Get the most out of your prop­erty by teach­ing cour­ses in your kitchen or liv­ing room

Peo­ple with skills to share are turn­ing teacher in their spare time, run­ning cour­ses in their kitchens and liv­ing rooms to in­spire oth­ers

Real Homes - - Contents -

For most of us, week­ends are a time to spend re­cov­er­ing from the week­day grind. To hit the snooze but­ton a few more times. Or not set the alarm at all. We’ll mooch around over break­fast, think about tack­ling the jobs there’s no time to do dur­ing the week or or­gan­ise ac­tiv­i­ties to try and en­ter­tain/ex­haust the kids. But there are oth­ers who shed their work iden­ti­ties and adopt the metaphor­i­cal mor­tar board and gown of the teacher, wel­come strangers into their home and set about pass­ing on knowl­edge to oth­ers. And of­ten this ex­per­tise has noth­ing to do with what oc­cu­pies them in the 9-5, but is a sur­pris­ing tal­ent or skill they want oth­ers to learn.

‘I love shar­ing some­thing I know with some­one who wants to learn, teach­ing them how to make it the best,’ says Maud Feld­mann of Maud­, who spends Satur­days in her kitchen, in­tro­duc­ing around half a dozen peo­ple to the art of mak­ing mac­arons – the bite-sized colour­ful French con­fec­tions made up of meringue bis­cuits sand­wiched to­gether with ganache or jam. ‘I en­joy mak­ing some­thing that’s com­plex ac­ces­si­ble to any­one that wants to do it. Mac­arons can be su­per tough to make and manag­ing to get any­one to do them makes me happy,’ she adds.

Maud is not alone in her en­thu­si­asm for throw­ing open her home for oth­ers to come and learn some­thing new. Sites like craft­, Etsy and Airbnb Ex­pe­ri­ences re­veal week­end ar­ti­sans, mak­ers and crafts­peo­ple who are only too keen to pass on the se­crets of how to make the per­fect Chi­nese bao (bun), weave their own wall hang­ing or cus­tom a fas­ci­na­tor over af­ter­noon tea. All they need is a skill to share, con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to teach it and suf­fi­cient space in their kitchen or home for pupils to learn (though they’ll also need to con­sult their lo­cal coun­cil about is­sues that arise from run­ning a busi­ness from home, in­clud­ing things like busi­ness rates, in­sur­ance and pos­si­bly a food hy­giene cer­tifi­cate).

In Maud’s case, she spends Mon­day to Fri­day help­ing com­pa­nies go through dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tions. On Satur­days, she shares the tech­niques she learned mak­ing cakes, pies and bis­cuits with her grand­mother and mother as a child grow­ing up in Stras­bourg, France. She has been run­ning the classes for six months, pro­moted through Airbnb Ex­pe­ri­ences and via her own web­site, wel­com­ing groups from round the UK and tourists anx­ious to take away a new tal­ent (and some mac­arons) from their visit to Lon­don.

When she set up a cook­ing school in her kitchen, she was keen that it should be a home­from-home ex­pe­ri­ence, so that her pupils would be con­fi­dent they could re­pro­duce what they’d made un­der her watch­ful eye with their own equip­ment. ‘There’s no pres­sure – I want it to feel com­fort­able. I have a ter­race and in the sum­mer I cre­ated a kind of trop­i­cal area where they can have tea out­side. Or they can re­lax on the sofa.’ She has plans to in­tro­duce an eclair-mak­ing course next year. And while the classes have been a suc­cess, it’s the fact she could run them while work­ing that en­cour­aged her to start.

‘I en­joy the fact that my day job al­lows me to have this hobby with­out tak­ing any risk,’ she ex­plains. ‘Of course I am al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties, but for the time be­ing I will keep it like that, pur­su­ing my hobby on Satur­days. I didn’t have any ex­pec­ta­tions when I started be­cause it is re­ally a pas­sion

I wanted to share with peo­ple.’

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