2 March 2015

Marvellous Maids and a Magical Hen Weekend

At the end of February Half Term it was time for my bridal hen weekend. Having been organised for quite sometime, I knew we would be staying in a farmhouse near bath as I wanted to have a hen weekend whereby friends and family coming from Devon upwards and those travelling from London could all meet in the middle and so it was decided that Bath would be accessible for most people.

We hired a farmhouse near Frome that sleeps 22 and it worked out to be the most cost effective option, rather than if we had tried to book a hotel. We also had the added benefit of having a beautiful private country house all to ourselves where we could all be under one roof.

On the day of the hen My Maid of Honour and some of the bridesmaids arrived at the farmhouse along with my mum and some friends to set up some surprises.

I travelled up from Plymouth with Charlotte Claire and Lucy and we stopped off at Clarkes Village on the way to bide some time - and for a sock stop as we all for some reason forgot to pack socks. We nipped into the Coast sale shop but managed to avoid any pre-wedding spending although they had beautiful dresses from £15 so great for brides and guests on a budget or last minute honeymoom shopping.

We arrived at the farmhouse and I was greeted with wedding balloons on the door. We entered the beautiful living room and were treated to gorgeous cupcakes on arrival and of course a fresh pot of tea for the start of #SJhen weekend. The girls had made hand made bunting to decorate the lounge and had placed beautiful hen weekend goody bags in every bedroom - put together by Charlotte and Maid of Honour Fay - and Fay had had the genius idea of putting a cut out 'hen' on each of the personalised bags.

After tea, cakes and a catch up, we then had an amazing spaghetti bolognaise courtesy of chef maid Lucy before playing a 'how I know the bride' memory game where I had to guess from everyone's notes who the memory was from. This was a real special touch and showed how much effort and thought had been put into the weekend.

A little bit later some more hens arrived from London (the Lushies from my Lush days arrived with Lush lip scrubs, face masks and amazing American Cream hair conditioner for bathroom treats) Devon and Southampton and then there were 19 of us in total.

The next morning was an early start and we were treated to THE best breakfast again cooked by Lucy - who makes the amazing scrambled eggs - before our convoy trip to Longleat Safari Park. Since I was little I've always wanted to go to the park, to see safari animals and to have a go at the maze. I can honestly say for me and for everyone it was definitely worth the trip. We saw lions, tigers and wolves up close in our cars (most of us avoided the monkey enclosure) and at one point the two lion prides were gearing up for a stand off and it was a little bit scary but with the Longleat Rangers on hand in Jeeps we were safe in our cars.

After the safari experience I had to lead all the Hens through the Longleat
maze to the tower in the middle where Charlotte was waiting with a surprise. After about 45 minutes trying to find the tower we finally did it (goodness knows how charlotte did it on her own when she snuck off without me realising) and there she was found with a big bag full of presents.

We then made our way out of the maze via a shortcut and enjoyed afternoon cream tea in a private dining room in the Longleat tea rooms where we enjoyed tea and scones with jam and cream and debated which was the best way and the Devon way to enjoy a team tea - cream first then jam on too I say. I also opened the presents and was very touched that the girls had put together a memory album and signed me a plate full of messages.

After tea we toured the Longleat House and took lots of pictures around the grounds. We had an amazing day and then we all went back to the farmhouse to get ready for a night out in bath.

Before our night of Dinner and cocktails we had some #SJHen fun with wedding selfie props courtesy of Maid Charlotte from Ginger Ray and we had black bridal, bridesmaid and hen sashes.

The girls had arranged for us all to be picked up by a great travel company who sent a hopper style bus to collect us all and myself and the Maids sat at the back with all the bus singing songs from our teenage years which included Wheatus, Barbie Girl, moves from the sound track to She's All That (Freddie Prince Junior days) and Disney songs.

We got to Bath and had a great dinner at a restaurant called Aqua where we again had a private dining room because there was so many of us and we played another wedding game 'Sarahjane went on Honeymoon and she packed...' and we had to remember everything in the suit case.

After a three course meal we went for cocktails at a bar called Sub 13 where we danced the remainder of the night away to Up Town Funk and many more.

It was amazing weekend with truly amazing people who took a lot of time and effort to make it very special - I can only hope my friends have hen parties that need planning very soon so that I can repay the favour and the memories.

By the Bride xx
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