I'm thrilled to welcome the lovely, bubbly Emily to our pages today, with some advice on hosting a hen party in one of my favorite places: London! For the USians among us, a "hen do" translates as (beep boop boop computation noises) bachelorette party - though I personally think her advice is great for anyone looknig to plan a birthday party or other girls'-day-out event.
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Being asked to be the maid of honour in a wedding is so exciting—but we know how difficult it is to plan that perfect hen night for the bride-to-be. But before you simply jump on the idea of having strippers for the night and getting drunk, wait a moment: there are many other more sophisticated ways to celebrate that last night of singlehood. With best spas in the world, cruises on the Thames, theatres in the West End, and clubs in Soho, London is no doubt, a perfect hen destination. But the list doesn’t end there, so here are my top 5 hen weekend ideas in London…
Sing Your Heart Out
If Kim from My Best Friend’s Wedding can do it, why can’t you? London has plenty of karaoke venues that allow you to belt out your favourite tunes. If you’ve ever seen a rock star in the bride-to-be, karaoke is going to be the most memorable night for her. All you need to do is visit one of the best karaoke bars like Lucky Voice and The Social. Karaoke Box Mayfair is also a great choice, with 7 differently themed karaoke rooms.
Making your own wedding ring may be a step too far, but you can definitely try making a piece of jewellery for the big day, like a tiara or a bracelet. It’s a perfect idea for crafty brides. LondonJewellery School arranges hen jewellery making activities on Sunday afternoons. Girls will also be served yummy cupcakes to fuel. The party lasts for about 3 hours and all the materials and tools are provided so you can take away beautiful silver or beaded piece of jewellery with you as you leave.
Sip Traditional Tea
Afternoon tea is a timeless British tradition and when in London, it’s criminal to not indulge in it. Fine bone china, crisp white table linens, sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, pastries, and of course, a delicious cup of tea. Head to May Fair Hotel and relish a scrumptious tea in a grand and glitzy ambience oozing old school decadence. Or, sip a delicious cup of tea al fresco at the Garden Grill in Montague on the Gardens. Along with traditional, this hotel serves aromatic, fruit, flavoured, and green tea too. However, it’s the Ritz Hotel that pays respect to this tradition in the best possible way. Afternoon tea is served in the magnificent Palm Court with soothing music by a pianist or harpist, enriching your experience.
Relax and Rejuvenate
A pampering spa session before the big day would be like the best gift for the bride ever. Every bride wants to look perfect on her wedding day. And a relaxing spa session will leave her with a rejuvenated body, mind, and soul, ensuring all eyes are on her as she walks down the aisle. When discussing London spas, it’s impossible to miss bringing up Ajala Spa, a tranquil haven fully appointed with pool, sauna, steam, and expert therapists. Sanderson, Mayfair, and K West Hotel and Spa also offer luxury spa experience. Grange Hotels have a special hen weekend package too, valid till 31st December 2013. It includes a half-hour massage per person, complimentary use of pool and health club, glass of champagne, sandwiches, continental breakfast, and accommodation for two, all for just £174 (excluding VAT).
Burlesque dancing is popular right now in London, making it a perfect hen party activity. Allow the bride to learn the art of seduction—besides, girls just need a reason to dress up, right? With all those boas, gloves, tassels, corsets, and stockings, you’re sure to have some memorable hen do photographs. And girls will also get to know how to use all these while dancing. In fact, it’s not just a dance form; it teaches you how to express yourself with confidence. You’ll have a fun time having a taste of being a burlesque queen. And the bride will definitely get something to surprise and stun the groom.
London may not have the reputation of Vegas, but when it comes to welcoming hens and lads, the capital has a lot in store to keep the fun coming.
Emily Cleaton is an avid blogger and globetrotter who loves exploring the world and sharing her adventures. As a London native, she knows all about the place and is passionate about introducing it to others. You can find more of her writing here.