London Hen Party Hot List

The good thing about having your hen do in London is that the options are endless and there is always something new going on, plus endless pop ups!  The bad thing is that London can be expensive!  There is no way to avoid this, but careful planning is key – keep your hen party busy the whole day/weekend, and you’ll be able to stick to your budget better.  Here are some cool things going on in London at the moment that would make for fun hen parties: 

Rooftop Hula Hooping Classes (above)

This is a much more relaxed workout, when compared to the hen do trend of recent years of pole dancing lessons (no thanks!).  Not saying that it won’t be a workout, however!  Hula hoop keep fit classes have been a secret celebrity favourite for years apparently, as it focuses on core toning and firms the abdominal muscles (yes please!).   

Held on the roof of the Berkeley Hotel and Spa, it has a members club feel about it (think Soho House) and you’ll get great views of the city.  It sounds expensive, but lunch is included and you get to use the pool afterwards.  Why not book this as a day event and budget for extra treats at the spa in the afternoon to relax after your work out? 

You get to keep the hula hoop after too, which is a nice touch and memento for your bride. 

When:
  every Wednesday, 12:00 to 13:00; Wednesday 17th June to 28th October 2015.  1 hour class.    
Where:  The Berkeley, SW1X 7RL.  
Closest Tube:  Hyde Park Corner  
How much:  £65 pp (inc pool side lunch, complimentary use of the pool + one of a kind Berkeley hula-hoop).  
Book in advance or just turn up?  Book in advance.


Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Party (below)

If you’re after something low key but find the usual high tea a little boring, try the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Party at the Sanderson Hotel. 

Exactly as it sounds, an Alice in Wonderland high tea – but for grownups.  This is all the effort of doing a theme without actually having to do a theme!  It’s well thought out, and the little touches are cute but you still get to fully indulge in tea and cake (and champers) without it tasting or being too weird!  The linen napkins are even wrapped in a riddle and colourful signature cocktails to accompany your tea are available at an additional cost. 

When:  12:30 – 17:30 every day, until end 2015.  
Where:  Sanderson Hotel, W1T 3NG.  
Closest Tube:  Oxford Circus  
How much:  £38 pp (£48 pp to add Champagne)  
Book in advance or just turn up?  Book in advance.

Audrey Hepburn – Portraits of an Icon Exhibition (below)

A fantastically concise exhibition for anyone who has loved, or loves the idea of, Audrey Hepburn.  A small collection of the best photographs documenting Hepburn’s life and work, and giving small anecdotes along the way. 

From Givenchy to Chanel, curated in a very whimsical dreamy disposition, it almost seems like some of it has been instagrammed.  That said, it shows Hepburn as a young girl as well as an older woman, and also illustrates some of her later charity work. 

Just enough to inspire, including a mesmerising wall of lifetime magazine covers, but not so much that anyone will get bored.  Plus every Thursday and Friday from 18:00 – 21:00, enjoy with music and drinks (including 2 for 1 drinks at the Late Shift bar with your exhibition ticket as an added bonus).  The late night exhibition scene is so chic right now – you never know who you might bump in to. 

When:  10:00 – 18:00  daily, and until 21:00 on Thursday and Fridays.  
Where:  National Portrait Gallery, WC2H 0HE.  
Closest Tube:  Charing Cross  
How much:  £10  
Book in advance or just turn up?  Booking in advance advisable for Thursdays and Fridays. 

Baila Brazil Show (with Free Post Show Dance Workshops) (below)

Not a fan of Notting Hill Carnival but love the vibes?  Try the Baila Brazil Show on at the South Bank.  -Great carnival atmosphere from the comfort of your own seat in the theatre, and without having to cram into a tiny bar in Westbourne Park with 300 other Londoners.  The main draw is the live show, but the free post show dance workshops are a definite hit for small groups. 

A great alternative to the bright (and expensive) lights of the usual shows in the West End.  The Southbank also offers authentic views and alfresco riverside drinks to immerse yourself in afterwards. 

When:  5th – 15th August, daily at 19:30, with matinees on weekends.  
Where:  Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX.  
Closest Tube:  Embankment   
How much:  £15  
Book in advance or just turn up?  Booking in advance – but be quick!  It’s only on for another week!  

Oval Space (below)

If your bride is more Cream Fields than cream cakes, sign up to the Oval Space newsletters.    

The Oval Space is a ‘multi use arts space’ in East London.  Meaning if you ever see any parties, gigs or raves advertised at a ‘secret east end location’, chances are that it’ll be here.  Resident Advisor describes, ‘From an unassuming entrance, the club opens up into a cavernous warehouse loft with a state of the art d&b audiotechnik sound system and two outdoor terraces. With floor to ceiling glass windows along one side and an uninterrupted view looking out onto the behemoth decommissioned gas works, watching the sun rise over the industrial landscape in East London has become an iconic clubbing experience.’  Enough said. 

Most nights are a sell-out, but it’s not worth the money though if you’re going to go home at 1 or 2am.  Check DJs in advance so you know what you’re in for; lots this side of Christmas to phone in sick on Monday for. 

When:  Most weekends, from 23:00 onwards.  
Where:  Oval Space, E2 9DT.  
Closest Tube:  Bethnal Green   
How much:  from £10  
Book in advance or just turn up?  Book in advance.
 

Lx