Hen & Stag Dos On Your Doorstep
As the days of Blackpool Pleasure Beach take a firm back seat in the way of hen and stag dos, weekend breaks and action-filled afternoons remain at the forefront. And with so many options on your very doorstep, look no further than Kent to celebrate your ‘last days of freedom’. Local, yes. Civilised, probably not.
With an increasing number of hens now opting for a more tranquil and somewhat more composed affair, why not use this occasion to book up one of Kent’s top spa retreats and indulge in some much needed R&R with your nearest and dearest?
Brandshatch Place in Fawkham offers the ideal haven for hen parties looking for a relaxing, fun-filled weekend. Escape with your hens to this elegant Georgian mansion in the heart of the Kent countryside and rejuvenate your mind body and soul at their lavish spa. Luxurious treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and sauna are just some of the peaceful facilities you will enjoy at Brandshatch. With every effort focused on ensuring a blissful and relaxing break for you and your group, your only concern will be what treatment to have first!
From £85 per person, the Hen Party Spa Day includes full use of the spa, robes and slippers, a choice of one 25-minute treatment (from a selection), a shape and polish and to wash it all down, a cream tea and glass of champagne. Alternatively, upgrade to the luxury package from £115 per person, for an additional 30 minutes on your treatment selection. As it is your special day, the hen goes free with any party of five or more, as well as receiving a spa gift. Making a weekend of it? The Take Time Out Spa Break is the perfect choice for an overnight stay in one of the beautifully furnished bedrooms. Prices start from £137.50 per person.
Alternatively, Rowhill Grange in Dartford is another of Kent’s hidden gems, having received public acclaim for its onsite facilities. Perched on a hill overlooking 15 acres of private grounds, this 19th century converted summerhouse really is the ultimate getaway for those looking to acquire some well-deserved down time. Here, discover one of Kent’s best-kept secrets with your hens and visit the Utopia Spa with its neo-classical-style pool and sauna, complete with waterfall.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, celebrate in style with your party and book up the All Together Now Package, from £1,050 for six people. This will include welcoming cocktails, one night bed & breakfast, £30 towards dinner, full use of the spa, a back, neck and shoulder massage and a cleansing facial. To end your evening, enjoy a sleepover for six in the sumptuous décor of the boutique hotel.
To discover more of Kent’s superb spas for your hen weekend, visit www.spabreaks.com
What more apt way to celebrate a hen party than to share plenty of wine and champagne? If agreed, why not toast your impending wedding by doing exactly that with wine experts Grape Expectations. Catering to each individual hen party, Grape Expectations wine and champagne tasting events are designed with your fun and enjoyment in mind and fortunately, they recognise that this comes hand-in-hand with individual preference.
Break the ice and show off your competitive streak with option one: The Wine Quiz, starting off with a glass of fizz and introduction to wine tasting, before showcasing your newly discovered knowledge to win prizes for your team. With six wines to choose from and your pride at stake, this is bound to be no ordinary quiz.
Alternatively, opt for option two: The Classic Grape Varieties or Unusual Grape Varieties Package. Both offer an introduction to wine tasting, with the Classic for those of you who want to experience the distinctive key flavours from world-renowned grapes, and the Unusual ideal if you’re feeling more adventurous and want to veer away from the common choice with the lesser-known alternatives.
If neither of these take your fancy as you’re a champagne kinda girl then Grape Expectations Bubbly Package is the choice for you. Two hours of tasting different styles of sparkling wine and champagne is enough to get anyone in the hen spirit, not to mention the perfect option to toast the bride-to-be.
Each of these packages includes choice of wine, a glass of fizz on arrival, cheese and biscuits throughout and a bottle for the hen to take away at the end of the tasting. Fingers crossed, by the end of it, you will all be wine connoisseurs!
Tasting sessions can be held in your home or in a specifically hired venue.
Visit www.grapeexpectationstasting.co.uk for a party quote and to find out more
If the hen party can’t go to Africa, Africa shall come to the hen party! Confused? Don’t be. Livingston Lodge at Port Lymphe Wild Animal Park near Hythe is doing just that in what is the UK’s only overnight safari lodge catering for the hen night experience. Offering a unique party venue, you and your hens will experience two safari adventures, authentic African dining and more excitingly, a night under the stars in the site’s luxury tents.
On arrival, you are fittingly welcomed with a glass of champagne, before being whisked off to board the first of your safari adventures in a bid to spot the many wild animals that roam the 100 acres in this ‘Kentish savannah’. In the evening, dinner comprises of five authentic African courses in the ‘Laapa’, before a night of African dancing lessons and music from a traditional African performer.
Back at the luxury tents, your overnight stay will be one to remember with stunning views from the private veranda and a well-stocked bar for a nightcap…or three.
To find out prices or to book this exclusive experience, visit www.aspinallfoundation.org
Driving Adrenaline Junkies
If you are looking to do something a little more energetic than pulling some moves on the dance floor for your stag party, Altitude Events is the perfect call. Gather your group and head down to Headcorn, near Maidstone, to experience hundreds of acres of terrain, perfect for the blood-pumping activities on offer.
The ideal venue for any stag, there are plenty of options to choose from including Honda Pilots (off road desert buggies, a popular choice for the adrenalin junkie), quad bikes, Jeep trials, blindfold driving, archery and many more. With acres of meandering woodland testing many of these to the limits, in addition to the threat of penalty points, do not expect an easy ride, but do expect lots of fun!
There are three different packages available: Option one lasts approximately two and a half hours and includes any two activities from the list at £75 per person, whilst option two includes an additional hour and a choice of three activities for £95 per person. The most popular of all is option three at £130 per person and consists of a full day experience with four activities from the list, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
Whether you opt for a full day or just half, each option includes both practice and competitive sessions for all, as well as light refreshments; and most crucial of all, an engraved trophy for the winner! The full day will also include a bottle of champagne for a well-deserved toast.
For more activities and information visit www.altitudeevents.org
If you thought watersports were ruled out in the sunny plains of Kent, think again! No longer are such activities saved for your vacation, they are just as much a part of a ‘staycation’ with Action Watersports, a British Water-ski Federation Registered Ski School in the heart of Kent. This purpose-built freshwater lake in Lydd offers the perfect venue for stags wanting to make a splash.
No experience is required and all equipment is supplied as the lake’s qualified instructors take you through one-on-one dry land training, before letting you loose in the water to start with the tournament water-ski boat. In addition to water-skiing and wakeboarding, jet skis are available for fun and games around a slalom course before the finale: a towed ride on the friendly Dolphin boat.
If this all sounds like hungry work, snacks and drinks are available on site, as well as a gas BBQ on which you are able to cook home-brought food. Alternatively, enjoy fish and chips on the sun-deck, delivered straight from the world famous Pilot Pub. With prices starting from £27.50 per person, this thrill-seeking venue will provide all you need for a memorable party.
To find out more information and to see how Action Watersports can tailor the experience to your stag visit www.actionwatersports.co.uk
Whether you are after a few hours or an entire weekend of fun, Treejumpers can provide the complete stag package you’re after. Based in Paddock Wood, this outdoor bespoke course will supply the adrenaline-fuelled day, before its team help arrange your drink-fuelled night out…all in the aid of celebration, of course.
For an action-packed exploit to your taste, tailor your own package and choose aerial treks, zip wires and abseiling from £20 per person for two hours – or increase to £65 for half a day to include rafting and kayaking. Otherwise, subject your stag party to 24 hours in the Survival Challenge for £65 per person, in which you are required to build your own shelter and camp Bear Grylls-style. Alternatively, opt for the overnight adventure challenge which involves aerial, archery and air rifles and two meals at £85 per person.
Still not enough? Book the Adventure Mini Break for tented accommodation and participation across all activities. This will encompass an overnight stay, three meals and alcohol for your party all for £120 per person. For all previous options, an alcohol bolt on of £10 can be added to each individual if you wish.
If all of this is just a warm up, add a night on the town to any overnight stay and Treejumpers will arrange your transport and VIP club entry in nearby Maidstone, a town thriving with bars and clubs that does not shy away from a stag do or two.
To find out more visit www.treejumpers.com
by Gemma Dunn