Image courtesy of Cocktail Bar Ireland
Hen parties have come on a lot from just a mad night on the tiles with L plates and sashes! The hen scene is crammed with options to suit every style of bride-to be whether you’re a tea and cake kind of gal or are a fan of the great outdoors. Find the perfect one for you or your friend in our hen party guide…
The Outdoorsy Bride
If you’re the outdoorsy type and adore the idea of a physical challenge to get the heart pumping, you will love the activity menu Kippure Estate in Wicklow offers up for hens. An adventure mecca, you and your hens can choose from rope based activities, climbing, abseiling, archery, orienteering and treasure hunts (they even have a chocolate variety!) to get the adrenalin pumping, with the added bonus of beautiful surroundings. They also have a ‘Wild Wicklow Woman’ package full of hilarious challenges from wheelbarrow races and Wellie Wanging – flinging your wellies high up in to the air – to playing croquet with a pair of tights and a potato!
If the bride-to-be is a bit of a foodie, there are some gorgeous offerings on the cuisine front all over the country –everything from heavenly seafood to comforting Italian fare in cosy bistro settings. If you fancy a road trip, (or are local) Kerry is a great spot – lap up the endless rugged scenery, enjoy the craic and a few deochs in one of the many quaint and cosy bars and if you’re looking for some great eats, stop by Sol Y Sombra in Killorglin. With its cool location in a converted church, their speciality is tapas but they have lots of other party options for hens and can organise everything from a spot of wine tasting to pole dancing, burlesque dancing or for those feeling brave, tarot readings!
The City Slicker
Image courtesy of Cocktail Bar Ireland
For the cocktail connoisseurs amongst you, an evening of tasting tropical creations could be what’s called for. If you fancy setting up camp in one of the girl’s apartments, you can hire your own personal cocktail bartender from Cocktail Bar Ireland to come and wow you with some delicious concoctions, and teach you a few recipes. Or if you’re not so interested in learning, you could always doll yourselves up and head to the likes of the Vintage Cocktail Club where you’ll step back in time to the roaring 20s with its seriously glam art deco décor and suave drinkies! The Mint Bar in The Westin or the equally fabulous Liquor Rooms are also renowned for their seriously yummy drinks and fab setting. And if you’re looking to finish off the night in style, a spot of karaoke could be in order!
We love the idea of huddling together with our girls around a camp fire with a few tipples, but your mam, MIL and any pregnant friends might not be quite so taken with this idea, so think about your audience if you opt for this style of celebration. If your crowd is up for a night of letting their hair down in the rugged, great outdoors before retreating to their very own yurt for a night’s sleep, then a spot of glamping at Mount Druid could be the hen for you and your ladies. Rent mountain bikes, embrace brisk walks (with lazy afternoon pints in the local village perhaps?), unwind in the sauna or enjoy a cocktail class, all with the prettiest backdrop.
Image via Tropical Popical
If the brides a bit of a beauty queen, perhaps an afternoon of getting pampered and learning some beauty secrets will be right up her street (swilling champagne optional!). You can take a trip out to the likes of The Powder Room Girls Hair & Make-up Studio out in City West for a masterclass, where you will learn some beauty tips and techniques from some of Ireland’s hair and make-up finest, or if you’re after a full on beauty sesh where you can sit back and get the works, they offer this too! Or if you’re looking for the kitschiest nail experience ever, pop along to the fabulously flash Tropical Popical where your nails can be prettied up with gems, sparkles, lashings of colour and as an outlandish a design as you can dream up!
Laid Back Bride
Looking to unwind somewhere gorgeous? Head to one of Ireland’s many spa destinations for a day or weekend of pure luxury and pampering. If you’re looking to relax by day and party up a storm by night, Roganstown Golf & Country Club‘s Hen Party Package offers the best of both worlds. Unwind with a choice of two fabulous spa treatments and make the most of this blissful ‘you’ time before indulging in a fab four course meal, and then climbing in to your luxury hummer with disco dance floor, which will whisk you away to the Wright Venue in Swords where you can hit the dance floor with your ladies. Or if you’d rather just pure indulgence, curl up for girly chats in the comfiest of surroundings.
The Vintage Vixen
Image via The Merrion
If the bride-to-be is a fan of times past and loves sipping tea from the prettiest china, think afternoon tea. With lots of bite-sized treats and sweet stuff to drink in and devour, it could be a heavenly way to while away the afternoon. We love The Merrion’s take on it with ‘Art Tea’, a selection of mini works of arts inspired by artists from the 19th and 20th century such as J.B Yeats. Almost to pretty to eat? Never! Or if you like your liquid lunch, opt for the ‘The Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea’ at The Westin where Mojitos are served in teapots (is there any better way?) and you can munch your way through some tasty bites – from classics like smoked salmon blini’s to more alternative sweet treats like Popcorn panna cotta with toffee popcorn crumble. Nom.
If you’re looking to learn something new and have a bit of craic with feather boas and heels, a spot of burlesque dancing might appeal. Why not arrange for you and your hens to have an energetic and fun dance lesson using these sassy and show stopping moves. And you get to laud about with the likes of a feather fan or cane in hand (there are Gatsby options available too)! If burlesque is a bit on the racy side for you, there are tonnes of other dance classes specifically with hen parties in mind where you can learn some fun moves and don some costumes for the craic! See HenParty.ie, or HenIt.ie for more options.
The Inquisitive Bride
If you’re fond of Sherlock (we don’t mean Benedict Cumberbatch) and fancy being a bit of a real life detective, a Murder Mystery weekend could be a great way to celebrate with your hens. If you want stunning scenery and total relaxation thrown in, Fota Island Resort in Cork is well worth a look. Not only have they got state of the art spa facilities (yay) if you’re after a weekend of just pampering, but they’ve given the murder mystery night their own fun twist – ‘Who Stole the Engagement Ring?’. Brilliant! Enjoy a tasty three course meal as you take part in an evening of high jinx and drama to see which one of your ladies stole the engagement ring.
If the bride-to-be is a crafty brawd, she might enjoy an artsy afternoon in the form of a private painting class. But the one run by Art Jam should spice things up – renowned for its ‘Paint A Nude’ sessions, Art Jam provides all the supplies you and your girls need to paint up a storm including nude model, which should give a few giggles along the way. If this will cause too many raised eyebrows, you can arrange for your party to paint something to adorn the bride’s walls afterwards. Or if she’s not the painting type, there are lots of other creative options you can try for example Beads & Bling offer classes where you can make everything from jewellery to fascinators, so crafty hens can leave with something pretty they can wear on the big day.
For more information on Hen package options, browse our directory or visit the likes of HenParty.ie or HenIt.ie or if you want a package arranged for you (no hassle, hell yes!), Posh Fizz and HenParties.ie can help you with that.