How are you all doing during lock down? It's been a bit of a double-edged sword for me. Obviously I'd rather we weren't going through this pandemic... But for the most part I've enjoyed lock down! It's probably easy for me to say - I've worked throughout, I really do feel for those who have been furloughed, or had to stay at home for other reasons. You've no doubt had a very different experience, but I hope some positives too! I've really enjoyed how quiet the roads have been, and how much clearer the air has been! It's also been a great opportunity to assess what really is important in life, and I've probably kept in touch with family much better than ever before, with regular virtual meetings for 'pub quizzes' and general chit chat.
But I have of course missed Jo Malone London! I haven't even wanted to purchase things online, so I feel I've been without forever, and only pretty recently made an online order.
But of course it's not quite the same as going in store, having the interaction and expertise, and getting to sample new launches and old favorites. First world problems I know, but other than physical contact with family (which goes without saying, although as I don't live close, isn't as regularly as we'd like anyway) going in to a Jo Malone London counter has been about the only thing I've missed!
So an invite to join in on an online masterclass came at the right moment! What an intriguing opportunity to engage with the brand. I've loved the in store masterclasses, so was really up for trying this. Tickets where £15, but included a mini town house with 5 sample vials, which sells for £15 anyway, but on top of this, there would be a voucher sent for £15 off an online shop. I purchased my ticket straight away, and was so pleased I had seen it when I did and didn't hesitate, as the tickets sold out almost immediately.
This was to be a culinary masterclass, so I was sent a recipe for an English Pear Trifle. picked to represent the sensory evocation of English Pear & Freesia. Sadly without an electric whisk it didn't look like a recipe I would be able to take part in... But I'm one of those people that although not particularly adventurous in the kitchen myself, lives vicariously through cooking TV shows! So I had no doubt I would enjoy it.
And enjoy it I did! We where initially greeted by Anton Denver Regional Education Manager for Jo Malone London in Europe, Middle East & Africa. His greeting was warm and friendly, and really set the tone for the event. Shortly we where introduced to Anna Barnett, our chef for the event. We where in good hands, Anna is well versed in cook alongs via her website and Instagram.(https://www.annabarnettcooks.com/ annabarnettcooks)
Although sound was muted for attendees, cameras where not, and around 3 or 4 people had their camera on cooking along to the recipe which was great to see - And very brave! I would be petrified to try this live if I'm honest, even if I had of had the equipment to do it alongside! Anna had such an amazing vibe is was amazing to watch as she went through the recipe, it really was just like being in the kitchen with a friend. Joining in or not, I can't see the audience would ever be bored - There are of course often 'boring bits' in any recipe, and although the magic of TV studios allow for a commercial break or "here's one I made earlier" this doesn't work for those also cooking along and so could not be edited out. This is where Anton really shone, jumping in to converse with Anna or the audience, as well as offering interesting insights into some of the Jo Malone London fragrances.
My only grumble would be I wish a bit more time could have been spent going through the fragrances in the sample kit, away from the cooking part, but that is wishful thinking really, considering it was a culinary masterclass! So even with a small charge this would have been well worth it - Considering the sample set and the £15 being redeemable against a purchase, the masterclass was in effect free - And you can't get better then that!
I hope this is something we see more of, and although we are beginning to see stores open back up, it will be a while longer yet before any in store masterclasses will be able to take place - So although this wont completely take it's place, it's a very close alternative!
I know there is a marbling masterclass coming up (again sold out really quick, before I had even seen this one), so hopefully this is the start of something more permanent. Make sure to sign up to the newsletter via the official Jo Malone Website to keep updated on any future events.