to start planning! Let us know which team bonding ideas are the most appealing to you!
Team cooking classes in Brisbane are a great way to encourage team bonding and boost workplace wellbeing. With fun and relaxing cooking classes in a variety of different styles and cuisines, your office crew doesn’t have to be full of talented chefs for everyone to enjoy these fantastic BrisbaneTeam cooking classes in Brisbane are a great way to encourage team bonding and boost workplace wellbeing. With fun and relaxing cooking classes in a variety of different styles and cuisines, your office crew doesn’t have to be full of talented chefs for everyone to enjoy these fantastic Brisbane workshops. Instead, you’ll be able to choose a Brisbane team building cooking class that resonates with your unique group of food and beverage enthusiasts so that every coworker has a great time.
If you’re unsure of the kind of team cooking events that will appeal most to your office, take a look at some of the most popular categories in Brisbane. You’re sure to find the perfect team building cooking class for your one-of-a-kind employees.
Benefits of team cooking events
Before we dive into the many different cooking classes available, you might be asking yourself what the benefits are for a corporate team. As it turns out, there are plenty!
Cooking is a relaxing activity that allows us to give our thinking minds a break and focus on the present moment. With all of the wonderful smells, textures, and tastes of a cooking class, our minds fall into a mindfulness practice even when we’re not actively meditating. That can have wonderful effects on our mood, ability to connect with others, and an inner sense of peace and calm.
You’ll notice that when you enrol your team in team cooking classes, they’ll come into work the next day more refreshed and engaged. So, how can you know which team cooking classes are right for you? Take a look at some options.
Hands on team cooking classes
We’ll start with the team cooking classes that are all about building skills in the kitchen. If you’re looking for engaging, interactive team cooking events to expand your team’s culinary horizons and invite them to try new things, these Brisbane classes are sure to deliver.
One class that Brisbane corporate teams just can’t get enough of are our pizza-making classes. Pizza is one of those things that many of us wish we could make at home but are too intimidated to try. But now your team will have the chance to learn from the pizza making experts at their favourite pizza restaurants. Surfers Paradise offers a Pizza Masterclass, and you can find another Pizza Making Class at Mecca Bah. Both are hands on and designed for beginners.
You might even convince your team to try spinning their delicious pizza dough in the air just like the pros! But even without the fancy tricks, these team cooking classes are sure to bring your work group together.
Another fun alternative to pizza making classes are private group cooking classes. Whether you want to learn how to make German, Mexican, French, Japanese food or even more, you can sign up for private group cooking classes through Kitchen Confidence Cooking Studio.
Healthy team cooking classes
Healthy cooking is something all of us want to do more of. Not only is healthy eating better for us physically, but it can also improve our mental wellbeing and focus throughout the day. When you invite your team to try healthy cooking classes, you’ll have a happier, and maybe even more productive, team.
Vegan cooking classes are becoming increasingly popular as more of us look for healthy cooking alternatives, and they make for great team cooking classes for corporate teams. Raw & Peace offers a few tasty team cooking events like the Raw Vegan Cooking Class: Easy Dinner Recipes and the Raw Vegan Brunch Cooking Class. Both will encourage your corporate team to break down the myth that vegan food is anything less than absolutely delicious.
Out of the box (and into the jar) team cooking classes
Maybe your unique group of employees doesn’t get excited about a homemade pizza or a fresh veggie meal. Instead, maybe what would really get them into the kitchen would be learning about fermentation and preserves. If you’ve got a team that loves the out-of-the-ordinary, these team cooking classes are going to be perfect.
Whether you’re interested in kombucha or kimchi, kefir or homemade yoghurt, jams or marmalades, there’s a team building cooking class to explore. You might try a home preserving basics class, where you’ll learn how to transform the most delicious fruits of the season into tasty jam. Or, you can learn how to make your own kombucha in a fun kombucha making class.
No matter which fermentation class you choose, you can be sure that your team will love these interesting and unique team cooking events.
Team cooking classes that aren’t really about cooking
Let’s say you’ve got an office team that isn’t big on the whole team cooking classes idea. Maybe they’re not big at-home chefs. Maybe they’re just not keen on cooking as a way to relax.
That’s okay! There are plenty of food and beverage based team cooking events that won’t require aprons and spatulas.
Instead of looking up “team building cooking classes near me,” for instance, you might opt for fun tasting classes in Brisbane. Salt Meats Cheese offers a wonderful flaming cheese wheel and wine experience that is quickly becoming a top Brisbane to do activity. Your team will be able to bond over the best cheese and wine tasting session in Brisbane, without having to cook anything themselves. Plus, there’s dessert at the end. It really is one of those Brisbane activities that couldn’t get any better.
Mixology classes are another fun spin on the traditional team cooking events. Instead of having everyone step into the role of head chef, your team can test their skills as burgeoning bartenders and learn how to make unique signature drinks. This is an ideal after-work team building cooking class that will invite your employees to relax and enjoy some delicious beverages.
Which team cooking classes will appeal to your corporate team?
Whether you’ve got amateur chefs in your mix or team members who would rather mix a cocktail than julienne a carrot, there are fun team cooking classes for your unique group. With private group cooking classes and engaging team cooking classes all over Brisbane, you’ll easily find the right team building cooking class that will give your employees the chance to relax and have quality time with their coworkers.