Find mindfulness through creativity in Rutland

Drawing class ‘Mindfulness’ has become a buzzword lately – and for good reason. After the challenges of the last couple of years, lots of us have realised the importance of looking after our mental health. And while stress awareness month might be over, mindfulness can play a big part in maintaining physical and emotional wellbeing all year round and Rutland is the perfect place to put it into practice.

With a host of quality food and drink, beautiful countryside and Rutland Water, England’s smallest county has a lot to offer in terms of being able to fully focus on what you are doing in the moment and forget all the ‘white noise’ in your head. One good way to do this is through creativity. Having a creative ‘anchor’ to hold onto when you first start making time for mindfulness can be really helpful.

Here we round up some of the best ways to get creative on a visit to Rutland:

Having experienced the highs and lows of a high-profile sporting career, former England cricketer Matthew Hoggard MBE knows first-hand how important it is to maintain good mental health. An active supporter of several charities, he’s hopeful that the barbecue cookery courses he runs at Hoggy’s Grill can help other people to experience the benefits of mindful cooking.
He said: “Cooking takes me away from the day-to-day anxieties in life. It helps me to focus on creating delicious food that makes other people happy.  When I cook on the grills, it gives me a sense of achievement and I love watching other people learn something new.  Knowing I’ve imparted that knowledge makes me feel proud and that I’m giving something back. There’s also something about fire and smoke which has a tremendously calming influence over me.”
Grilling courses include the ‘Ultimate Burger’ to ‘Three Course Gourmet’, showcasing a range of different grills. Courses have a fun atmosphere and take place at the purpose-built cookery school on the edge of Rutland Water.
Find out more at

Olive Branch Pub
The Olive Branch is award-winning pub in Clipsham and holds kitchen masterclasses and cookery demonstrations throughout the year. The masterclasses involve joining the kitchen team for a half day of professional hands-on experience and tuition using the very best ingredients. Chefs then get to enjoy the delicacies they have made.
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Cooking Painting
Throughout the year a range of painting classes are offered at Barnsdale Gardens, with subject matter changing according to the season. Courses include botanical painting and watercolour painting, focusing on a variety of different plants for each course. Get lost in the process of painting beautiful flowers, seed heads or vegetables. Barnsdale also provides a host of gardening courses to help you get the most out of your own outdoor haven. 
For more information on the courses, visit

If you like the idea of getting your hands dirty while creating something unique, then you can join one of Katherine Staples' ceramics classes, run from her purpose-built garden studio in Whissendine. All levels of experience are welcome, so whether you’re aiming to create a masterpiece worthy of the Tate Modern, or you just want to have some fun, you’ll have a lovely time playing with clay. Daytime, evening classes and one-off Saturday taster sessions are available throughout the year.
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the olive branch Willow weaving
Always wanted to try your hand at willow weaving? Get in touch with Martin Keeley at Rutland Willows to arrange a workshop on a date that suits your small friend and family group of between two and four people. Alternatively, you could book onto a willow sculpture workshop at Barnsdale Gardens, Rutland Water Nature Reserve or Tresillian House. 
More information is available at

Jewellery making
Tresillian House provides a purpose-built garden room where you can take part in a course and learn a new skill, from willow sculpture to gardening, from making jewellery to learning a new language.
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Illustration workshops
Katie Cardew’s Oakham store on Mill Street plays host to some lovely workshops, including illustration (with Katie). Katie’s Draw Your House Workshops are suitable for anyone from beginners all the way up to seasoned artists. Katie will demonstrate her signature style and spend plenty of time one to one with everybody as they produce a beautiful illustration of their home or favourite building. In the past the results have been astounding. This workshop is absolutely perfect for a girl’s night out, a get-together with friends or just a lovely treat for yourself.
More information is available at

To find out more about all that Rutland has to offer, visit

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