Stag dos (and hen dos) tend to be associated with the kind of nights out that BarChick usually avoids. Cheap beers, novelty outfits, Aftershock, a sweaty club, sheep and someone handcuffed to a midget/lamppost. But that last night of freedom has to be done, and my god can it be done well. Luckily, BarChick has got you covered; from the calmer days out, to the nights under one roof, to leaving the rest of Europe to deal with you. Now all you have to do is try and make it back in time for the big day.
THE BIG SHOOT (from £49.99)
Boys can be boys here – guns and something to shoot at and all will be well. But shooting clay pigeons is a little bit more challenging than your average target practice – so it might be wise to hold off the drinking till you’ve put the guns down. Only my dad, rednecks and crazy Russians mix guns and booze, and it’s all fun and games until the best man looses a finger/face. The Big Shoot have destinations all over the UK and their Barnet location is within the M25.
FISH FUN (£225 p/p)
Probably more fun the day before, not after, although fish fingers on the dance floor never go down too well. Either way you’ll take to the high seas with Mark in the “Panther”, grrr, you’ll catch your own lunch and finish it off with a lesson on how to prepare it for cooking. The day will end with a bbq on the beach, where you can enjoy your catch along with the all important beers.
BUTCHERING (£135 p/p)
The ultimate man class: butchery (like you don’t know how to handle a meat cleaver already). Book a private class, but with all the sharp knives and blood about best not turn up wasted. Pick your meat (pork, lamb or beef) then let Perry and Borut teach you how and what to do with every part. At the end of the session you’ll sit down to a roast with wine and take home the meat that you butchered that day. The Ginger Pig can also cater to make your wedding complete with their three tier pork pie wedding cake, though best to ask the fiancé before ordering to avoid problems on the big day.
THE NIGHT OUT
The Scottish lads behind BrewDog believe in brewing quality craft beer, and with the 18.2% Tokyo you’ll be flying in no time. The burgers are banging as well – ideal when you need to soak it up a bit.
113 Bayham Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 0AG.
Like it says on the tin this place is all about meat and booze. This ain’t no hen night so get stuck into the bourbon, there is plenty and it’s good. It’s got neon red lighting, butcher shop blinds and with rules like “no shirt c*cking” the stags will feel right at home. With a no reservation policy you’ll need to turn up early, grab a booth and the burgerettes will be on hand.
76 Welbeck Street, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AY
It’s a bit of a cliché but then so is sex on the honeymoon, you kind of have to do it, and don’t pretend you don’t want to! Sunset Strip is not your average strip bar, it’s a little less typical: they’ve got all the games playing on the big screen and pub prices which means the honeymoon savings won’t be blown on girls that make you question “till death do us part”. Head downstairs for the real action, and come up a little poorer.
30 Dean Street, London, W1D 3SA
It’s open late… sometimes really late, the drinks are cheap and the crowd is young and sexy. Sounds like a recipe for things to go wrong before a lifetime commitment, but then isn’t that what stag dos are all about? At least your best man can go on the pull and get it out of his system before meeting your younger cousin at the wedding. Either way, everyone will be dancing… what could possibly go wrong?
58 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB
When bars, shots, strip clubs and a bunch of lads are involved, you might as well go all out and gamble – get it out of your system before that joint bank account ruins the fun. They have a load of different games in here as well as slot machines – everything you’d expect from a good casino really. What really makes it better is that they serve their late night menu until 3am, forget the dodgy kebab on the way home, you can order a rib eye steak and sober up a little bit before hitting the game tables (gambling drunk doesn’t end well).
30 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8EH
The notorious 24 hour club is members only but who’s saying you and the boys aren’t gonna splash your cash like playboys? Once inside you’re as good as inside the playboy mansion: we’re talking hot bunny girls to entertain and look after you, chairs in the shape of lips and if your luck runs out with the chicks hit the blackjack at the casino. You’ll need some dollar to spend but the cocktails and food are great and hey, it’s a whole lot cheaper than a trip to LA ….
OUT OF THE COUNTRY
If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, get a plane to Spain for the ultimate rush. It’s not for the faint hearted or fat friends cos you’ll be running in front of a load of bulls as they rush through some seriously narrow streets on their way to the ring. Assuming you survive, married life will feel like cruise after that… (hopefully not an Italian one).
For those of you who want to wind up the groom, this is for you. If this doesn’t scare the sh*t out of him on his last night of freedom then he’ll be fine in life. Get yourselves to Budapest and these guys do the rest; two plain-clothes police officers arrest the groom for being drunk and disorderly they then take him down to the station, blindfold him and drag him off to another location… a strip club with the music turned off. You’ll get to watch him p*ss his pants for a bit until they take the blindfold off, everyone then gets a free beer and can watch the show… while the groom starts finally looking forward to married life, or lapping up the stripper, win win.
Top Gear fan? Then why not recreate the Italian job with some mates in an old banger? The car can’t cost any more than £200 and obviously drinking is a no no (play catch up later), but after passing through France, Switzerland and Italy, this will be a road trip to remember. What goes on tour stays on tour…
You can’t do much better for a stag weekend away than Munich’s Oktoberfest. The festival actually started off as a celebration for a royal wedding, so it’s kind of fitting. With around 7 million litres of beer being drunk over the sixteen days, you’ll be in man heaven, plus there is a law in Germany which states that by law a pub can never get overcrowded, no matter how squashed people are there is always room for one more!
GERMANY – THE NURBURGRING RACE TRACK (26 euros/lap, 95 for four, 25 laps for 490)
F1 Fanatic? If he’s a proper engine head take him for a spin at the Nürburgring which is home to a Grand Prix race track built in the 1920s. You’re allowed to go round in your own car which means the drive over can be part of the fun. The ultimate speed thrill and then there’s a casino for after whilst the adrenalin’s rocket high. Either that or head to Berlin which is a three hour drive away, worth the mileage when you get there!
Make it a surprise weekend, kidnapping him at work on the Friday and putting him on a plane to Berlin without any idea where you’re taking him (pack ear plugs/blindfolds) along with 10 of his best mates. Stick him in a vegetable/ oompa loompa outfit for the day and take him out on the town. Filled with great booze and some of the best street sausage in Europe, check out our Berlin guide for the best bars to hit. You might have to get him a change of outfit and spruce him up a bit for the Sat night- Berghain is one of the biggest techno clubs in town. The infamous doorman picks and chooses who he wants in but once inside It’s a no camera zone so what goes on sure don’t come out, you definitely won’t remember it all.
The Cresta Run is the ultimate adrenaline rush and it’s every man for himself as you go down solo. You will need cash, this is not just Switzerland, it’s St Moritz and man is it spenny. Take the Amex, and don’t look at the bills.
Far away enough not to get recognized and small enough to not get too lost in. Time it right and go see the best team in the world play at Camp Nou and hit some bars (check out our Barcelona city guide) before belly flopping into the Mediterranean. The beach bars serve up cocktails and good food at holiday prices, have dinner in an old school Catalan joint with dad-like waiters and head to Baghdad cafe for some super strippers. Jamboree will satisfy any dancing cravings and there’s Popofs that serves food till 6am if you get peckish. Hangovers can be sorted out with a Skydive before jumping on the 1 hour flight to Ibiza which will finish off anyone still standing.
THE WEEKEND TOUR
UK COACH TOUR (£600 pp)
Take a mini tour of the UK for one wild weekend. BarChick’s mate told us about his trip and it sounded pretty perfect: rent a coach from Galaxy Cruiser with a driver included for 16-18 people, with single cabins, an upstairs lounge, entertainment and a kitchen. It has everything to fuel your country wide stag adventure minus the hotel hassle. Hit Burger and Lobster for the best grub and cocktails before jumping on the bus in Berkley square to Leeds, then drink/club you way round the city till 5am and your good to hit the road again. Head to Fort William in Scotland to climb Ben Nevis followed shortly by well deserved pints in the pub. Go canyoning in Pitlochry and then drive to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival (only in August), with all the pop-up bars and special late-licences that happen for the festival, it’s perfect. Finish off in Nottingham for some go-karting before returning home to a boozy Hawksmoor session back in town. Can we come?