Penis straws, L plates, feather boas, sashes and a lot of wasted girls bare footed heels in hand. This is the usual scene we think of when we mention hen dos. However, these last nights of freedom don’t always have to be quite so predictable (although the stripper can stay…)…
IN THE DAY
It’s hard to knock a long massage with chill out music, champagne and big fluffy towels. Besides, it’s probably the only time you can get naked and demand someone else touch you now you’re getting hitched and all. The Sanctuary has various spas dotted around the UK, so where ever you’re based you should be able to find one. Groups of more than 10 get a discount of 10% but you gotta pay in advance and only on one card… so make sure any tight mates or random cousins of the bride pay up straight away.
This isn’t just a chance to get your legs over your head and try out some new positions (or is it…). It’s actually known to be a great way to keep in shape and get a decent figure, the perfect activity for a group of single or taken girls. If you haven’t got a boyfriend or fiancé by now, then the moves you’re gonna be learning are sure to bring them in.
Learn techniques every girl (and more importantly brides) should know. You’ve got this guy for the rest of your life, so you better brush up on moves and techniques. The key to his heart isn’t always necessarily through his stomach you know. Get some drinks in to loosen things up and let the instructor speak… and demonstrate, laughing and learning at the same time. The groom might even pay.
Not sure if you have enough money for the bridal underwear? Get one of your hens to do the work for you, and have an afternoon at yours with some party pants that you decorate yourself (with the help of professionals). Get creative because the bride will wear the best pair on the big day, just watch out with the glue. Minimum party numbers are 10 people, and the cost is £300. If you don’t have that many friends don’t worry you can have a smaller group… but it’s still gonna cost you the same so maybe drag some people off the street.
If you aren’t up for makeup classes, underwear decorating, or all round GIRL activities then it’s time to head to the Thames and get kayaking. Minimum group of 6 at £33 per person and what you do is up to you. Go in fancy dress, play some games, paddle somewhere special or keep it all a surprise. Perfect way to build up an appetite for some Champagne and cocktails.
£48 or upgrade with a glass of champagne for £60
Alcohol is going to be present on most hen dos, but you’ve got to know when to start/stop and not peak too early. That’s when someone starts to cry. Our suggestion is a spot of afternoon tea… at Claridges, naturally. It’s nice and mature, and is a good way to hold off too much booze before the antics lined up for the night ahead. We went for the Champagne option for an extra tenner but it’s only one glass… line your stomach with the scones and dainty sandwiches and get a nice cuppa tea, you’re gonna need it.
This is the perfect place for some summer drinks, so take a group of your closest friends and family and celebrate your hen do. Above The Trafalgar Hotel, Vista has a huge selection of cocktails, food and some chilled out music. Head there late afternoon/early evening and get settled for sunset over looking London while sipping on a Bellini before heading out to party.
Away from the hectic Oxford Circus shops you’ll find Riding House Café, which is great for food and awesome drinks. BarChick suggest you drink the Penicillin cocktail with Chivas and Laphroaig… it sorted her right out!
Take a seat at their huge long communal tables (perfect for your big group of friends you no doubt have coming), and tuck into their small plates.
This is like a hen party heaven. This kitsch underground bar is filled with different sized sweet jars, elaborate furniture (including a chair made of balloons), kooky pieces of art and a whole load of infused spirits for any cocktail you desire. With a private area out back, you can hire this part out if there are a whole load of you. Feeling creative? Head to the large piano in the conservatory, sadly this place is only open until 11pm but it’s perfect for the warm up session. Oh and because it’s hidden underground they’ll be no nasty large weekend crowds.
This great little hotel bar is filled with quirky interiors and amazing cocktails. Say hi to the stuffed kangaroo and grab a seat with the cat in a dress who’s holding a carousel. There is a games room downstairs for larger parties complete with a ping pong table if you fancy yourself a bit of a pro. The cocktails change seasonally and are created by Tony C, the James Bond of cocktails. If you really want to splash out then get a room, they’re amazing and come with your own mini bar with pre made cocktails. SOLD.
No matter where you’re celebrating this big girl fest you will most certainly be near one of the 3 Hawksmoors. Either one of them will sort you out with a slap up feast full of meat, triple battered chips and a lot of cauliflower cheese. If you’re wanting to slim down for the big white dress this might be a bad choice, but then again, surely he should love you regardless, right? Test him: tuck in and wash it all down with some of their cocktails. Shakey Pete’s Ginger Beer is one of our favourites and that Banana Daiquiri is killer.
Cabaret, nipple tassels, cocktails and dinner. Nice pairing. Sit back, relax (especially if you’ve come straight from those pole dancing lessons) and watch the pros get sexy whilst you indulge.
Want to feel young and free on this one last night of freedom? Then head to Slim Jims and hand over your underwear for some free drinks. Let your hair down, you’re not cheating! Although don’t expect them back cos they WILL be pinned up to the ceiling and kept there… could be a nice souvenir and reminder! (Or something to tell/show the grandkids).
This fun gay bar/pub on Hackney road is perfect if you don’t want to be hassled by men. They also have a late night licence so you can stay for hours, I don’t think anybody knows when they’re supposed to shut! Expect bearded trannies and very few rules.
If it’s all too hard to plan and you just want a group of you to go clubbing, hit the dance floor and drink champagne, then get in touch with Capital A List for some VIP treatment.