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Short Courses at Kew Gardens

From Cheese Tasting to a crash course on Smartphone Photography, Kew Gardens has got plenty to experience.

All about honey: Tasting and cheese pairing

Join scientist and beekeeper Dr Agnes Tyburn for this fun and tasty workshop celebrating all things honey. Explore the elements that define the taste and flavour of honey, and discover the production process from the honeybee colony to the jar on your kitchen shelf. During the course, you will hear about the history of honey and how modern beekeeping practices impact its quality. Learn how to taste and appreciate the complexity of aromas and flavour profiles of a unique range of honey and enjoy them with a perfect cheese pairing.

Gin discovery and tasting experience

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and East London Liquor Company’s Head Distiller, Tom Hills, invite you on a gin tasting journey through the Gardens.

Join a guided walk in the Gardens exploring and visiting some of the key botanicals used in England’s most iconic spirit, and learn all about the pollinators that make gin possible from one of our experts at Kew. Retiring to the Pavilion Bar and Grill, Tom will talk you through how gin is made and the process of developing the East London Kew Gin recipe, as you enjoy tasting East London Liquor Company gins.

Cyanotype workshop

Join this workshop to learn about the  history and chemistry of cyanotype – the art of creating beautiful floral Prussian blue prints. Photographer Magda Kuca will run a three-hour hands-on workshop that will introduce you to the basics of the cyanotype printmaking process discovered in 1842. Use watercolour paper, cyanotype paint and UV light to create your very own botanical images. 

Smartphone safari

Fall in love with smartphone photography; you will be amazed at what your pocket-sized camera can achieve. Join experienced photographer and tutor Jet Lendon for this unique masterclass, and discover the art of capturing stunning images using the camera on your phone.

Jet will cover the basics of photography, including composition, lighting and editing, that can be applied to all makes and models of smartphone. Embark on a safari at Kew, and see what natural wonders you can catch on camera.

Boro Workshop

Boro (more accurately ‘Boro boro’), meaning ‘rags’ or ‘tatters’, is the art of repairing fabric using scraps and stitching.

A source of shame in Japan for many years, the fabrics are now highly prized and can fetch significant sums.

Boro work echoes the principle behind the British wartime tradition of ‘make do and mend’. It was originally used out of necessity in Japan to prolong the life of clothes and bedding due to extreme poverty and the scarcity of textiles.

In this class led by Rob Jones from Romor Designs you will learn:

  • The history and origins of Boro with examples of vintage Boro collected in Japan.
  • How to repair a garment using scraps, both modern and vintage.
  • How to use sashiko stitching to enhance your work.
  • The practice of using visible repair to enhance and strengthen textiles.
  • Appliqué and reverse appliqué techniques.

Students can also bring an item to repair (denim or heavy cotton/linen are best). Wool and silk pieces are not suitable for this class.

Botanical art class for knitters: Intermediate

Join the artist, designer and knitter Dee Hardwicke for this special botanical art class for knitters.

Sharing some her fine art drawing techniques, Dee will show you how to combine colours, shapes and motifs to create your own botanical artworks of seasonal flowers and foliage.

Dee will then guide you through the process of translating your artworks into beautiful charts for knitting.

Weather permitting, you may go on a short walk into the Gardens to admire some of Kew’s world-renowned plants, their vibrant colours and perfect proportions.

There’s endless inspiration to be found in the glorious surroundings of Kew so you’re bound to leave this unique workshop brimming with ideas for your very own botanical knits.

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