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Alternative hen party ideas that suit every budget


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January 25, 2017
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Anyone who's planned a hen do will know that it can sometimes be a stressful affair. Although hen parties used to be a simple night out with cocktails, we seem to have upped the ante, throwing in everything from afternoon teas to day activities, which can make it tricky to find a budget that won't leave the guests broke before the fun has even started.

Then there's the small matter of the activities themselves, which not only need to appeal to the bride, but also the group of friends helping her celebrate her upcoming nuptials – some of whom you may have never even met!

Luckily, nowadays there's a whole host of hen packages to choose from, which tailor to even the pickiest of brides, from detoxing yoga retreats to foodie masterclasses and even chocolate-themed walking tours.

The sheer amount of choice can be somewhat overwhelming – so we've made things easier for you by rounding up some of our favourite quirky alternatives, from aerial silk sessions and magic lessons for the more active bride to baking classes with former Great British Bake Off contestants or a cheese tasting for foodies.

Click through for some major hen do inspiration, and get booking!

6bakeoff

Make cakes with a Great British Bake Off contestant

If you want to see if you could bake a cake that would make Mary Berry proud, this is the hen do for you! Hen Heaven has launched their new Bake With A Legend package, where your party can enjoy a three-hour baking demonstration with a former contestant - Ian Cumming, Howard Middleton, Paul Jagger, Glenn Cosby, Kate Henry, Sandy Docherty and Ugne Bubnaityte are all taking part! There are snacks throughout the day ad you even get boxes for leftovers – plus one of you will be crowned the best baker adding a touch of competition…

For more information head to henheaven.co.uk

2yogasession

Detox with a yoga session and plant-based brunch

Ideal if the bride loves all things health and wellness, Rooted London have put together a hen package with a difference. Enjoy a calming yoga session, followed by a plant-based feast with sharing starters, a main course and dessert – you can even opt to have special cakes created to make for a truly unforgettable meal. There are also great extras you can add to the package including Tarot card readings, flower headband arranging, nail art sessions and even massages.

For more information visit rootedlondon.com

1circus

Learn a circus skill

Channel your inner acrobat with an aerial silks session, courtesy of the fitness gurus Flying Fantastic. You'll be able to try some amazing moves and poses on aerial hoops, silks or even a trapeze – simply pick your favourite two for the session. While it looks challenging, this actually caters to all fitness levels, and it's brilliant fun – a great talking point for later in the evening when you're all catching up over cocktails!

See more from The Hen Planner at The National Wedding Show this Spring. Available with Flying Fantastic in London from £27pp. Book three months in advance.

3chooclate

Take a chocolate-themed walking tour

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this fun walking tour where you walk around your chosen city (Brighton or London) sampling different chocolates, meeting chocolatiers and taking part in some really fun workshops, all while learning about the world of chocolate. All the tours include a hot chocolate, samples, and special offers in the places they visit. One tour even ends with a bespoke cocktail and brownie to take home – as well as a tour of a mini chocolate factory!

For more information head to chocolateecstasytours.com

4afternoontea

Indulge with a vintage afternoon tea

The Tea Parlour have created the ultimate 'Bride to Be' menu, with delicious canapés including Goats Cheese & Pesto Palmiers and a vegetable quiche, before going on to finger sandwiches and sweet treats from scones to homemade cakes. This is also a great spot if you have lots of vegans in your party as they have a tailor made vegan menu – and if you want to make the session that extra special, they offer craft activities from bunting making to fascinator accessorising.

For more information head to teaparlour.co.uk

11bathbomb

Make some decadent bath treats

If the bride regularly shops at LUSH and loves a bit of indulgence, this could be perfect! Head to The Makery in Bath where you can spend the afternoon learning how to make bath bombs and other goodies. If you want to make a day of it there's also the option to add lunch or afternoon tea, not to mention you can pre-order bubbly with a ten per cent discount.

For more information head to themakery.co.uk

5dimsum

Take a dim sum masterclass

Perfect for a foodie bride-to-be, this masterclass includes a demonstration on dim sum making from Chinese Cricket Club's Chef Mai Lin, as well as an introduction from Head Chef Ken Wang. You'll be welcomed on arrival with glasses of prosecco with lychee, before creating – and eating – a sample menu including vegetable spring rolls, deep fried chicken wonton, chicken Sui Mai, scallop & prawn Sui Mai and a seafood Wor Tip. Plus, you'll be treated to unlimited Jasmine and fresh mint teas – and a when you leave, a goodie bag including a flowering tea and dinner voucher!

For more information head to chinesecricketclub.com

10gatsby

Create some dazzling 1920s accessories

For the more crafty, the Glam Hatters offer a series of fun workshops including fascinator decorating or masquerade mask making, but one of our favourites is the Great Gatsby headband making session. Use pearls, silk ribbons and beads to create an eye-catching accessory – one you could even wear to the wedding! The Glam Hatters will be heading to the National Vintage Wedding Fair in London if you want to check out some of the other classes they have on offer too!

For more information head to glamhatters.com

9ninetiesbrunch

Step back into the 90s with a retro brunch

If you're after a brunch with a difference or want to take a trip down memory lane with the bride, you'll want to check out this 90s-themed party. Surrounded by 90s décor and the biggest hits from the era playing in the background, your group can dine on everything from fish finger sandwiches to beef chilli burgers and veggie fritters – and for dessert, you can make your own doughnuts!

For more information head to the90sbrunch.com

7cheesetasting

Enjoy a cheese tasting session

Planning a hen do in South Wales? You'll definitely want to pay a visit to the Blaenafon Cheddar Company, where you can all indulge in one of their tasting sessions which offers up a brilliant selection of wines and cheeses, followed by a delicious meal at The Butterfly's Bar & Restaurant. All their cheeses are handmade and are suitable for vegetarians – we guarantee you'll be tempted to pick up a hamper on your way home!

For more information visit chunkofcheese.co.uk

8magic

Impress your friends with magic tricks

Abracademy offer workshops with their Head Magician and Director of Spells, so you can channel your inner Harry Potter and learn a whole variation of magic tricks – not to mention you can use them to impress family and friends on the wedding day! A quirky alternative, it can be a great ice-breaker for the group, not to mention it makes for some great memories.

For more information visit abracademy.com

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