Melbourne’s wealth of creative classes aren’t just for those who want to acquire a new skill or perfect a certain art form, they’re also a convenient opportunity to eat and drink and pass it off as “learning”.

Summer School at Writers Victoria
Whether writing is your covert passion or your career, Writers Victoria’s series of Summer School workshops have a session to suit every ability and inclination. Starting January 12, the program includes everything from editing, pitching, short-story writing, to in-depth genre-specific workshops. Your teachers will be award-winning and bestselling authors including Emily Bitto, Wayne Macauley, Paddy O’Reilly, Ellie Marney and Marija Pericic, to name a few.
Where: The Wheeler Centre
When: January 12–27
Cost: Varies per program.
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Beginners Terrarium Workshop with Petite Green
Create your own portable glass garden with Amy Wong from Petite Green. In this one-and-a-half-hour workshop, you’ll learn the specifics of terrarium making – including plant selection, soil composition and terrarium design and care. It’s BYO your own clear, glass container, so get creative and turn an old vase or fish bowl into a living work of art. All other materials are supplied.
Where: Work-Shop Melbourne
When: January 19
Cost: $80
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Polymer Clay Workshop with Polly Collective
Create jewellery and crockery with one of Polly Collective’s polymer clay workshops. You’ll learn about curing, finishing and texturing polymer to create your own statement earrings or necklaces or trinket dishes. Wine, nibbles and all materials are provided.
Where:Work-Shop Melbourne
When: January 18
Cost: $95
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Sausage Making Masterclass at Common Man
Over two hours with Common Man head chef Lorenzo Casu, you’ll learn about different cuts of pork and how to make your own preservative- and gluten-free sausages. Enjoy the fruits of your labour afterwards. An ideal class for beginners.
Where:Common Man
When: January 20
Cost: $89

Easy Japanese at South Melbourne Market
As part of South Melbourne Market’s Market2Table series, learn to make simple, delicious Japanese food with market-fresh produce. The one-and-a-half-hour class is taught by Ai Bate, who studied at the renowned Tsuji cooking school in Osaka and went on to become the first female cook at then-Michelin-starred Monna Lisa French in Tokyo. The class includes a light lunch and take-home recipe cards.
Where:The Neff Market Kitchen
When: January 28
Cost: $70
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Cook Without a Recipe at South Melbourne Market
Reduce food waste and learn a cooking trick or two with Jessie Alice of Leftover lovers. This class aims to teach participants how to make the most of what they’ve got in the fridge and also how to get yourself out of a cooking rut. Beginning with a half-hour tour of the South Melbourne Market, you’ll then go on to create two complete meals, including sides and sauces. Alice will provide plenty of tips to adapt your skills to a variety of ingredients, giving you the confidence to create meals without a recipe.
Where:The Neff Market Kitchen
When: January 27
Cost: $70
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DIY Dumplings with The Humble Dumpling
Angie Chong’s grandfather invented the DimSim, and she taught Asian Cooking at the William Angliss Institute for almost 20 years, so she’s got dumpling-making credentials. In this class you’ll learn to wrap, roll and cook meat, seafood and vegetarian or vegan dumplings, as well as where to get the best ingredients to make them. It’s an informal three-hour workshop that takes place around a shared table with Chong. Gluten-free dough is available, and it’s BYO beer or wine for a drink and a chat over your creations at the end of class.
Where:Work-Shop Melbourne and The Humble Dumpling
When: January 19 and 28
Cost: $90
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Coffee Knowledge with Proud Mary Coffee Roasters
Pull up a chair at Collingwood’s Coffee College, which is run by one of the city’s best roasters. This class is a comprehensive explainer of the coffee-making process, from the cherry to the roasted bean. You’ll learn about coffee cultivation, harvesting, processing methods and how all these factors – including the origin of the bean – influence flavour. Perfect for professional development or coffee nerds.
Where:Proud Mary Coffee Roasters
When: Classes running throughout January
Cost: $110
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Bespoke Gin at Bass & Flinders
Bass & Flinders runs a two-hour gin-making course in Red Hill. You’ll learn about the distilling process, botanicals and how these affect and alter the final product. You’ll create a 500-millilitre take-home bottle of gin tailored to your own taste. They’ll also keep a record of your personal gin recipe, so you can order more when you run out.

Where:Bass & Flinders
When: Classes running through January
Cost: $139
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Train Your Palate at Wine House
This is a practical, relaxed and fun introduction to improving your wine palate. This two-hour class teaches you how to assess the character of wine, including appearance, aroma and taste. Tasting seven different types, you’ll be guided through how to distinguish taste sensations and how to use these techniques to better appreciate and understand what you’re drinking. Great for novices as well as seasoned wine-lovers.
Where:Wine House
When: February 3
Cost: $75
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