Friday, 25 March 2011

The Twenty First Century Idler

Hubert-Francois Gravelot, The Coffee House, The Tate Gallery
As far as lively conversation and witty debates went during the eighteenth century, there were few places better to enjoy it than within the walls of a Coffee House. Coffee was served in abundance, but the real reason so many writers, artists, politicians and thinkers flocked through their doors was largely due to the opportunities to meet, talk and formulate ideas.

Created in the spirited and convivial atmosphere of an eighteenth century Coffee House is the recently opened Idler Academy on Westbourne Park Road, London. Named after a magazine written by the don of eighteenth century literature, Dr. Samuel Johnson, it offers lectures, talks and classes of an eclectic and tongue-in-cheek nature (while serving drinks and cakes, of course).

The spring timetable is now available to view online, and includes discussions and courses such as:

Tuesday 29th March: A Masterclass in Elizabethan Music for Plucked Instruments.  
Wednesday 30th March: The Art of Cloud Collecting.
Tuesday 12th April: The Hidden History of Glamour.
Wednesday 27th April: The Decline in Grammatical Standards.

The Idler Academy is also hoping to offer courses in calligraphy, embroidery, philosophy, Latin, life drawing, and last but not least...the ukulele.

For more information, visit The Idler Academy's website here.


  1. I fancy the idea of taking a course where cake and drinks are served. The Hidden History of Glamour is what appeals to me. What are you signing up for?

  2. This sounds very interesting and appealing. It's always great to find out about new and different things to do... Have a lovely week and don't worry about not popping round - I know what it's like to be busy and try to fit everything in ;-) xo

  3. Me too, Ingrid. Sounds like the perfect place! I'd love to go to the Hidden History of Glamour, too. These are the details (sounds brill):

    "Tuesday 12 April
    Tuesday Symposium: The Hidden History of Glamour with N. J. Stevenson
    In this fascinating talk, fashion writer and curator N.J. Stevenson looks back over 200
    years of changing style, and asks: How did the !ussian ballet cause women to wear
    trousers? How did a chance discovery in a shoe factory influence Glam Rock? Who is the
    greater fashion revolutionary, Vivienne Westwood or Marie-Antoinette? Find out the
    answers to these and many more questions during a revealing, entertaining and inspiring
    evening. N.J. Stevenson is author of The Chronology of Fashion, published by AC
    Black. She will be signing copies on the night.
    6.30pm. Ticket price £15 +vat. Includes wine and nibbles."


    MP- It sounds wonderful: I'm glad you agree! Hope you have a lovely week, too. x

  4. This looks amazing! I would love to learn nearly everything that is on offer there. Lovely post, Laura. I hope you are well. x

  5. The thought of dabbling in all things deliciously arty whilst nibbling and sipping is almost too much to bare. I think you have discovered another jewel in the English crown. Your blog is wonderfully restful to read and appreciate - how I wish that I had access to it in the late 90's when i was wondering Battersea Park with toddler one and later two...wishing for deeper daily enrichment.....

  6. Hey too! How about some ukulele lessons...? The whole Idler idea is such a brilliant one.

    I'm well thanks and hope you are, too. Congratulations on your lovely new house! :) x

    Annie - Thanks for visiting! Your blog is great; you write beautifully and I'm so glad to have come across you. Thank you for your lovely comments, too - they are much appreciated.