As we live through the coronavirus pandemic, we have to try and navigate 'normal' life, which means enjoying a hen party should one arise. Due to ever-chaning travel restrictions and the possibility of quarantine, it's likely that your abroad plans may be scuppered. Which is why we've rounded up the very best hen party ideas in London. From relaxing spa days and girly dance classes to boozy bottomless brunching and sporty activities, here's everything you can realistically consider doing to celebrate in the near future, along with five of your nearest and dearest.
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1. Bottomless brunch
Bottomless brunch has taken over the capital, and it's a fun way to get the hen party started once restaurants reopen. Take your pick from themed brunches such as the Spice Girls, Beyoncé and Hip Hop Brunches that have popped up around the city, or head somewhere like Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings for a boozy brunch in an Instagram-worthy setting.
A hen party favourite, and for good reason, who doesn't love a bit of karaoke? Lucky Voice has outposts in Holborn, Soho and Islington, with a free round of shots when you book a hen party, while Karaoke EPOC is a quirky alternative to chain bars and has been called one of Soho's best kept secrets. Keep your eyes peeled for reopening dates.
3. Gin masterclass
If your bride-to-be loves nothing more than a G&T, she won't be disappointed with the gin experiences on offer in London. Head to west London for a trip to The Distillery, the home of Portobello Road Gin, or book a visit to the City of London distillery, where you can try experiences including a gin tasting, gin competition, or even the gin lab experience, where you can design and distill your very own bottle of gin.
4. Dinner with a view
Make the most of your destination by treating the bride-to-be to a special dinner at one of London's iconic landmarks like The Shard, Sky Garden or Heron Tower. Not only are there some fabulous restaurants to choose from, such as Sushi Samba or Shangri-La, but you'll get to take in amazing panoramic views across the city while you eat.
5. Flight Club Darts
Get some friendly team rivalry underway at Flight Club, an interactive social darts bar that puts a modern spin on the sport with multiplayer games and instant scoring, not to mention a great selection of food and drinks. Providing it reopens smoothly, we're hoping their usual Brunch Social on weekends will also resume (with prosecco, pizzas and a game of darts, from £30 per person).
6. Cocktail masterclass
Learn some expert mixology skills and get a taste of your creations at a cocktail masterclass, available at many of the city's popular pubs and bars. Dirty Martini, Tiger Tiger, and Be At One are just three chains that offered hen party cocktail classes pre-lockdown (and have plans to do so again), with your very own bartender to show you the ropes.
7. Spa day
Indulge in some pre-wedding pampering with a hen party spa day. Providing all goes well, London hotels are now open with their luxury spas where you can relax with your fellow hens, and treat the bride-to-be to a luxurious beauty treatment or massage ahead of her wedding.
8. Rooftop drinks
If the weather permits, you can't go wrong with drinks at one of the city's many rooftop bars. Head to Madison at St Paul's Cathedral for amazing city views, or try our pick of 12 of the best rooftop bars in London from Pergola to Bar Elba.
Culture vultures will love the excuse to catch a West End show with their hens. The theatres have now started putting on socially distanced performances, so do check out the listings.
10. Afternoon tea
Catch up and get excited for the big day over afternoon tea at one of the many hotels and restaurants across London – the only challenge will be narrowing it down to just one. Take your pick from themes including a Mad Hatter's Tea Party at The Sanderson or visit to The British Museum, or roll your sightseeing and sandwich consumption into one with a tour around London on B. Bakery's afternoon tea bus tour.
11. Junkyard Golf Club
Who doesn't love a bit of crazy golf? Unleash your competitive side at Junkyard Golf Club, with four separate nine-hole crazy golf courses utilising everything from old bathtubs to fairground rides. There are several different group packages to choose from, so you can take your pick of the courses, cocktails and food you all want during your visit. Head to junkyardgolfclub.co.uk/london to plan your visit.
12. Drink, Shop & Do
Crafty brides and their friends will love a workshop put on by Drink, Shop & Do. They offer all sorts of activities, such as making your very own personalised hen party sashes, flower headbands, or playing hen party games. Get all the details at drinkshopdo.co.uk.
13. Dance class
Channel your inner Beyoncé or pop diva at a dance class, such as Seen on Screen's hen party packages. You could learn a routine choreographed especially for you to perform at the big day, or even create your very own music video, with the workshop filmed and edited to showcase your moves. See seenonscreen.dance for more details.
14. Escape Room
As long as you stick to the rule of six, you could enjoy a challenging hour in an escape room. MISSION: BREAKOUT – LONDON is located in the ghost tube station in Camden, with two different games rooms and 60 minutes to solve the puzzles to escape. Or take Harry Potter fans to Enigma Quests in Moorgate, where one of the rooms takes inspiration from the boy who lived, with a mission to find clues and solve puzzles in order to graduate from a school of witchcraft and wizardry.
15. Boat trip down the Thames
Give the bride a hen night to remember with a boat cruise down the Thames. You can take in landmarks including the London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena with a trip on Thames Hen Party Cruise - just be prepared to accessorise with a face mask and adhere to various Covid-safe rules. See more at thamescruises.com.
16. The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience
Probably the original escape room experience, The Crystal Maze brings the hit TV show to life. So much fun for hen parties, you and your friends will navigate your way through four different adventure zones to collect crystals and culminates with time in the infamous Crystal Dome. They are Covid-secure and you can find details at the-crystal-maze.com.
Take to the water and try your hand at stand up paddleboarding, a fun alternative to the typical hen party activities. Active 360 Paddleboarding hosts lessons at Kew Bridge, Paddington Basin and Richmond. Get all the details at active360.co.uk.
18. Silent Disco Tour
Dance your way around the city with a fun silent disco hen party walking tour. Expect party tunes with live commentary via headphones as you strut, shimmy and boogie around London's West End. You can book on DesignMyNight.
19. Quidditch Games
Every Potterhead bride-to-be will love the chance to play a game of hen party Quidditch, with fancy dress welcome – and encouraged. Plan your activity with GoHen, a minimum of ten hens are required.
20. Street Food
Foodies can't go wrong with an outing to one of the many street food markets and venues around London, which have officially reopened following the coronavirus crisis. From a culinary tour of Borough Market to tasty food and cocktails at Street Feast, it's a great option for groups as an alternative to a sit-down meal.
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