I love to do things by myself when I am in London alone and there is such a range of possibilities depending on your interests. You could choose from cookery classes, dance lessons, tours, shopping or museums, to name a few. You can find reviews of many solo activities on my ‘Things to do in London’ page if you are looking for inspiration. However, if you would like to take a class in something, these are my 4 top recommendations when you are in London…
1. Indian Cookery Class, North London
191 Victoria Road, London N22 7XH – 15 minutes walk from Bounds Green underground station. There is also ample parking on Victoria Road.
So much fun was had at this well established Indian cookery school. The classes are small and held within a family home. Nikita Gulhane, the host, worked alongside Madhur Jaffrey, gathering recipes for the book which accompanied the TV series ‘Curry Nation’.
As students we were encouraged to taste and smell a range of fresh and dry spices which became a humorous task as we learnt some were not quite as we expected, especially the one that smelt like armpits!
We learnt how to make garam masala and how to adapt it to suit our own tastes and then used it as a base to make some superb tasting dishes such as …
The course, priced at £125 at the time of booking, included a full day of cooking, a delicious light lunch, soft drinks and a feast at the end. It was one of the best solo activities I have had the opportunity to take part in. I was able to spend a day with others who had an interest in Indian cookery and took some great recipes home with me to make an authentic Indian meal.
For further information about available courses and current prices, click on Spice Monkey’s website.
2. Cheese Making Class, North London
Queen Street, London N17 8JA
A cheese making class with a very funny host. Without a doubt you will laugh a lot, but be prepared for X-rated language and plenty of jokes that may be your expense!
Throughout the day you will be briefed about hygiene necessary for cheese making and come away armed with information and interesting facts about the cheese making and maturation process,. Some of it will make you think twice about where you purchase your cheese from in the future.
As well as making lots of cheese to take home, snacks, lunch, refreshments and a tasting experience is also included.
The 2 guys that run it are lovely and extremely knowledgeable. This is a well run course ideal for cheese lovers. It is also one of the most amusing solo activities I have taken part in. Students on the day included solos and couples ranging in age from teens-70s.
For further information about the cheese making classes and current prices, have a look at Wildes Cheese’s website.
3. Rum Making Class, North London
144-145 Upper Street, London N1 1QY
With a choice of 3 different classes, be prepared to drink delicious rum cocktails and taste several varieties of rum. Finally, you have the opportunity to re-distill and personalise your own rum to take home using your own blend of spices.
Laki Kane’s rum making class is a super solo activity where you can meet others with a common interest in rum within a small group setting. The host was extremely knowledgeable and we came away with lots of interesting facts. For example, did you know the Royal Navy were issued a half pint ration of rum daily, until 31st July 1970? The rum was 57 ABV. It is believed it needed to be this high because if the gunpowder on deck got wet due to a casket of rum being ruptured, it could still ignite if the rum was over 57 ABV!
For current prices and further information, visit Laki Kane’s website.
4. Dance Class, South London
Without a doubt, walking into a room to dance where you don’t know anyone is daunting. However, I needn’t have felt as anxious as I did. The room is filled with males and females of mixed ages, 20s to 70s and classes cater for all levels, including beginners who believe they have two left feet! This is definitely one of the most sociable solo activities I have enjoyed.
London has many different styles to choose from. Why not check out youtube to see which kind you like the look of. Some London favourites include…
- Brazilian Zouk
Lessons tend to last for about an hour and social dancing takes place afterwards. The classes allow you to rotate partners frequently so you become familiar with other dancers quite quickly, making the social dance easier.
Classes run on a ‘drop in’ basis and cost around £10 which includes the lesson(s) and social dance. Some venues offer 2 or 3 styles of dance and have lessons that run consecutively before the social dance. You could therefore try a few styles on the same night!
At the end of the lessons, the lights are turned down and the music volume turned up. Sometimes there will be DJs and others, live bands. All levels are encouraged to practice their moves together.
Furthermore, if you learn a little of a dance style, there are lessons and festivals taking place all over the country and overseas too. There are no language barriers once you learn some of the moves. It can become a great activity to enjoy wherever you travel to.
Salsa Kizomba Flowz is a well respected dance school in South London that I have enjoyed going along to from time to time. The classes are well run and the school is friendly and welcoming. Have a look at my dance page for further information about classes within the London area that I can recommend.