“Be less… Towie Be More… Tatiana Santa Domingo“
So, you don’t want the willy straws & matching t-shirts with skimpy skirts, fighting flocks of other hen parties in a tacky club of sorts? This might be the recipe for the perfect alternative: sophisticated, fun-filled weekend with your favourite girls.
- 1 x large house in a beautiful setting (in this case – The lovely Tree Tops House in Temple Guiting – as the bride was getting married in Italy, her hen party was close to home in the picturesque cotswolds)
- a group of your nearest and dearest girlies
- fine food for brunches and tea parties
- fizz and lots more fizz
- a lovely gentleman to host a private champagne tasting
- flowers from your local supermarket for flower crown making
Arrange all the entire weekend without sharing any details with the bride-to-be for the ultimate surprise factor. (drip feed her with the hints of willy straws, matching t-shirts and strippers to fill her with all sorts of fear – she will only be pleasantly surprised then). Setting up a private email/Facebook group is extremely effective – Facebook more so as you can see who has and hasn’t seen posts and you know who to NAG 🙂 It also allows everyone to have a little say and suggestion so everyone is involved all the way.
Finding a house to accommodate you all – obviously – the hardest part is gathering a clutch of hens into committing to the same days/place/budget – so start this as early as you can and try avoid booking a place over school holidays as this reduces the price considerably as well as increases the likely hood of availability. I can highly recommend Character Cottages – Tree Tops House was absolutely wonderful – and they have endless other options of the most gorgeous properties on offer – http://www.character-cottages.co.uk/all-properties/cotswolds-all/tree-tops-house.
Order an online grocery shop to be delivered to the house on the day of your arrival to eliminate the stress of having to do the shopping leading up to or during the weekend. It also means you can add and remove items right up until the day before delivery. All major supermarkets will offer this and are extremely reliable – I can highly recommend: www.ocado.com.
While it is just wonderful to hang out with your girls all weekend, a few activities are kind of a must.
Fancy dress your hen and get everyone involved in making flower crowns – who doesn’t love flowers??
Following a decadent brunch, a private champagne tasting at the house is a good one. Nick from http://www.oxfordcheltwineschool.com/content.php?pagetitle=Private+Tastings is most certainly the gentleman to call.
Post champagne tasting, set yourselves up in the garden (or cozy up inside if the weather does not allow) with more snacky food to sustain the further consumption of bubbles. At this point you should definitely throw a curve ball and have a few games to sufficiently embarrass the bride-to-be. (Pre weekend, send the groom-to-be about 20 questions about the couple for him to give his own answer, print out and cut each question out to allow for everyone – mother’s included!! EEK to ask the bride-to-be these questions and she needs to give the same answer as her future husband did – who knows who!! It is toe curling hilarity – there should literally be tears from laughter!! ) Example questions: What is his favourite meal? Who is his celebrity crush? How many dates did you go on before you did the deed? !! Every question she gets wrong she is punishable.
Make sure to hydrate the hen (and yourselves) with good old fashioned H2O throughout the bottles of fizz to avoid landing up in bed before 8pm and the horrible head the next day – oh no wait – it doesn’t work anyway! We tried but we still managed to roast our hen and she was tucked up in her little chicken run by 8pm – no reason for the rest of us not to party into the night. Have a few pizza’s ready to throw into the oven in the evening for a late nighters.
After a leisurely lie in wake your weary bones for a light breakfast and later a more traditional ‘kitchen tea’ – (a kitchen tea is just that – an afternoon tea in which guests bring a gift for the Bride-to-be suitable for the kitchen). Another good game to play here is to have each girl write a memory they have of the bride-to-be and she needs to remember/guess who that memory was with 🙂 Another opportunity to dress your chick up again – for a little bit of public shaming when you go for your wholesome country walk after tea.
And that my dears, is the recipe for the most awesome hen do. The activity options are endless – you can do things from hiring a private chef to cook you all a fine feast to a few beauticians for an afternoon of in-house luxurious pampering. Generally being with the girls you love and couldn’t live without, fine food and wine in a wonderful setting, not a lot else is needed.
Ultimately, Be less… Towie Be More… Tatiana Santo Domingo, laugh until you cry and leave the weekend with aching cheek and tummy muscles.