I was SO excited when I came across Laneway Learning a few months ago, and cannot believe it’s not getting more attention!! If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone; starting in 2012 in Melbourne (and since making its way to Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and even Singapore!), a few friends decided to make use of CBD cafes after hours, by using them as a base to host a ragtag series of evening classes taught by ordinary people with extraordinary passions. These classes are amazing because they are super accessible (generally costing only $14) and anyone can teach, which means you have the chance to learn anything from origami gift wrapping to hip hop yoga to mindful self-compassion, and literally everything in between.
It’s an absolutely brilliant initiative, and I feel like it needs to be put out there a lot more! This week, I joined the Charlie and the Chocolate Tastings class with dad (as part of his Father’s Day present). This class was taught by father-daughter team (perfect, right?!) Christos and Tina from Xocolatl Artisan Chocolates and they very kindly brought along a whole lot of chocolate for us to try. Dad’s a massive chocoholic, a trait passed on to me, so this was perfect for us!
Christos and Tina were fantastic – they really, really knew their stuff, and taught it to us all in a way that kept everyone interested and engaged for the entire 75 minutes. It was obvious they really had a passion for their work (you’d be crazy not to when your work is chocolate!), which really came across when they spoke about things like their belief in fair trade and working family to family – as in, their family working with the families who run the cocoa plantation farms, ensuring that their products come from family businesses rather than slave labour. Tina also spoke a lot about her recent trip to the cocoa plantations in Ghana, and we tried not only the final chocolate product, but also cocoa nibs, cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa liquor. Personally, I loved it all!
If you’re interested in trying a class your self, get along to the Laneway Learning website http://melbourne.lanewaylearning.com/ and check out what they have on offer! The classes are constantly changing, as they are all one offs, so there’s always something of interest!
I may also be teaching a class or two in the future, so stay tuned 😉