When you hear the words “hen party” I’m sure most of you picture a group of ladies, trying to hold each other up, in matching sashes with a trashy crown and veil on the bride-to-be.
However, in this day and age, where looking after your health is all the hype, I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of a healthy (ish) hen party. It may not be every person’s idea of a fabulous time but maybe after reading this, I can convince you otherwise.
This is tried and tested personally by me. To say I loved it is an understatement, so much so I’ve booked to attend the winter retreat in Hereford.
Firstly, go check out the website and peek at the various locations, as each one offers something different to keep you going back for more; from hot tubs to open log fires.
A range of various locations on offer, including the Lake District, Devon, Hereford and Italy (I’m dreaming of this location).
The retreat I attended was in the Lake District, one of my favourite locations on this planet. I stayed at the Rowley Estate in Cumbria and shared a room with my friend.
We did a Vinyasa style of yoga, twice a day, given by Jessica Lambert – who is simply amazing. Her yoga classes were for all levels, with elements of assisted yoga and elements of fun.
In the morning we had a dynamic yoga class that set us up for the day, with breakfast ready and waiting as soon as we’d finished the class.
In the evening there was a more restorative class with guided meditation. I slept like a baby for the entire weekend.
Some of the other locations also offer other fitness classes throughout the weekend.
Food was provided for the entire weekend by the super talented Elspeth Humm.
The menu was plant based, sugar free, dairy free, fresh and organic where possible. The food will blow your mind and inspire even the most carnivorous dinosaur. My favourite dish … easy … the no cheese strawberry cheesecake (drooling).
The winter retreat also offers a selection of workshops, so you can get creative in the build up to Christmas and have recipes up your sleeve for winter celebrations.
Other things on offer during the weekend. Free time.
During the day there was free time to enjoy as you wished. From hiking for miles to, participating in group games with your hen party at the gorgeous estate with a raw cacao hot chocolate.
On hand all weekend was a beautician, a masseuse and an osteopath, so if you wanted a facial, your nails painted or a sports massage, therapeutic massage or osteopathy appointment – not a problem. Arranging a day full of pampering so you go home not only feeling fabulous, but looking fabulous? Yes please.
I’m sure you’re thinking alcohol was off limits? Well no. If you wanted to drink alcohol in the evenings that was your choice. A few glasses of vino never go a miss with me, but do bear in mind this is meant to be a healthy hen do 😉
Completing an obstacle race with friends can build spirits immensely and give you a sense of achievement once you have completed it, so I can fully understand why some people would seek this as part of their hen party.
There are loads of obstacle courses on offer, but to name a few that I have first-hand knowledge of:
The full Tough Mudder is 10 – 12 miles in distance, therefore training beforehand is necessary.
They now offer a 5k and a Tough Mudder half, so if you didn’t feel up to the full 10 miles you could start small.
As the name suggests this race is full of mud. It requires team effort to get through obstacles, some of which are fun (Quagmire & Everest) and some of which are a tad daunting (Artic Enema & Electroshock Therapy).
As soon as you cross the finish line you are greeted with a person thrusting a cold alcoholic beverage in to your hand, well I was anyway.
Dirty Weekend claim to be the biggest and best obstacle race weekend in the world.
They have a 20-mile monster obstacle course with a phenomenal afterparty, huge event village and a campsite.
This is an all in one weekend, pre-organised for you, and albeit healthy with the serious 20-mile work out, some serious celebrations can take place at the after party too.
Après Surf Vs Après Ski
I went to the French Alps and skied for the first time. The positives of doing this for a hen do:
- All abilities can do it.
- You get a full work out all day.
- You can stop off for a spot of après throughout the day.
- You can stop off for a spot of après at the end of the day.
- Wonderful places to eat fabulous food.
- Lively bars (drink virgin or handle the hangover in the morning).
- You can get accommodation for the whole party, whether you choose self-catering or a private chalet.
- Spa’s on tap.
These are just a few ideas to whet the appetite and if you have more, please comment or get in touch I’d love to hear them.