You've been schooled

LEARN A PARTICULAR SET OF SKILLS

New year, new you? Nonsense. Look how ace you are! Don't go changing.
But everyone could do with new challenges. Little upgrades to your skill set that simply add to your overall splendour. So here are five of Birmingham's best courses, designed to help you better yourself in 2014.  

A MICHELIN-STARRED CLASS

Eating at Simpsons is one thing, being taught there is something else. Their École de Cuisine's one-day class combines practical cookery demonstrations of meat, fish and desserts by head chef Matt Cheal. Once the class is over you get a full, three-course lunch in the restaurant. Edgbaston, £135.

MASTER THE LENS. SORT OF. 

Still a point, shoot, pray photographer? Photo School's brilliant course covers a six week period (three lessons spaced a fortnight apart) and will show you everything you need to know as a beginner. They have workshops for more advanced shutterbugs, too. Stirchley, £35.

UPGRADE THE FRANGLAIS

Enough with the talking in English, slowly and with a weird accent. Ort Cafe do a host of language lessons and we're told that the French class, in particular, is wonderfully relaxed and welcoming. This is as much about meeting people as it is improving on your GCSE oral exam catastrophe. Balsall Heath, free (recommended donation of £3). 

NOSE-TO-TAIL BUTCHERY

Taught by master butcher Steve Rossiter, who runs Birmingham’s first organic butchers, this three hour evening course includes a guided tour around a whole organic lamb, before learning how to take it apart, bone it and roll cuts. After, you'll sit down to eat a slow-cooked lamb dinner before being sent home with an oven-ready roasting joint. Stirchley, £75

THE ONLY WAY IS CROCHET

Crochet is in, big time. And there's sentence we never thought we'd write. Guthrie & Ghani have three very popular crochet workshops all targeted at beginners, from the first stitches to making basic, but lovely, thingammies. Check out all their classes here. Moseley, £22.

THE KISSMOPOLITAN: THE CITY'S BEST NEW COCKTAIL?


Two new cocktails grace the Gingers Bar menu at Purnell's Bistro, with the pick of the pair being a stunning take on the Cosmopolitan that they're calling a Kissmopolitan (£7.50). Vanilla pod-infused vodka combines with cherry Marnier, cranberry juice and lime to make for a frighteningly morish tipple. It's on the menu in late January. The second newbie - the Delightfully Turkish (£6.50) - is a smart take on Turkish delight and is available now. Oh, by the way, their £50 Valentine's menu is worth a look.

MORBID CURIOSITIES: KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE. 


The Don't Go Into The Cellar theatre company are staging live productions of some of literature's most terrifying works, and they're calling it Morbid Curiosities. That sounds great, but the deal-breaker is that the performances take place in front of just 30 in the Library Of Birmingham's stunning Shakespeare Memorial Room. At £10 it's a shoo-in to sell out, so book now. The first one is on Thursday (January 23) with three subsequent performances in February, March and April. 
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Images: Zach Disnhner (Flickr), Moyan Brenn (Flickr)
Copyright © 2014 Birmingham Publishing Group Ltd, All rights reserved.


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