When I first got engaged back in December 2011 everyone was extremely excited! I think after ten years of being together everyone had given up hope that this day would ever come! Including myself! As soon as we broke the news to friends and family talk of the Hen do started. My friends and even my mother were instantly asking what I was going to do to celebrate my final days as a ‘Miss’. You would think, working for a company that organises hen parties all year round that I would immediately have hundreds of Hen Party ideas swarming around my mind. Unfortunately this was not the case! I hear such great feedback from all of our lovely groups about all of our hen party activities that there wasn’t one that stood out! I had too much to choose from!
After taking all of my friends’ suggestions on board, I decided on Leeds for the Weekend. As I live in Nottingham, Leeds is only an hour and a half away on the Train and this seemed like a reasonable length of time to suffer on a train on the way home with a hangover.
After much deliberation I made the decision about who to invite and sent out the obligatory Facebook event invitations. This became a great way to communicate with my hens and really helped build the excitement as the day got closer and the Facebook banter reached its peak.
There were 9 of us in my hen party in total, and we all successfully met up at the train station ready to board the train. All of us excited for what the weekend had in store for us. I had emailed around the girls and asked them to bring a bottle of something to drink on the train in order to get the party started as soon as possible. However, my visions of 9 giggly girls all comfortably sat around a couple of tables on the train playing hen party games whilst sipping some fizz were soon dashed as we boarded the train suitcases in tow and realised there wasn’t one seat available anywhere on the train! As the train left the station it became apparent very quickly that not only were we going to be spending the next hour and a half standing far too close to complete strangers for anyone’s liking but that we had also entered a sauna on wheels! However, with girls sat in luggage compartments and becoming very friendly with a man called Alan on his way to Sheffield we decided that there was only one thing that could make the hot cramped conditions bearable…Champagne! So by the time we pulled into Leeds station 9 very giggly girls disembarked having consumed 5 bottles of champagne and having lost at least a stone in weight, on the plus side, spa treatment complete!
I had trusted my chief bridesmaid with the map and in hindsight this may have not been the best idea! She hasn’t got the best sense of direction sober let alone after half a bottle of champagne. So after turning right outside the station and walking in a complete circle to realise if we had only turned left out of the station we would have arrived a lot sooner we checked into our Gold hotel. The reception area was impressive and check in was so simple. They were expecting us and as I had submitted a rooming list via my party planner before hand our room keys were ready to collect. We were all on the same floor of the hotel which was handy, we all settled into our rooms and arranged to meet in the hall 30mins later for our complimentary Girls Night In. My boss had arranged a lovely surprise for me in the way of a chilled bottle of champagne in my room so huge thanks to Larisa and Kris for this!
I had asked all of the girls to come armed with onesie’s so we all donned the baby grows and met in the hallway. The girls night in came complete with a DVD player, Ipod dock and pizzas. I had expected a nice quiet night in having girly chats and watching Magic Mike. Myself and my chief bridesmaid had put together some goody bags for the girls that included sashes, necklaces and some other treats. However my girls had other ideas! Unbeknown to me, my chief bridesmaid along with a little help from some of my friends had bought along some games for us all to play and enough booze to water an army! After playing a game of ‘who am I’ and drinking some homemade cocktails I was asked to take my seat in the centre of the room. Two of my friends became the female version of Ant and Dec complete with question cards with my face on and a game of Mr & Mrs ensued. Now as far as I can remember I was doing well getting top score in the first round (Yes there was more than one round) but that’s when it all went horribly wrong! I failed to answer 5 questions correctly in a row. One of them being ‘Who would get more money if they were auctioned off’ and my hubby to be suggesting it would be him! The penalty for a wrong answer was a shot and after 5 consecutive shots things get a little hazy! A good night was had by all though!
After meeting for a much needed cooked breakfast on the Saturday morning we decided to have a wander around the Leeds shopping scene and soon gravitated towards Harvey Nichols. A bit of retail therapy did us all the world of good and we were ready and raring to go when 1 o’clock came and it was time to make our way to Vodka Revs for our cocktail making masterclass.
The cocktail masterclass was by far the highlight of the weekend. The party platters of food were delicious and the class was so much fun. Kieron the young man who hosted our class made sure we all got plenty of cocktails to taste. We also played a few games including a race to make a mojito and it was all finished off by the vodka train. All of the girls said what great value for money it was and after receiving my cocktail shaker and certificate we all staggered out of the bar and straight into McDonalds to try and sober ourselves up ready for the evenings entertainment.
I had arranged an evening at the Adonis Cabaret with some trepidation. I am not the sort of girl that has lairy nights out and having watched videos on You Tube of girls giving the strippers lap dances I was wondering what the hell I’d let myself in for! We arrived at the location and were welcomed by a cocktail and ‘Candy Couture’ a drag queen that was about 7 feet tall in 6 inch heels and had legs that we were all jealous of! She put us all at ease and got us in to the spirit of the evening with her personal welcome and we were able to pose and have a group photograph taken with her (him) which was great. We entered the stage area where there was a buffet waiting for us and took our seats ready for the show to start. Now I don’t want to give too much away, but the show was definitely more of a cabaret than a strip show and everything was done in good taste. Candy Couture was our compere for the evening and if I’m completely honest he (she) made the night for me! Absolutely hilarious! Never again will I be able to hear Cher’s ‘Believe’ in the same way! By the time I was called onto the stage all panic had disappeared and I genuinely enjoyed myself.
After the show we were able to pose with the Adonis-es and could then stay and enjoy the venue as it became a popular club for the evening. We stayed for a drink and we were surprised to see the fellas that had previously been seen in a state of undress were mingling with the customers. I got the surprise of my life when I was stood at the bar ordering a drink when a strange man tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I’d enjoyed the show. It took me several moments to realise that this was Candy Couture sans makeup, wig, and heels! He was a lovely chap and you could tell he genuinely loved what he did. We spent the rest of the evening drinking, dancing and completing dares into the small hours followed by a kebab picnic in my hotel room.
As it was our last day in Leeds we spent it shopping around the fantastic city centre before getting the train home. We had all hoped that the return journey would have been more comfortable than the one on the way there but yet again we found ourselves sat on our suitcases in the corridor outside of the toilet. But by this point we really didn’t care, we were too busy chatting about certain events and funny moments that had happened through-out the weekend, non of which I have divulged during this blog because at the end of the day what happened in Leeds stays in Leeds!
I had a fantastic Hen weekend, with a fab group of girls who all got on fantastically despite some never having met before. A huge thanks to Shona my Party Organiser, with her advice I couldn’t have timed our activities better as it gave us enough time to get ourselves ready and we never felt rushed. The whole weekend was superb value for money, when you take into account all of the little extras we received throughout our stay we never really had to pay for food and the only spending money we needed was for drinks and we had plenty of that included in our cocktail making class! In hindsight the only thing I would change is the train journey. Although it by no means ruined the weekend, if we had planned ahead and pre-booked our seats we could have travelled in a lot more comfort however it certainly added a few extra stories to the weekend and provided us with a few extra laughs.
I created my own hen night package by mixing and matching activities. UKGirlThing can do this for you too so if you need any help with Hen Party Ideas or organising a hen party, contact our party planners on 01159 415 282
Author : Rebecca Lee