This weekend marked my best friend’s hen weekend(!!)
I mean, first of all, let’s talk about how we’re old enough for hen weekends to be a regular occurrence in our vocabulary, but second of all, we had an incredible time celebrating the end of one chapter and the start of a super exciting new one.
Ebony and I have been best friends since we started college 10 years ago this year, but we’d known each other before that as she used to date my best mate from secondary school. We go way back. After a haze of adventures in her first car — a vivid pink Beetle — and endless coffee trips to see us through English Lit classes, we ended up heading off to the same University, living together and cementing our friendship for life.
Tasked with organising a hen do to end all hen do’s, Ebony’s sister and I (as joint maid-of-honour) set to brainstorming an epic list of ideas. And with an initial guest list of more than 25 ladies to impress, it became quite the task! Ebony is notoriously outdoorsy with an adventurous spirit, so we knew we’d have to pull out all of the stops.
We settled for a long weekend in beautiful, rainy, history-rich Edinburgh, where we could drink, eat and explore to our heart’s content. It turned out to be super difficult to get events, meals and drinks bookings made for our final party of 20, so Tamsyn (Ebs’ sister!) suggested we book through Maximise, who I’d thoroughly recommend. Their online system made it incredible easy to book activities, meals and a hotel as well as let all of the guests pay in installments for their portion. (This isn’t sponsored btw, I just thought I’d share the tip for anybody else planning a hen weekend!) We were in complete control of the activities, they just helped to negotiate costs and book suppliers.
First up, we were kindly provided for with SO MUCH PIZZA in a private room at the hotel on Friday night for ice-breakers, drinking games, pink gin and present-giving. I couldn’t recommend a cosy drinking girls’ night in to kick-start a weekend if your guests are also from several different ‘pools’ of friends. We had so much fun doing an obligatory ‘Kiss The Miss Goodbye’, playing ‘pass the parcel’ filled with dares and forfeits (one of the bridesmaids put this together!), and getting to know each other.
The next day, we reconvened for breakfast and got ready for the main event… A scavenger hunt! I absolutely love these and knew Ebony, with her competitive streak and insane analytical and problem-solving skills, would too.
Then, we headed back (cold and placed in 3rd place ffs) to get ready for our booked three-course meal and drinks. Unlike most hen weekends, we chose not to book a bar or club because Ebony has a pacemaker and actually can’t really be in them! Sashes from Ginger Ray and customised temporary tattoos are from Etsy.
Little did we know, our meal was booked at Revolution. This was the only real drawback I found from booking through Maximise, as we couldn’t choose the supplier/restaurant and I’d love to have visited The Jolly Botanist or The Ivy for our meal instead. But you live and learn, and the food was pretty tasty!
After sampling the entire cocktail menu between us(!!), we headed back to the hotel bar for… more drinks! I mean, you have to, right?
Hungover as anything, on Sunday morning we all got together for a delicious breakfast buffet before taking control of the hotel spa and pool facilities. I don’t know how advised it is to sweat it out in a steam room and jacuzzi, but we felt so refreshed for it!
After a walk down to Portobello Beach, not far from our hotel, we picked up our bags, hopped into respective Ubers, and headed home.