The alternative hen do

I love a party… but a hen do? I can’t think of anything worse. The costumes, silly dares, sexually charged games, and the mandatory stripper – no thank you. There’s something about hen parties that makes me want to scream and run for the hills! It’s not my cup of tea.

Last weekend, however, I had the chance to organise a hen do… with a difference. The brief was simple: afternoon tea with no fuss (and none of the above). Here’s what I came up with…

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The Venue – I decided to pick the newest Firmdale hotel for ours – Ham Yard Hotel. Located just behind bustling Piccadilly, the hotel is super chic – the interiors are designed by Kit Kemp – and has an urban village feel to it. Afternoon tea costs a very reasonable £21 per person, and includes a selection of three teas, scones, sandwiches, and cakes (all delicious!) Ask to be seated in the orangery – it’s a bit quieter than the actual restaurant.

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Yummy treats galore at Ham Yard Hotel

London is bursting at the seams with fab afternoon teas so it was a tough choice to make. Others to try are: Sketch London – purely for the plush pink sofas, perfect for reclining after feasting on cake and more cake. And, Sanderson London’s Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea, which looks like so much fun.

The Games – Yes, so it sounds like I am backtracking, but these games are designed to break the ice, especially if people don’t know each other. I made these silly badges, using photos of the bride and these cool button badges (£9.95 for ten).

The first game was a quick quiz to test how well we knew the bride. I took some questions from the Hen Planner website and then designed them up on Canva’s brilliant website. The bride to be also completed the quiz and then read out her answers, while we marked each others. Remember a prize for the winner (I forgot!).

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Games and badges ready!

The bride also had to guess who each of the gifts were from. And, the groom made a cameo appearance via an iPad to play Mr & Mrs. He pre-recorded his questions (I found some via Hitched website) and then we asked the bride to say what she thought his answers would be.

The Memories – To mark the occasion, I made the bride a memory book filled with stories and photos from her friends and family. This simple Kraft paper scrapbook from Paperchase was transformed using gift wrap, ribbon, string, old magazine, and anything else I could find! The inside pages included stories/memories of the bride from each of her friends and photos.

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Blue Peter, eat your heart out! 

What are your ideas for an alternative hen do? Let me know in the comments below x


  1. Another alternative hen do idea for a hen weekend without the ‘L’ Plates – how’s about a glamping hen weekend – come and join us on our Chicks in the Sticks hen weekends in beautiful Devon. Stay in our gorgeous bell tents which can accommodate up to 4 and we can cater for up to 20 girls. Breakfast and a light lunch together with tea and cakes all included with the option of fully catered. Lots of lovely creative and fun workshops can also be arranged for you. Do check us out at


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