Earlier this month I celebrated one of my closest friends’ upcoming wedding. Three of us planned the perfect hen-do weekend for our sweet friend. The brief: chilled, no crazy surprises, no naked men. I’ve been on one other calm hen, where the most outrageous thing that happened was a vegan chocolate cake I baked, in the shape of a penis. Hardly the wildest night, but a nod to the norm (in a very bite-sized way).
One of the hardest things about planning this particular weekend was the amount of lovely ladies that were coming to celebrate the bride-to-be, with a mixture of those who could make both days and only day 1 or 2. We needed a plan that would keep the energy going through both days, but also be a treat for anyone joining for just one. We couldn’t go away for the night with such a big group, so decided to base ourselves in London where the majority of the group could go back home in-between.
After sharing a few snippets of the festivities over on social media, It was clear that planning a healthy hen-do was something a bunch of you needed a helping hand in. Today I’m going to share our weekend itinerary.
We met at the Biltmore Hotel in Mayfair. Nothing like a fancy hotel to set the scene, break the ice and gather the group together! A hotel meeting spot, as cliche as it sounds, does make you feel like it’s a special occasion, even if only 30 minutes away from your front door. We lucked out as there was some live music for the course of our lunch, let’s hope the bride thought we’d organised that too.
The Bollywood Dance Co
The big event of Day 1 was a Bollywood Hen Party class with the BollyCo. The bride wanted a group dance for the first night of her wedding, and so what better way to learn a dance as a group than on the hen. The BollyCo is a dance company with a difference. Committed to shining the spotlight on South Asian dance, BollyCo has pioneered change across the entertainment industry from its inception. The Hen do’s are an extension of the company’s class offerings – an event that acts as the perfect icebreaker, with fantastically uplifting music and moves. As a dancer myself I loved this class, but I know I wasn’t alone. All 13 of us had a great time learning the moves, and pretending we were in a bollywood movie. Whether your bride-to-be wants a choreographed boogie or not, this is such a fun group activity to kick-off a hen.
The Bollywood Dance Co rents studios across London for these events, but we specified Danceworks by Bond Street tube. Wherever you go, make sure the studios have showers and a large changing room so you can go straight from your class to your next stop.
Farmacy is one of my favourite spots in London because of it’s delicious vegetarian food and classic cocktail combo. Farmacy has history for the bride-to-be, one of her favourite spots, and somewhere a group of us used to go every other Friday night. We know the menu intimately. So of course, why not go to a favourite spot with one important difference – silly bridal outfits.
Farmacy has a beautiful private dining room we hired for the occasion, secluded from the restaurant filled with greenery and lots of candles. It was a great call to use the private dining space as one of the bridesmaids was able to go a little earlier and add a few key decorative elements we bought ready for our later arrival. There was a set-menu, slightly different to the regular menu, which made ordering with a large group a dream and saved too much food envy. As we had the room for the rest of the evening we spaced out the courses with a few different games. We also had plenty of space to run through our dance routine again – nothing like rehearsing a bollywood dance after a few glasses of prosecco in a vegetarian restaurant, wearing cat ears next to a woman in a minature veil. If that doesn’t scream hen-party, then I’m not sure what does.
The evening started early so by 11pm we were off home, ready for a sleep before day 2.
Muni Pottery, Battersea
I was so excited to find Muni London, a newly opened boutique pottery studio based in Battersea. They run the perfect class for a hen party: The Booty Call. A pottery class making a cheeky bum shaped planter. After a few drinks the night before this felt like the perfect Sunday activity.
The studio itself is interior goals – calming, filled with ceramics and perfectly pink. The teacher was fantastic and helped us through the process of making “sausages” out of clay in order to build the shape of our bum. You can imagine the awkward puns we were spouting across the table. It was a hen after all.
I surprised myself by making a perky planter that I’m excited to put up on my shelf once it’s ready to collect.
The Farmers Mistress
To finish the event we went to the much talked about Farmers Mistress in Battersea. The Farmers Mistress is an independently owned eatery, priding themselves on the finest locally sourced produce and a delicious updated seasonal menus. The menu is brimming with fantastic vegetarian and vegan options: The Dirty Vegan Burger and The Goodness Bowl both hit the spot, and I’m eagerly wanting to return to try the Veggie Mistress. The decor is well thought out, cute and relaxed. We sat underneath the neon ‘naturally naughty’ sign opposite a painted white exposed brick wall. The interiors have a little industrial feel with feminine gold touches throughout. The food and atmosphere pair together to create a wonderful spot for a casual brunch, no wonder there was a long line outside.
All in all a wonderful weekend, and the perfect template for the healthy-hens out there.