Get those creative juices flowing at your hen or stag party. Try an arty day out, or soak up a bit of local culture ‐‐ at home or abroad.
Get those creative juices flowing at your hen or stag party. Try an arty day out, or soak up a bit of local culture ‐‐ at home or abroad…
Forget boozy trips to Amsterdam and Dublin ‐‐ opt for full‐on glamour instead. An indulgent weekend of cocktails, modern art and shopping in New York, or haute cuisine and haute couture in Paris, would be perfect for the sophisticated hen.
Your arts desire
Get creative and end up with a wonderful souvenir from your day. Paint‐your‐own pottery shops are popping up everywhere and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Paint an entire tea set for the bride, or make a lovely treat for yourself.
The modern couple
Take inspiration from Sophie and Edward who opted for a joint hen and stag night. They invited 10 friends each for a weekend at a country house, for horse‐riding and ball games. A less royal but more affordable alternative is for the best man and chief bridesmaid to cook a meal in one of your homes and invite the happy couple and guests for dinner and silly board games.
Want to be in aphrodisiac heaven? Then head for the Whitstable Oyster Festival, every July, on a combined stag and hen do and organise the Champagne and Oyster challenge. There’s usually a C‐list celebrity and street procession to keep you entertained between mouthfuls and a dip in the sea will clear your head later.
Don’t just stop at a day at the races, go for the double! Combine Chester and Aintree, Lingfield and Epsom, or Doncaster and York. You’ll give yourself twice as many chances of winning enough cash to cover those last‐minute wedding expenses!
For a Halloween‐themed do, take in the spooky sights of London, combining a tour of the London Dungeons with a trip to the Tower to see the Bloody Tower, followed by a Jack‐the‐Ripper walking tour. Thankfully, the last one includes several famous pubs to help you drink your fears away.
Britain is criss‐crossed with scenic canals, flowing peacefully through some of the country’s most beautiful countryside. Hire a barge and spend a lazy few days touring, taking it in turns to operate the locks and stopping off at old pubs for lunch.
Poetry and readings are always popular at weddings, so why not get in literary mode at the Hay‐on‐Wye book festival? Attend writing and poetry workshops and create a collective masterpiece that one lucky individual gets to read out during the wedding ceremony or celebrations (or not, as the case may be).
Red all over
If you are a big fan of paella and tomato, head for the annual Tomatina festival in the Valencia region of Spain. Around 250,000lb of tomatoes gets thrown in what has to be the world’s biggest food fight ‐‐ and it’s usually boys against girls. A big paella‐cooking competition also takes place and is good for soaking up excess cava.
Every marriage needs a bit of magic, and a little hypnosis up your sleeve wouldn’t go amiss either. So why not hire a castle, set up a round table, and enjoy an occult weekend. Hire a magician and a hypnotist to teach you the basics and sit back and enjoy as your mates start revealing their innermost secrets and desires while under the spell (or pretend to, anyway…).
Always fancied yourself as that woman in the flake advert who sits in the middle of a poppy field and paints? Then sign up for a short water‐colour painting weekend with instruction thrown in, and who knows, you may come up with something that you can give the bride and groom as a wedding present.
A wee dram (or two)
Take the sleeper train to Inverness and wake up in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, home of whisky distilleries. Having canvassed opinion among your group on the best single malt, you can arrange to end your distillery tour and stay over after a meal of traditional Scottish fare.