At the weekend, I hit the town with a large group of chicks. This was no usual Saturday night, though, feathers primed, it was time for my hen doo. Here's my guide to what was a clucking good Glasgow hen.
Hens love vintage
The hen doo is a more recent custom than the horny stag party. In the last 30 years, the hen has grown up from a night staying in with the girls to a full on hen-hoopla - involving L plates, bunny ears and weekends away. I wanted to do something more local, though, that everyone could be a part of - including the mums. I also have a very pregnant best friend and bridesmaid, so a lot of the laying of hen plans ended up being down to me. I decided that as I know (and love) Glasgow better than anywhere else, there couldn't be a better city for my s-hen-anigans.
I opted for a retro theme and I discovered a great wee Glasgow company called Love Vintage Events. They do everything from weddings and birthdays to your most classiest of hen nights. I asked them to create a 1950s hair and make-up salon for us. It was great fun and my hens were totally made up. The team from Love Vintage (especially Kelly-Ann) did an amazing job, they transformed 20 girls in two hours, giving us all a touch of old fashioned glamour. It was genuinely like they had some sort of time machine.
Hey St Judes
I had booked St Judes on Bath Street for the whole afternoon. They have a couple of private rooms upstairs (with their own bars) and more importantly they're seriously hen-friendly. It was the ideal location for our salon and they also sorted us out with a lovely, on-theme afternoon tea.
Once we were glammed up, I had arranged a cocktail making masterclass with St Judes. Hen nights often involve cocktails - perhaps the clue's in the name, naughty plastic straws anyone? - but I thought it might be more fun to have a little cocktail fighting between fr-hens! The class was taken by Karl, who dealt admirably with being hen pecked from all sides.
He took us through how to make the perfect tipple, then put us into teams. We mixed (and muddled) our way through three different drinks - which we all got to sample - followed by a frenetic cocktail relay race. It was so much fun and eh, definitely got everyone in the spirit of things!
I'd considered booking a photo booth, but they're expensive. So to keep costs down - and in keeping with the old school theme - I bought a polaroid camera from eBay. My maids and I then set up our own wee booth, complete with personalised props and signs. It also meant that we all had lovely wee keepsakes to take home from the day.
A Brel-liant hen
After a pub crawl on Bath Street, my hens and I flew over to Brel in the West End for dinner. I had booked the second floor, which having been done-up recently is now a great space for groups. It's also a little bit removed from the Ashton Lane crowds, meaning my gaggle of hens had free-range to get a bit rowdy.
After playing an embarrassing game of Mr and Mrs (I'm glad my Mum had gone home by the time some of the naughtier questions were asked!) we tucked into a delicious meal of some Brel specialities - moules frites, steak frites and poussin frites - followed by chocolate fondues to share.
Hen nights have got a bit of a bad name in the UK: the excessive drinking, the lewdness, the huge costs involved (the UK stag and hen industry is thought to be worth around £500 million a year!). I wanted to do something local and low key to prove that it didn't need to be like that. I am incredibly blessed to have such an amazing group of friends, and at it's yoke, that's what a hen night should be about, spending time with your best chicks.
Wee Bird Recommends
Wee Bird is a bit of a culture vulture and a big fan of the Bard in the Botanics productions that run each year in the gardens. Have a giggle at one of the Bard's most bonkers plays - A Comedy of Errors - until July 12 at 7.45pm. Tickets are available online, at the Citizens Theatre or in the box office in the Botanic Gardens themselves.