Head to Edinburgh and discover 6 talents you didn’t know you had

As Autumn draws near and the sun sets earlier each day, it’s a great time to think about replacing walks in the park, or al fresco dining, with using the early evenings to discover a talent you didn’t know you had. Edinburgh is home to some of the best and most unusual learning experiences.

Cook like a pro

Everyone enjoys entertaining and hosting a dinner party, but the great challenge is spending less time in the kitchen and more with friends. Edinburgh New Town Cookery School on Queen Street, offers a range of courses from one day tasters – such as Curries of the World or Knife Skills – to five weeks beginner and intermediate evening classes. These are an ideal way to spend a few hours on the way home from work, learning, creating and then arriving home with your supper all ready to eat. Even better, it’s a social occasion in itself, so a great way to meet people and make new friends.  The school also runs weekend-based courses, plus three and six month professional courses for chefs.

learn-to-cook

Become a pro photographer

The Stills Centre for Photography on Cockburn Street in the Old Town, offers a range of evening courses in all areas of photography and digital media. These enable students to make the most of their camera and maybe take some gorgeous views of Edinburgh. Whether it’s the old-school approach to using a darkroom, or learning about street photography, mastering Design Layouts and Graphics for Print; or just improving digital SLR techniques, the weekday evening courses make pros in no time.

camera-pro

Take up Highland Dancing

Perhaps nothing captures the spirit of Scotland better than the sight of Highland dancing being performed at a Highland gathering. So, if you’re a fan of all things Scottish then why not give Highland Dancing a go? Dance Base’s Monday evening classes are perfect for everyone who wants to enjoy the energetic, rhythmic steps of Scotland’s national dances.

highland-dancing

Master the art of cocktail making

Straight up, shaken or stirred, Tigerlily’s interactive cocktail demonstrations take guests on an incredible flavour journey. This modern and stylish boutique hotel offers 90 minute classes where the secrets of handcrafted cocktails are revealed. With expert mixologists and really stunning surroundings, this is a great way to learn about the origins and style of cocktails. The best bit is the fun part – toasting your creative success!

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Discover your inner florist

A great way to learn the art of floristry is at the The Narcissus Flower School. The school has just launched its Autumn Bouquet which is ideal for anyone starting out or looking to perfect their technique. Students learn how to use different colours and textures to make striking designs. The teachers will focus on the basic basic care principles for flowers and how to present designs in signature wrapping – Narcissus Style.

flower-school

Write better fiction!

Edinburgh is famous for many great authors such as JK Rowling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Iain Rankin. If you are the next budding author, why not hone your skills and confidence in a supportive environment at one of the University of Edinburgh’s evening writing courses? Students can learn the art of creating characters, formidable plots and how to present work professionally. This could be the first step to becoming the next top author!

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Edinburgh is a great city in the autumn and is a wonderful place to learn a new skill in one of its unique and beautiful venues. So take time out from the busy working week and teach yourself something different and inspiring.

Douglas Walker is Chair of Unique Venues of Edinburgh.

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