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If you look back through history, you will notice that the kind of pastimes people engaged in was very different from what we do with our free time now. In the 21st century, there is a common notion of ‘work hard, play hard’ that tends to run through a lot of us. Many of us work long hours in challenging jobs, so by the time the weekend comes around, we want to celebrate – and more often than not, that means going out drinking, partying and socializing. There’s nothing at all wrong with this, of course. Going out with friends is healthy, and it can often be in your best interests to let your hair down every so often. But if you entertain yourself in this manner week in, week out, you may soon find that it starts to become a little monotonous. Humans are complex creatures, and we need a rich range of stimuli to feed our intricate minds. In days gone by, hobbies would tend to be more refined and more interesting as a result. If you feel the need to add a little more flair to your personal life and have something to look forward to other than going on a big night out, here are some refined hobbies you may want to consider taking up.

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Art and photography

If self-expression is your thing, there’s no better way to embrace your cultured side than by getting into art and photography. Art can make you see the world differently and requires you to look for meaning in every frame – so it’s a great way to broaden the mind and think creatively. Consider purchasing pieces from a company such as Sulis Fine Art so that you can surround yourself with stunning art right at home. If you’re interested in the more practical side of things, rather than merely appreciating the art, entry level DSLR cameras are relatively cheap and can still produce some amazingly HD images.

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Wine/liquor tasting

It sometimes seems like the mark of every refined gentleman is a well-stocked whiskey cupboard or a wine cellar. Whatever your tipple of choice is, buying, selling and tasting alcohol is a classy hobby that people world over still do today. It may also give you a new appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into each bottle, rather than just downing the cheapest drink you spot at the bar! Invest in some quality glassware so that when your friends come round, you can share your hobby with them and socialize over one of your favorite drinks.

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For centuries, sport has been considered a refined hobby due to its emphasis on discipline, teamwork, and skill. If you are looking for a hobby that can keep your focus and allow you to indulge in a bit of ‘me time,’ why not pick up something like golf or tennis? These sports are typically played individually or in pairs, which means you may find it more relaxing than playing in a large group. You may also want to take it right back to the olden days with an elegant sport such as fencing  – it’s certainly unique if nothing else!

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