Hen do ideas – mine!

It wouldn’t be right for me to post hen do ideas without mentioning my own special event, particularly as my best mates CarinaandAlyse did an awesome job of organising it and I was so happy to have all my closest friends with me.

I blog so much about hen dos that I really should dedicate a whole section to them. I’ve done London-based, Brighton-based, Bristol-based, PortsmouthandCowes-based and Lisbon-based hen dos and have covered a huge variety of activities from sailing and fancy dress to chocolate-making and ice-skating so my bridesmaids had a challenge on their hands to plan something new for my big weekend!

My brief:
– UK, quite close to a town centre but with the feeling of being remote, and in a house rather than hotel
– NO tacky bride-to-be paraphernalia
– NO stripper
– a new activity to try
– not too expensive for everyone
– no big, heavy clubbing session or group hen do tour (I do love hitting the tiles but it’s not for everyone)

And, man did they do well! This is what the lovely CarinaandAlyse organised:

norton barn, canterbury

This is the house we stayed in, in Canterbury, Kent.  Booked via MulberryCottages.com, it slept 14 comfortably and had two huge living areas for the various activities we had planned. It was also quite peaceful!



The girls also did a fab job of decorating the place before I arrived! No willies anywhere! 🙂 They also made sure the kitchen was well stocked!

food drink drugs

We started on the booze pretty much straight away.  Everyone had been asked to bring a bottle of something and the food kitty ensured we had all the food and drink we’d need.

CarinaandAlyse cooked dinner for everyone and then it was game and gift time (I know, I’m VERY lucky.)

The night got quite messy because every game involved drinking quickly.  The first was pass the parcel with each layer of wrapping hiding a challenge. My favourite one was impressively completed by my sister-in-law who had to read a page of 50 shades of grey out loud.  I need to point out here that the page was one of the sauciest and my mum was there so it was utterly embarrassing for her.

wedding pictionary

We also played wedding themed pictionary. I am CRAP at drawing I’ve discovered but I blamed the champagne at the time.

Instead of pinning a willy on the groom (a common hen do game), we had to stick the lips on P.  We weren’t very good at it.

kiss P


As the bride, I didn’t get a sticker.


What?! I’m short.

Then I was given a bowl of bits of paper, each one holding a clue to who had written it.  If i guessed correctly I got a gift!


wedding teddy


hen do gifts

This was my haul!  How lucky am I?

We all passed out in the wee hours of Saturday morning and woke up some time later feeling remarkably refreshed!  Given that we were in a house, breakfast was very relaxed with everyone mucking in and then I was given ANOTHER gift to open. A clue to the morning’s activity.  It was this onesie.  And I LOVE IT.


The activity?  PAINTBALLING!!!

paintballing prep

paintballing time

If you’ve never done it before, GO DO IT.  IT’S AMAZING FUN.  We used a company called Mayhemsoutheast.com and they were great (and very patient with 12 scared women). We split into two teams and played a variety of games that also featured lots of  exclamations of “ooh, sorry!”, some strategy, a few minor injuries and bruises.

I learned that it’s better to get hit on a bony part of your body than a soft bit.  A rib or hip shot will be fine but a shot to the buttock will sting for ages.  So now you know!

After paint balling, we all gathered for lunch and I was given…..ANOTHER gift.  This was yet again a clue for the evening activity.


It took me AGES.  SERIOUSLY. At one point, I guessed “toasting” and they said remove a letter and I STILL couldn’t get it.


What were we doing?  Champagne tasting!

We went back to the house after a short walk through Canterbury and after several rounds of tea and a bit of a sit down (the paintballing aged us a bit i think!) we all went to our rooms to “glam up”.  And didn’t we do well?


The tasting session was fab.  Hosted by wine expert Clive Barlow, we tried at least 8 different kinds of fizz and he ran a quiz throughout.  I definitely saw more competitive spirit for this than the paint balling! Needless to say, we all did very well with the champagne quiz and I won a magnum!!

champagne tasting

When we were all sufficiently wobbly, we moved to our second living area and dining room (I told you the place was big!!) where we were greeted by a private chef!  Our 3 course dinner was ready!!


CarinaandAlyse had booked a local catering company, Noreen Westwood Catering, to use our kitchen to cook a meal, serve, then clean up and leave us to it.  It was such a brilliant idea!  And because we had so much booze in the house already, it was so cost effective!

After dinner, the games resumed!

There was a quiz for all the hens…

hannah quiz

And a dress designing competition where they had to draw their idea of what my wedding dress would look like.  Some weren’t far off!

dress designing


Then – and this was absolutely amazing – I was presented with a jar.

date jar

Inside, were lots of lollipop sticks coated in glitter with notes on them.  This had been created throughout the weekend in a secret room.  It was a gift from everyone – a jar of date inspiration!

date ideas

date ideas 2

If you are planning a hen do for anyone, you MUST do this.  It’s incredible.

More drinking games followed and then we all crashed in bed.

The next morning, amidst the packing (as it was nearly time to go), I was given a final gift – a clue to our last activity.  A spa kit.  Easy! We were spending the morning at a spa!

We visited the Tor Spa retreat where I was treated to a full body massage. We had the place to ourselves so for the morning, we swam, relaxed, read and chilled.  Bliss.  A great way to end a fab weekend. I haven’t posted a pic here because I’m not sure my mates will appreciate the general public seeing them in their bikinis!

Thanks so much again to my lovely hens Gwun, Emma, Lisa, Amy, Mum, Nancy, Katie, Liz, Caz and Debs.

And to my bridesmaids CarinaandAlyse, I am forever in your debt.  You rock!


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