Indi and I discussed recently how the Big Fat Indian Wedding blog had never seen a blog about hen weekends. So we thought, share your hen party experience with everyone!
Thanks to Indi, the founder of the vegetarian food and event styling company, Suhaav, for her second guest piece on planning her wedding. Be sure to read her first story about wedding planning.
Well, what is a hen weekend? I guess it’s known across the pond as a bachelorette party, and somewhere in there a bridal shower fits in! Now, I may not be an expert in terminology but in simple terms I can tell you it is time with your besties; doing the things you love, in places you love, eating what you love, and being spoilt rotten – just before your wedding.
Perhaps the hen party can be described as a final send off as a bride graduates from single life to married life. That’s what it was for me at least. As a lover of beautiful places, decoration, and good food, my ‘hen weekend’ was simply perfect.
Not one for a traditional hen I scurried away from any conversation about such a ‘hen party / bridal shower’ cuffufle ever since the announcement of my engagement. However, I was also acutely aware that my friends would never allow such an occasion to pass by uncelebrated. I mean the chance to eat, laugh, and have tons of fun with your best buddies is always appealing to me.
I left them to it, tried to barely mention anything, and a few weeks ago was told to keep certain dates free. I hate surprises, and struggled to be kept in the dark over what would be happening. But, having managed to hold it together this far, 48 hours prior to departure I received my instructions.
So, I packed a bag and awaited pick up at 6pm from my home. There had been torrential rain all day (it is Britain!), as two friends arrived to pick me up. I thought this was going to be a pretty quiet hen. The skies cleared and we approached the rolling hills of the Peak District.
I started to get rather excited at the thought of a weekend in the countryside. The sun was blazing on arrival to the most stunning Rockfield House, a fully catered vegetarian cottage in the Derbyshire Dales. Greeted by many of my friends screaming out the window – I had a feeling the Bakewell (a sleepy town Derbyshire) was in for a bit of shock.
Styling is my thing, but nothing could have prepared me for the care and love in every single detail of the weekend. Every corner turned, every significant moment, every activity was arranged with me in mind. It had been a whirlwind and tiring few months with Suhaav’s rapid growth, so a weekend in the gorgeous sun, relaxing with the girls was just what the doctor ordered. The cottage was decorated head to toe with the most stunning flowers, vases, bottles, and so much more.
As, soon as I walked in I noticed that everything was from one of my favourite boutiques ‘Borrowed Blue’ their gifts and décor are truly stunning and to see them appear all over the cottage literally turned me into an excited little girl. I was later to find out everything they had decorated the cottage with was mine, to keep – perfect!
The entire weekend we were looked after by the wonderfully hospitable Martin and Kate, having met them previously, I was thrilled to be back in their capable hands. Three days of freshly cooked three course meals, afternoon teas, and sampling their fabulous eggless baking was just stunning. Kate is truly a genius even digging out a recipe for ‘matrimonial cake’, a historical favourite for bridal showers in America.
This is my second trip to Rockfield House, and it is just perfect, luxury, pampering and a relaxing location for couples, families and large groups. Food featured heavily in the weekend, and as an eggless baker by profession, who has tasted many poor eggless alternatives I have to say Kate’s fabulous eggless scones, and creative takes on vegetarian cooking were certainly a highlight for a dedicated foodie like me.
After a huge breakfast, we headed to the historical and gorgeously quaint village of Bakewell, to a stone building in the pretty Kings Court and were welcomed by John, of Baked Well Pottery. Twelve girls filled out the studio and we had some very interesting artistic interpretations of pottery painting! Many laughs were had and just as the stomachs started to rumble there appeared Martin and Kate, with full afternoon tea and crockery! I am a stickler for details, and good service – but these guys are just amazing.
All weekend I was lavished with gifts and beautiful family memories. All in all it was literally the perfect weekend, words could not even express how much I appreciated this beautiful gesture of love, from some of the most wonderful girls in my life!
The number one tip I offer all of you is if you’re planning a hen, bridal shower, baby shower, party or anything special for a loved one know them, love them, and think of the details they would appreciate. I certainly experienced that this weekend. What a lucky, lucky girl I am.