Following the lead of Soho House, which puts on regular events, talks and workshops for the members of its private clubs, high-end London hotels are recognising the demand for enrichment programmes.
London’s Shangri-La at the Shard hosts monthly cultural salons under the theme of “East meets West”, with speakers including fashion designer Paul Smith, and ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal.
Tickets costs £20, with the next lecture scheduled for November 11. “From Exile to the Heart of the Khmer Cultural Heritage, the Sacred Dancers of Angkor Wat” will be presented by Lady Ravynn Coxen.
Meanwhile, the Rosewood is partnering with food and design magazine Toast to put on Slow Motion, “a series of intimate, supperclub-style brunches and workshops that celebrate slow living”.
A menu of sharing plates and cocktails will incorporate Slow Food ingredients from the hotel’s Sunday market in the courtyard outside, while workshops will be hosted by craftspeople, writers and industry experts.
“Each workshop will focus on a different craft, exploring mindfulness and Slow Living by returning to traditional techniques, while each host will teach guests how to make an item to take home – think spoon whittling and monogrammed leather tray making.”
With tickets from £40, the Slow Motion autumn/winter schedule includes brunch with food writer, stylist, presenter and recipe book author Rosie Birkett; supperclub hosts Laura Jackson and Alice Levine; and Claire Ptak, food stylist, writer and owner of the Violet Bakery in East London.
Over in Shoreditch, the trendy Ace hotel has a calendar of inspiring events – upcoming sessions include “TED X Hackney: the Future of Food”, “Dazed X Future Artefacts” on the future of media, and a “flint knapping” workshop by Will Lord where you will learn how to make neanderthal-style arrowheads.
The nearby Hoxton hotel also curates weekly ticketed talks such as “Retail Robots” on the future of shopping, “Botanic Boutique” on how to make your own miniature plant eco-system, and “Jamie Oliver’s Food Tech Group”, on how to turn your offline business into a multi-million pound online venture.
In Mayfair, Rocco Forte’s Brown’s hotel organises monthly masterclasses such as a £185 session with chef Mark Hix on how to carve meat, as well as weekly art tours of local galleries for £60 including lunch.