As we inch further into the New Year, we're all thinking about how we can make 2011 really count. This will be the year we pick up that language, learn that skill, lose that weight. It's a time of self-reflection where we're off the alcohol and onto the path of self-improvement. And what better way to broaden your horizons than by learning something new?
Taking up a hobby has been proven to have several benefits. It can open your mind, boost your talents and increase your confidence. Furthermore, many mental health professionals recommend practising a hobby as an effective way to reduce stress levels.
There are few hobbies more useful, or indeed more on trend, than cooking. After all, 2010 was the year that Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals became the quickest selling non-fiction book of all time, and when Heston Blumenthal's Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding kit sold on eBay for a whopping £102.
Of course sometimes taking on a new challenge can be a little intimidating - but what about if you could learn a new skill in the comfort of your own home?
School of Wok is an innovative mobile cookery school, specialising in the art of Chinese cuisine. Providing an impressive range of customisable cooking lessons, there's something for absolute beginners (the Basic Techniques course) through to keen chefs (the magnificent 7 Meals To Impress, covering dishes like tiger prawn noodle soup, steamed scallops and salt and pepper squid). Keen to make the experience as easy as possible, our chefs will travel to your home - and even clean up afterwards!
To give guests a sneak-peek into the exciting flavours of the Far East, School of Wok is collaborating with adventure holiday specialists Intrepid Travel to host a special free session as part of the Learn To...series of events.
Taking place at the Intrepid HQ in Angel, the lesson will be lead by Cordon Bleu trained chef Jeremy Pang. Renowned for his fun, informative teaching style and passionate about home cooking, Jeremy specialises in teaching students how to create delicious authentic dishes like prawn and chive dumplings, Hoisin duck and sweet and sour pork.
"We're extremely excited to be working with Intrepid Travel," explains the head chef.
"Their adventure holidays encourage people to break out of their routines and experience new things in an exciting destination. We definitely share their passion for helping others try something new, so as a collaboration it works perfectly. I'm looking forward to showing people some delicious dishes they can replicate at home."
The special one-off cookery lesson will take place on Tuesday, 8th February at 7pm. Places are limited so booking is essential (visit www.intrepidtravel.com for booking details).
School of Wok and Intrepid will also be teaming up at Destinations Holiday and Travel Show 2011 (3-6 February; Earls Court), where they will be demonstrating the true colours of Chinese cuisine and it's significance in eastern culture.