Planning the hen party initially seemed a bit daunting. How do you arrange a wonderful day out for a group of someone else’s friends, some of whom you’ve never met? So I sat down with the Bride and we talked. She eventually abandoned the idea of a foam party and settled on afternoon tea. I sent her a list of possible venues and she selected the delightful Bea’s of Bloomsbury. Yum! More on that another time.
The rest of the time was mine to plan in secrecy. I enlisted the help of Google and some London entertainment sites and put together a day out that I hoped she would love. She arrived at my flat on Friday evening and we watched Gilmore Girls (a favourite pastime from our university days), munched pizza and had a lovely catch-up. I explained the challenges, invited her to complete the first, which was to pop the cork on a bottle of pink champagne. Once she’d got the foil off and was poised for explosion, we realised it was a fake cork and you could actually twist it out. Mission accomplished and we rounded off a lovely evening by staying up far too late and sipping the pink bubbles from teacups.
Saturday morning saw us riding the tube, attempting to get her personalised hen-do hashtag trending, failing spectacularly, and meeting up with another Bridesmaid. We headed to the first secret destination: the Thermal Spa at the Ironmonger Row Baths.
We emerged three hours later feeling fully sauna-ed and steamed and tingling from ice-cold plunge pool dunkings. And craving chips. We had an hour or so before afternoon tea, so chips seemed like a plausible option. It wasn’t long until we were settled in a restaurant sipping a strawberry daiquiri each and muching our way through a bowl of chips. And some nachos. And some loaded potato skins. So much for saving room for tea then!
We met the other hens before tea and I handed round goodie bags and matching accessories. Disappointingly, the only chap in attendance had decided not to wear a dress as specifically requested. But he did wear his headscarf, so all is forgiven.
Matching wire-and-ribbon headscarves was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. Not only did it add a nice little touch of coordination to the group, they look cute in the photos and made it really easy to keep track of everyone on London's busy Underground.
There's always someone else who wants to wear the veil. And dragging the entire party off for a photoshoot post-afternoon tea only makes it more likely that posing will occur. We rounded off the evening with drinks in the fabulous and terribly secretive cocktail bar named Evans and Peel Detective Agency. The door is a bit shabby and non-descript, off by itself in a residential street. But if you ring the bell and request an appointment with the detective, and if you can state a satisfactory case, then you won't be disappointed!
It was a great day and we landed back in my flat feeling tired but happy. A cup of tea and a bit more time spent in the company of the Gilmore Girls, and it was time for bed. After all, we had to be up early to get to the wedding of another friend!
P.S. That's another 6 pictures bringing the #500snapsofsummer total up to a rolicking...23. Still quite a way to go, with 477 pictures left to take.