Cupcake decorating, jewellery making, theatre workshops, choir singing and more in Kingston

The historic town of Kingston upon Thames offers plenty of opportunities for visitors wanting to learn new skills or hone some existing ones. Choose from cupcake decorating, learning the secret of cooking cake pops and making jewellery or Christmas decorations.

The town also offers chocolate tasting with informative chat on how chocolate is made, the chance to experience Tudor cooking and the opportunity for visitors to dip their toes into theatre work or sing in a 100 strong choir.

Cupcake decorating and cake pop making at Sweet Revenge 
Every Tuesday and Thursday evening café and bakery Sweet Revenge offers cupcake lovers the chance to discover the secrets of perfect rose piped and classic peaked swirls using colourful whipped butter cream on its decorating course. They can also learn the process of creating beautiful decorations to finish cupcakes and at the end of the evening will take home a box of mouth-watering cakes – all for just £59.

Cake pops are the next big thing from America and fast becoming a craze in the UK. Sweet Revenge teaches the art of making these delicious and quirky truffle-like cakes dipped in pure melted chocolate. All are finished to perfection with a variety of sugar-crafted decorations, or sculpted into clever designs. This course costs £59 and takes place every Wednesday evening. Guests take home a collection of original and impressive goodies. To book consult: http://www.sweetrevengelondon.com/

Learn to make jewellery, a dream catcher or Christmas decorations at Beadtime 
Choose from a range of jewellery making courses as well as the chance to create a dream catcher or to make Christmas decorations at Beadtime in Kingston. Courses run throughout the year.

On Saturday 10th November, book in for a full day of festive fun. Learn how to create three gorgeous wooden tree decorations and a set of four wine glass charms, plus decorate a cream ‘church’ candle with beads (all provided) for just £45. On the afternoon of 21st November the make a dream catcher course costs just £20.

On Saturday 24th November learn wire-wrapping techniques to create a stunning clustered necklace and cuff bracelet too – just £45 for the day. In all classes beads are included in the cost, participants also receive a 10% discount on any tools or beads that they buy after a class. These are just a few of the courses on offer. For a full list consult: www.beadtime.co.uk. To book call 0203 1660046.

Chocolate indulgence evenings at Montezuma’s

Montezuma’s shop in Kingston offers two different chocolate tasting experiences with the chance to learn how chocolate is made. The hour-long “Indulgence” experience costs just £12 per person, including a glass of Prosecco. Participants learn how to taste chocolate properly and will try around eight different chocolates. Serious chocoholics will enjoy the “Over Indulgence” experience. Lasting 1.5 hours this costs £25 and includes half a bottle of Prosecco and the opportunity to taste 10-12 difference chocolates. Guests also leave with a goody bag. Both experiences take place in the evening and are based on a minimum of ten guests.

Participants also enjoy a 10% discount on all chocolate bought on the evening! For more information consult www.montezumas.co.uk and to book an Indulgence evening call 020 3166 1037.

Take part tasters at the Rose Theatre
The Rose Theatre runs a series of regular drop-in classes on diverse subjects from Shakespeare to stage-combat; this is an opportunity for visitors to dip their toes into theatre work, whether their interest is professionally driven or just mildly curious. Classes are energetic, interactive, great fun and from around £20 per person offer excellent value.

There is also the chance to become part of a choir for the day. Join up to 100 people on the Rose stage to rehearse and perform a full public concert in one day. It’s a challenging, exhausting day, working with an experienced musical director and professional singers but the concert at the end of is something participants will never forget! No previous choir experience necessary. It costs £20 and the next courses are on 17 February and 26 May 2013. For full details of the theatre’s courses and events call 08444 821 556 or consult: http://www.rosetheatrekingston.org/rose-plus-welcome

Tudor Cooking at Hampton Court Palace 
Discover the secrets of the Tudor kitchens of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace. The Palace is home to a fascinating research project run by Historia food archaeologists, who regularly bring the kitchens to life experimenting with traditional recipes, ingredients and cooking methods to prepare feasts fit for a king! Visitors can pick up Tudor cooking tips during live demonstrations held at palace on two days each month.  Access to the live cookery is included in the entrance fee for Hampton Court Palace. Next demonstrations are on 3-4 November, 1-2 December, 27 December – 1 January. Dates in 2013 include:  2-3 February and 2-3 March.  For more information go to http://www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace/whatson/tudorcookery

Kingston is just a 25 minute train journey from central London and those wanting to combine one or more of these activities with a short break can enjoy a night’s stay at boutique property Chase Lodge Hotel from just £49.95 per night, for two on a bed & breakfast basis (www.chaselodgehotel.com). Alternatively stay at the Holiday Inn from £118 for two with breakfast (http://www.hikingston.co.uk/). For more information on Kingston go to www.kingstonfirst.co.uk

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