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Experience gifts

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Think outside the box this festive season with these amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for a gift they'll never forget - or else expand your own skill sets...

For the Home Maker

What is it: Learn how to create expert florist Jamie Aston’s distinctive floral displays and arrangements at his stunning Marylebone flower school where absolute beginners, enthusiastic amateurs and professional florist wannabes can take part in friendly and informal classes.

How much: Gift vouchers from £95

Booking information: Visit jamieaston.com or call 0207-387 0999

For the Creative Types

What is it: The Guardian has launched a series of creative masterclasses, the first of which starts in January with internationally renowned photographer David Montgomery. Over the 12 week course, David will share his passion for photography and his lifetime of work and experiences - he’s snapped the Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Leonardo Dicaprio and Sienna Miller amongst others. Budding photographers can expect practical learning, hard work and hands-on guidance from the expert.

How much: £2,100 for a 12-week course

Booking information: Visit guardian.co.uk or call 020-3353 2612

For the Ultimate Hostess

What is it: Edinburgh’s glitziest cocktail bar, Bond No. 9, is now offering cocktail masterclasses. Participants will learn how to shake up well-known drinks as well as some more unusual tipples. Thanks to the extensive back bar, Bond No. 9’s team of mixologists can tailor ingredients to their students’ particular tastes and even personalities, leaving them with the essential skills to throw an amazing cocktail party at home.

How much: Classes from £20

Booking information: Visit bondno9.co.uk or call 0131-555 5578

For the Animal Lover

What is it: Go behind the scenes at Woburn Safari Park (based in the heart of Bedfordshire) and experience first-hand what life is like as an animal keeper. Perfect for wildlife lovers, the experience involves close encounters with the animals (everything from big cats to penguins), joining the staff in their daily tasks and even a VIP off-road tour of the animal reserves with a ranger ready to share their knowledge of the animals.

How much: £195 per person for a non-exclusive booking (group of up to 3 people per day)

Booking information: Visit woburn.co.uk; call 01525-292 317 or email vip.experiences@woburn.co.uk

For the Chocaholic

What is it: For those based in the Midlands, Loughborough’s Chocolate Alchemy offers the perfect festive indulgence. The beautiful chocolate boutique provides an irresistible hands-on experience which allows visitors to indulge in the delights of delicious handmade truffles and become experts in the art of creating handmade chocolates.

How much: A truffle and chocolate making experience for two people costs £70

Booking information: Visit chocolate-alchemy.co.uk; call 01509-238 113 or email peter@chocolatealchemy.co.uk

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