See out your singledom with a truly original UK-based hen do.

Aided by celebrities and reality TV, the concept of the hen party has exploded over the last two decades. The Times newspaper first used the phrase, with quotation marks around it, in 1976. Since then, it has become imperative that a bride heralds her forthcoming wedding with her favourite females in serious style.

Research shows that the British spend around £2.5 billion a year on pre-wedding partying. Private jet to New York? Girls’ holiday in Ibiza? House party at Soho Farmhouse? Kate Moss had all her friends to the Isle of Wight Festival. Poppy Delevingne did the same at Coachella. Nothing is considered too lavish in this burgeoning industry.

But do not fret if your style and budget is lower key. A little bit of thought goes a long way to creating a memorable celebration.

Here are seven fab ways to show your hens a good time. Grab your maid of honour and get plotting…

LEARN TO COOK A ROAST




Without meaning to sound remotely regressive, wouldn’t it be fun to enter the state of matrimony with a kick-ass roast lunch in your repertoire? The Jamie Oliver Cookery School offers a three-hour course called The Great British Roast, in which you and your hens will learn how to master the perfect roast chicken, roast potatoes and a range of show-stopping accompaniments. You will also brush up on your knife skills and get to feast upon what you’ve cooked. Lily Allen had a cookery lesson from Gordon Ramsay on her hen night. If it’s good enough for her…


HORSE RIDING HOLIDAY




Obviously, this gem of an idea only works if all your guests are keen to ride. Assuming that is the case, we urge you to get in touch with Wellington Riding, which is set within 300 acres of the Duke of Wellington’s Hampshire estate. This leading equestrian training centre hosts tailor-made group holidays for riders of all abilities. Call to create your perfect package (and to hear details of the affiliated local accommodation options).


TEQUILA TASTING




The goal of this super-cool company is to “create memorable occasions, infused with spirit and excitement”. They say: “No one designs parties like we do.” They offer a range of cocktail making classes and a very chic bartender service but we like the idea of tequila tasting most. In this one-and-a-half-hour session, guests will learn how to make (and drink) a marguerita and then go on to learn all there is to know about six types of tequila and the best ways to have fun with it. All ingredients and smart glassware are supplied.


YOGA WEEKEND




Sandhya has been practising yoga for decades and hosting private yoga hen parties in Bath and the surrounding areas since 2015. She is a qualified Laughter Yoga teacher and prides herself on her ability to make her classes fun and accessible to all. Her two-hour sessions can be held indoors or outside and include mats, team-building games, delicious smoothies and Indian head massage. Give her a ring to discuss the design of a bespoke package.


CHEESE TASTING WITH NEAL’S YARD




Gather your hens in one comfortable place and book them all in for a virtual Cheese of the Month Tasting. Before the live, interactive class – hosted on Crowdcast – begins, you will receive a generous helping of four different cheeses to taste as you go. Then, during the session, a veteran Neal’s Yard cheesemonger will guide your group through the different styles, techniques and stories behind each cheese and how best to enjoy them.


HIGHLAND ADVENTURE




This is one for a hearty hen who loves the great outdoors. The clever people at the award-winning Wild Rose Escapes have put together a hen-party package that can be added to or taken away from, depending on budget and length of stay in the Highlands. A typical stay includes walking in Glen Affric, visiting Plodda Waterfalls, wild swimming, foraging for wild food, a natural dyeing course, communal felting, pony trekking, feasting and more.

PAINT AND WINE NIGHT




If your hen is to be in London, Liverpool or Manchester, consider an evening with Paintvine. They will come and host your hen night at a venue of your choice, no matter how big or small your group is. Give them a date and an address, choose whether your hens would like to paint or to sculpt, roll up your sleeves, order lots of wine and let them do the rest. In a two-hour session, one of their experienced artists – who will have brought with them all the equipment required – will teach your gang to paint whatever picture you’ve selected.

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By Becky Ladenburg
March 2022

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

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