10 Hen Party Ideas in London
10 Feb 2016
If the Capital is calling for a hen do to remember, check out these London-based ideas to celebrate before wedded life begins
1. A gin trail
If the bride’s favourite tipple is an ice-cool gin and tonic, why not celebrate the drink in style? A tour launched at the end of 2015 by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association takes visitors to some of London’s most famous gin-related landmarks to capture the roots of British gin making. Featuring 12 locations, the tour visits some of the best gin distilleries, cocktail and hotel bars and experiences in the city, so you can sample some of the best gin around. www.wsta.co.uk
2. Soothing music after a night out
If the hens are all feeling a little delicate after said gin trail, or a cocktail-infused Saturday night in the capital, head to the Lexington on Pentonville Road, east London. It runs a free Hangover Lounge event on Sundays from 11am to 8pm with alternative rock, country, indie pop and soul bands showcasing their soothing sounds for recovering party animals.
3. Hit the vintage shops
Find something old and something blue at the range of fabulous vintage stores dotted around London. Herd up the hens and head over to Cloud Cuckoo Land in Islington – a store that’s been trading for more than 30 years in Camden passage. You’ll find a mass of vintage treasures from 1950s clothing, 1960s cocktail dresses, hats and ’20s beaded jackets to designs from the likes of Lanvin and Balenciaga.
4. Head to a market for wedding flower ideas
If the hens are around on a Sunday, why not head to Columbia Road Flower Market? If you’re a DIY bride creating a bouquet yourself, or if you just want to be more hands on with the floral arrangements on your wedding day, having a first-hand look at blooms can be useful if Pinterest isn’t quite tactile enough.
Bucketfuls of vivid flowers and lush foliage await every Sunday in Hackney, East London. Once you’ve found some bouquet inspiration, peruse the small art galleries, delis, pubs and antique shops. Perfect for a relaxed Sunday.
5. Sample cheese and wine
©VisitBritain / Pawel Libera
Head to Neal's Yard Borough Market Dairy for a cheese extravaganza – ideal if you’re considering having a cheese wedding cake or grazing table. Sample some of the dairy delights that the store stocks which come from about 40 cheesemakers based in Britain and Ireland, or go for the whole hog and book a cheese tasting class here. The Spring Cheese and Wine class showcases the new season’s cheeses and vintage wines now ready to taste and includes a plate of six to eight cheeses and four to six beverage pairings in addition to crackers and bread. It’ll set you back £70 per person, but boy will it be cheese heaven.
6. Indulge in Japanese style
A Japanese-themed hen do could put a unique spin on celebrations. Host a kimono party and learn the rituals of dressing in the extravagant garment, your name and its meaning in Kanji and practise calligraphy on paper fans. Add the tea ceremony experience for an extra treat. Prices start at £35 per person for a minimum of eight people at takayo.co.uk.
7. Make chocolate at The Savoy
If you and your sweet-toothed gang have a hankering for rich, delicious chocolate this option will bring another level of satisfaction to tastebuds. Head on over to the Savoy hotel, the ultimate in luxury, for the Chocolate Master Class. You’ll be taught how to create sumptuous treats by award-winning chocolatiers, learn about the history and signature tastes, then work with chocolate to create two recipes for the perfect ganache, mousse and sauces. The class lasts from 10am-12pm, costs £185 per person and has capacity for four people.
8. Rock and roll
Those who love sushi know the level of skill required to perfect an exquisite roll that tastes as divine as it looks. Impress any future dinner guest by enrolling (no pun intended) your hens onto a masterclass on crafting sushi. Use fresh ingredients and learn the tricks of the trade – from maki rolls and inside out rolls, to nigri and handrolls. Leave with a box full of your own handmade rolls and nom them on the way home.
9. Learn to dance
Brush up on your moves and shimmy the night away with a dance experience (totally useful for when the wedding comes around). Learn from the pros at Dance Party Experience, where enthusiastic dancers have a dazzling array of choices. From sultry salsa, quirky Charleston and 80s dance, to glam rock, burlesque and um… twerking, there’s something for everyone. You can even learn how to boogie and sizzle like the queen of pop herself – Beyoncé
Like you need persuading on that one…
You can choose from a variety of locations and prices start from £150, plus studio hire for three to eight people for an hour’s party.
10. Make friendship bracelets
Get crafty and gather hens to create a special memento in the form of friendship bracelets. Learn techniques and how to use specialised tools. Materials such as chains, silk, leather, tassels and charms can be used to make the piece for you or as a gift. Prices start from £39 per person for the 90-minute to two-hour activity and includes all materials, drinks and a goody bag for the bride-to-be for groups of 10 or more at a selection of venues in London.