Friday 10 January 2014

6 Drinking Games you can play anywhere.

I firmly believe that you could have an excellent hen do just sitting in a room with your nearest and dearest. I’ve been at hens before when I’ve actually been kind of sad to go out, because I’m having such a good time staying in. If this is the kind of thing you’re after – or maybe you’re just planning one night in, one night out – here is a list of my favourite things to do when staying in – drinking games! Although many of them work for going out, too...

The Tap Game

The Name Game
You've probably played this before - the first person says the name of a celebrity or fictional character such as 'George Clooney' and then the next person says a name that starts with the first letter of the surname - so, C. The game continues in this way - George Clooney, Charlie Brooker, Brian Molko - until someone says an alliterative name that starts with the same letter such as Marilyn Monroe. Then the game changes direction, going back to the person who just spoke. The drinking element - you drink while you think.

The Tap Game
Everyone sits around a table, with their arms overlapping and palms flat on the table. So if your palm is flat on the table, the person on your left would place their arm over or under yours, with their palm on the right of your hand. You basically just take turns to tap on the table - so you tap, then the hand next to yours taps, etc. It's confusing due to the overlapping - you forget whose hand is whose! If you double tap, the direction reverses, which also gets confusing. When it inevitably goes wrong, the people who mess up have to drink.

The Thumb Game
Every so often, someone - anyone in your group - places their thumb quietly on the table and waits for someone to notice. When they do, they put their thumb on the table, and everyone else gradually follows suit. The last person to notice has to drink. It's simple, but a great one to play when you're out and about.

Monkey / Dead Ants
These two games are similar, so I'm lumping them together. When someone shouts 'Monkey' you have to get your feet off the floor. This can mean jumping onto a lamppost or even sitting down and lifting your feet up. Dead Ants is super similar, but you're supposed to lie flat on your back with your feet and arms in the air. If you don't do it, you have to drink but more often than not, everyone ends up on the floor. Not great when you're wearing a skirt. But quite funny.

Apple Roulette
I learnt this in America and it's not for everyone as it, um, involves thumping yourself on the head with an apple. Basically you pass an apple around the table and bang it against your forehead. With each thwack, the apple will start to soften, and eventually it will crack when it hits someone's head. That person is the winner! And either has to drink, or has to make everyone else drink. Downside - kinda gives you a headache.

1, 2, 3... Shot!
This is a fun one to play in a bar. Order a few shots, and place in the middle of the table. Everyone counts to three and then all point at the person of their choice. The person who has the most fingers pointing at them has to do the shot. The only problem with playing this at a hen do is that the bride would probably get chosen every time...

Apple Roulette

Sunday 5 January 2014

Review: Stag & Hen Tshirts

My best friend Sha got married in October and to celebrate, well, OBVIOUSLY there were hen dos. Yep, multiple - one in France and one in London. More on those soon, obviously. They were amazing. Anyway, about the time we were organising the hen dos, Stag & Hen tshirts got in touch with me and asked if I wanted to review their product.

Now, I think tshirts are great on some hen dos - when everyone is going out for the evening in a big group, it's really fun. I do find sometimes though that compulsory costumes can make some people a little uncomfortable - I still remember being at uni and hating our house tshirts because I wasn't a size 8 and they really only looked good on girls with perfectly flat tummies. So for Sha's hen, we didn't want to make people feel like that. Also, the South of France isn't really a 'Girls on Tour' kind of place.

We had amazing accommodation (hot tub!) so we created more of a sleepover vibe with yummy dinners and lots (and lots and lots) of wine. So, knowing we'd spend 90% of the time in our pyjamas, we went more oversized with the tshirts. It was a great call - most of the girls wore them as pyjama tops, and most of us still are wearing them as pyjama tops. You can't knock a comfy tshirt, and these are super cosy and soft.

Stag & Hen tshirts offer a design service, but as we had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted, we sent them a design which they artworked up and got to us super quickly.

The bride-to-be LOVED them - she was so impressed that we had tshirts! In fact, a spare one had to be delivered to her husband-to-be too because he liked them so much. And who can be surprised? It IS a great message. Wine and cheese definitely equals happiness.

Friday 6 December 2013

What's your perfect hen party?

The thing that I've learned about hen parties is that not everyone wants the same thing. The two hens I went to this year were polar opposites, but they were both brilliant in their own way. I'm an organising fan, so I usually get somewhat involved, and many a time have I lectured the bride-to-be on not worrying what anyone else wants to do. The truth is that you can't please everyone, so you might as well focus on pleasing the person you are there for. Everyone's there because they love that person, so chances are they'll all have an awesome time anyway. I've never been to a bad hen, so. POINT PROVED.

It's interesting to see what other women would like though at a hen party, and that's my point! Spabreaks sent me some research on hen parties from a survey they did recently, and here are some of the highlights:

What's your preferred type of Hen party?
Relaxing e.g. a weekend spa break - 52.4%
Mixture e.g. a bit of everything - 35.6%
Wild e.g. a wild weekend in Magaluf - 9.2%
Activities e.g. white water rafting or absailing - 2.8%

I am so down with this research. White water rafting sounds both hellish and expensive. If a bride-to-be wanted to do this I would probably try and talk her out of it, totally contradicting my earlier commentary. But, yay! Relaxing things like spa breaks came out on top! Hooray.

When on a hen party, do you live by the rule 'What happens on a hen party stays on the hen party'?
Yes - 70.4%
No - 29.6%

I am now wondering what kind of things the average hen gets up to! That said, I have some hen do photos (and videos) that are NEVER allowed to go public on Facebook. But on other hen dos, the only gossip is about how much we ate.

How much would you pay to go on a Hen Party?
£0 to £50 - 37.2%
£51 to £99 - 31.6%
£100 to £150 - 20.8%
Over £150 - 10.4%

Hen dos can get really expensive, and I've been to more than one where the accommodation alone was £100 each. But that's because it is actually fairly pricey to go away for the weekend and most hen dos are full-weekend deals these days. I think you have to be considerate of people's budgets, and give them the option to choose how long they come for, but to me the point of a hen do is for the bride's best girls to get to know each other before the wedding, or to come back together when they all live apart, so having as long as possible is the best thing. Although, sadly, that puts me in the 10% that would expect a hen to cost over £150. BUT IT'LL BE WORTH IT.

Where would you prefer to have a hen party?
City - 49.6%
Countryside - 32.4%
Overseas - 18.0%

I guess most girls want the night out part, hence the majority choosing city breaks. I always have a great time on that part, but my faovurite bit is always when we're sitting around gossiping. So I think I'd choose countryside, because I just want to hide away with my friends and talk for hours and drink wine and maybe dance around the living room to Britney Spears at 3am. Although we did that overseas back in September, and we had the added bonus of sunshine, a pool and a hot tub. I think South of France might win out every time, tbh.

What do you think? Do you have a dream hen party - whether yours or someone elses? Or is there something amazing you've already done that's impossible to top?

Written in collaboration

Friday 15 November 2013

A Hen's Perspective: Sausage Making

When I started Happy Hen Do, I was keen to make it a collaborative blog with lots of experiences from other hens and brides. As much as I have a lot of hen do experience, it's going to run out sooner or later! First stepping up to the plate is the lovely Becks from Just Me. You can also find her on Twitter at @shippers1983.


I am 30. This can mean many things to many people but for the purposes of this blog it means only this - I have been to more than my fair share of hen dos. I have been to hen dos that were just a night out in town. I have been to hen dos away. I've been to hen dos with lots of people and hen dos with just a few. I've drunk out of those horrible willy straws, I've visited most major cities in the UK and I've even been to one hen do for a marriage which lasted about as long as Kim Kardashian's did. (And no I'm not exaggerating. And yes I did think about submitting an invoice to the 'happy' couple for all the costs associated with said hen do).

There's not a lot that can surprise me when it comes to hen dos. Until August 2013 and a visit to Bath for my cousin's hen do. Along with the standard willy straws, game of Mr & Mrs and horrifyingly accurate vagina and willy cake - the hens threw the greatest curve ball of all time.

Clad in home-made/eBay bought lederhosen costumes we all piled out of our townhouse in Bath, into a minibus and set off to Lowden Garden Centre. One of my all time favourite moments of the trip was seeing my cousin's face gradually change from happiness to concern to genuine confusion as we pulled into a garden centre car park, got out of the minibus, dodged around the people buying their perennials, and made our way towards the Farm Shop. Once assembled inside our activity was revealed to the bride...

We would be sausage-making.

All stood around a table with buckets in front of us, we were introduced to the star of the show - Jon the butcher - who was to be our teacher for the evening.

And when I say we were sausage-making, I mean we were sausage-making. We were no part-timers. We were given our huge chunks of meat which we had to put through the mincer. We were given our packets and mix and instructed to get kneading and mixing. What started out as feeling a little bit gross soon became quite therapeutic and by the time the sausagemeat was mixed people were already practicing their moulding skills with their meat. I'll leave it up to your imagination - actually I won't. Penises. People made penises out of their meat. At this point I should probably tell you that most of this group are in their late-20s - early-30s and were mostly Doctors. A hen do is a hen do people, it all comes down to willies at the end of it.

After mixing the meat came the truly fun part. Putting said meat into the casing. This part of the sausage-making probably caused the biggest laugh for reasons that probably don't need explaining. I don't think anybody managed to get their sausages stuffed without breaking the casing at least once, even those of us who held back and tried to learn from other people's mistakes - let me tell you, that meat comes out fast and unexpectedly.

Whilst this was going on we were treated to a much needed buffet which went part of the way to soaking up some of the alcohol that we had in our system and we were muchly entertained by Bella the dog, who sniffed in and around our feet whilst we careered all over the farm shop.

The final stage was linking all our sausages. By this point we were beyond the point of giddy and probably beyond the point of a lot of things, thank to the steady amounts of alcohol that had been imbibed. Jon gave us a demonstration, we watched intently, got him to show us again, yelled "GOT IT! EASY!", went back to our table and prompting started twisting and turning our sausages with gay abandon and absolutely no rhyme nor reason. I tried my absolute hardest to do what Jon had told me, yelling out random instructions as I went along, "One, twist, two, twist, through the hole, pinch, twist", but it became apparent quite early on that I either hadn't quite understood the instructions or I had got them mixed up with the hip hop dance lesson we'd had earlier in the day and I was actually trying to make my sausages dance to MC Hammer, rather than turn into beautiful links. Jon came to my rescue as well as he could but I quite enjoyed freestyling and resulted in them most definitely looking "home-made".

Let me take a moment to try and explain to you what a truly amazing person Jon was - he had the unenviable task of trying to teach 14, over excitable women, dressed in lederhosen, drinking champagne/beer/cider/whatever we could get our hands on, how to make sausages. Just think about that for a moment. He took every innuendo we threw at him and never tired. He didn't lose his temper and didn't seem to tire of us, and most importantly he made sure that no-one lost any fingers. He had to cope with all of us shouting his name out at some point as we minced, mixed, stuffed and attempted to link our sausages together and he gave all of us his attention and made us feel loved. There aren't many people who could do all of that and keep a smile on their face.

We had an outrageous amount of meat to handle. Once linked together it was actually hard work to lift them all up. It was meat overload.

It was at that point that we realised that we hadn't factored in one rather important fact.

How we were getting the sausages home and where we were going to be storing them. After much pushing and shoving, we got what felt like 75 boxes of sausages loaded into the minibus around our feet and after taking out the shelves in the very tiny fridge in our rented town-house we managed to squish all the sausages in somewhere. Ever seen what a fridge full of sausages looks like? It looks pretty gross.

But oh how happy we were to have a fridge full of sausages when we woke up the next morning, feeling fuzzy headed and in need of something to line our stomachs. We had beautiful sausage butties that set me right up for my train journey back to the Midlands. As I said "They taste like real sausages!" Sadly my sausage mountain couldn't come home with me. I did contemplate taking them back home with me, but one look at the incredibly over-crowded train I had to get on at Bath station made me glad I decided to leave them behind. Just imagine how popular I would have been with my festering sack of meat on the East Coast Mainline. But never fear, they didn't go to waste - all the sausages were taken back to the bride's mother's house where they were popped in the freezer to be had at a BBQ for all the wedding guests on the afternoon after the wedding. Everyone's a winner!

It was absolutely, hand on heart, the most fun that I've ever had on a hen do. Alison, the lovely lady behind Lowden Garden Centre could not do enough for us - it's a brave person that willingly takes on a hen party and lets them come in to what is basically their livelihood. They made sure we were fed and watered and didn't blink an eye at anything we said or any nonsense that we pulled.

Should you be interested in adding sausage-making to your activity list for your hen do (and after reading this, why would you not want to?!) then please e-mail Alison Sinclair at or call 01225 702 345. It cost £40PP and there were 14 of us, but presumably the price is dependent on the number of people attending.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Classy & Non-Traditional Hen Party Merchandise

I've already bought you the best of the internet's tacky hen do merchandise. At their core, hen dos are pretty tacky things, but they don't HAVE to be. There's actually lots of appropriate but adorable merchandise out there, suitable for even the coyest of hens.

Crown & Glory
Sophie's awesome shop has a wealth of beautiful hair accessories, specialising in flowers and butterflies. But it's Sophie's collaboration with Rock 'n' Roll Bride's Kat that is hen do heaven - we dressed my best friend in the Liberace Bunny Ears for her hen do and she then wore them at her wedding. And I'm thinking of stealing them. SO SPARKLY.

John Lewis
Let's face it, could you really imagine good old JL's selling anything from this post? Nope. How about this cute rosette and sash?

You can still go cliche without going tacky, you know. This little veil is so cute!

Oh So Cherished
This website has several cute hen accessories. I love the badges and the sparkly invites!

If you want to go against cliche, Etsy is always a good bet. There's so much pretty, un-tacky things, perfect for a classy hen!

I don't know if this bunting is CLASSY, but it is amazing.

Friday 18 October 2013

Interview: The Cheek of it School of Burlesque and Cabaret.

Photo: Tigz Rice Studios | FB

The thing that I love about hen dos is just how varied they are. I've already heard so many interesting stories about different activities to do, some of which I would never have thought of (sausage making is the weirdest so far!). I've been hearing lots about burlesque parties lately - it's something of a growing trend, but I also think there are a lot of misconceptions about it too.

So when The Cheek Of It offered me the chance to find out a little bit more about their Burlesque School, I was super excited to do a little interview and share it with you guys. So over to Felicity Furore...

1. Hello! So could you tell us a little bit about The Cheek of It?
The Cheek of It! School of Burlesque and Cabaret is based on three words; empowerment, inspiration and fun! We think everybody should have a bit of glitter in their knickers! We were founded in 2007 by Zoe Charles, or Lady Cheek if you catch her onstage, with the aim to make the world a little bit cheekier!

2. What kind of classes and courses do you offer?
We run Showtime beginners and Spotlight advanced burlesque courses throughout the year, with a big graduation show at the end – and our Cheekettes just keep getting better and better! Every Wednesday we have a mid-week wiggle at Pineapple Dance studios in London, and we're always sending out our hen party teachers to glamorous locations!

3.Are they suitable for people who’ve dabbled in burlesque before or squarely aimed at beginners?
They're suitable for anyone. I'd happily join in one of the parties even now. It's all about letting go, having fun with friends and feeling awesome, no matter how much experience you have.

4.I know people will be wondering... do they have to take their clothes off?
Not unless they really insist! We do have a striptease portion of the party, but this is generally limited to either scarves or gloves. I have a stash of lovely long black silky gloves that make you feel sultry and seductive the moment you put them on, let alone begin to take them off! I like to focus on creativity, learning about all the ways you can take the item off while thinking about your character. Sexy, cheeky or cheesecake pin up, a mere glove peel can speak volumes!

5.Do you find people are nervous about doing burlesque classes or does it vary?
It varies a lot! People can have very different perceptions of burlesque, and it can take a moment to get across the notion that it's not all about being overly sexy and getting your tassels out! We have a few warm up tasks that tend to help people relax, let their guard down and just have fun! But of course, there are some who are raring to get going before you can even say 'shimmy'!

6.Can you give us any information about how much your classes cost?
There's a few different options with regard to cost, depending on whether you'd like to have the party in your own home or if you'd like us to find you a venue. Parties are very competitively priced, especially when you consider we cater for groups up to 25 people! Parties are from £250 for a two hour workshop including a cheeky gift for the bride-to-be.

7.Is there anyone you wouldn’t recommend your classes to?
Not at all, I believe that everyone can use a little extra shimmy and sparkle in their life!

8.What do you think people take away from your burlesque school?
I am a great believer in the power of burlesque to inspire and empower. Having been with the Cheek of It from the very start, I know from personal experience what an amazing effect it can have. I even remember my first class with Lady Cheek, and how my confidence grew right from my very first shimmy! If people go away from a class with a warm glow, a cheeky grin, and an extra slither of confidence, our work is done.

9.Do people need to bring anything to burlesque classes?
It's good to wear something you feel fabulous in. I also find that bringing a pair of heels or other fabulous shoes really does help bring out that all important showgirl strut!

10.How did you/your colleagues get into burlesque?
I began burlesque after graduating and moving back home. I went to an arts university and missed being around creative and theatrical people. Alongside that and my addiction to both glitter and beautiful lingerie, it seemed to be the obvious path to follow! After a few classes, I got completely hooked and here I am, glad to report that my since the start burley journey, I have met many wonderful, inspiring, creative people, not to mention expanded my collection of sparkly underwear!

Questions? Comments? Check out The Cheek of It on Facebook and Twitter or you can Facebook or tweet Felicity.

Monday 14 October 2013

20 Perfect Mr & Mrs Questions

Even the super classy hen dos that I’ve been to have had a Mr & Mrs game. For those scratching their heads, Mr & Mrs entails asking the groom a list of questions about the bride beforehand. The bride then has to predict his answers. It's up to you whether the groom answers the questions about the bride, about himself, or both. At the last hen do I organised, we went both which was hilarious. Especially question 8.

It’s an essential part of any hen do, really, and the best part is that it can be completely tailored to suit the bride. It can be risqué or sensible, high or low tech. I’ve been at hens where the groom’s answers have been played on a DVD, and others where it’s just on a piece of paper. It can involve alcohol (e.g. the bride doing a shot every time a question is answered incorrectly, the hens doing one when it’s answered correctly) or it can be more laid back. It's always totally awesome, though.

Here are my top 20 questions for Mr & Mrs...

1. If your partner were a superhero, who would they partner be?

2. If your partner could be a wild animal, what would your partner be?

3. What would your partner grab in a fire?

4. Marmite. Does your partner love or hate it?

5. Would you partner prefer to wade through cold custard or shower in cold baked beans?

6. If your partner could be anyone famous, who would it be?

7. If your partner could have any superpower what would it be & why?

8. What does your partner think your partner bra size is ?

9. Who is more likely to deal with a spider?

10. Who will be the partner most hungover after the wedding?

11. What is your partner’s best joke or impression?

12. Which celebrity does your partner have a crush on?

13. If your partner were a music festival, which one would they be?

14. If your partner were a manufactured pop act, who would they be?

15. If your partner were a Star Wars character, who would they be?

16. Who does most of the cleaning?

17. What would be your partner's dream date?

18. What colour are your partner's eyes?

19. What's your partner's shoe size?

20. What did you do on your first date?

If you've got any more awesome questions, please share in the comments!

Sunday 29 September 2013

13 Gloriously Tacky Bits of Hen Do Merchandise

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Fittingly though, it's because I've been ensconsed in hen do organisation and wedding cake making! For a single girl, weddings sure do form a large part of my life. It's cool though, because I bloomin' love them.

The last hen do gave me serious inspiration, so there will be a bounty of posts coming soon. For now I wanted to share my pick of the best hen do accessories. There are lots of different types of hen dos out there - there's the tacky, old fashioned hen, there's the classy hen, there's the crazy themed hen and the hen that doesn't even seem like a hen. I've been on most of those kinds but I have to say that I find the tackiness creeps in. Even if you're not the type of girls who want to prowl the streets in matching outfits with willy shaped accessories, a little bit of cheesiness never seems to go amiss. So even if you're only looking for a little bit of tack, some of these might help...

Don't forget though, if you've got some pound shops near you, trawl them first. Poundland has pink sparkly cowboy hats, the 99p store has 4 tiaras for a pound. Their stock is changing all the time - they are my top tip for hen do purchasing!

Finally, if this whole post made you cringe, don't worry. I'll be doing a post on the best non-tacky hen accessories at some point, too!

Friday 13 September 2013

14 Easy Cocktails

I personally think that cocktails are an essential part of any hen do. Or any day of the week, really. Cocktails – basically essential for getting me through life. Now, obviously the best way to have cocktails is for some handsome man (or lady) to spend ages mixing and muddling and shaking and serving it on a little square napkin but that’s not always possible. So for when you are just hanging out – say, AT A HEN DO – here are some of my favourite cocktail recipes that you can make at home.

All of these are cocktails that you literally just pour, stir and drink. No fuss, no muss. Great in jugs, too!

Woo Woo
The last hen I went to, the bride drank this in copious amounts. As I haven’t been able to go near Archers since I was a teenager, I can’t really vouch for this recipe. But if you like that peachy devil drink, you’ll probably like this.
  • 1 shot Peach Schnapps e.g. Archers
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • Cranberry Juice, to taste.

Ferrari Jack
I think of this as kind of a blokey cocktail. But I’m a very girlie girl, and this is one of my favourites, so I don’t know what I’m talking about. Probably that it’s a cocktail that boys will like, as well as girls.
  • 1 shot Amaretto
  • 1 shot Jack Daniels
  • Coke, to taste.

Amaretto & Cranberry
Technically this isn’t a cocktail, as cocktails have to have 3 ingredients to qualify. It is super yummy, though. Try it!
  • 1 shot Amaretto
  • Cranberry Juice, to taste.

White Russian
I love creamy booze but I also don't recommend mixing it with other types of booze. That way sickness lies.
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • 1 shot Kahlua
  • Milk or cream, to serve

Black Russian
Way more up my street than White Russians and easier to make! Exactly the same as above, but instead of milk/cream, use coke.

An awesome way to utilise cheap red wine. And it's got fruit in it, so it's healthy!
  • 3 parts red wine
  • 2 parts orange juice
  • 1 part lemonade
  • Fresh fruit slices to serve

Fruit! Healthy! Not just for summer, either - try Winter Pimms with hot apple juice and a dash of rum, or instead of mixing with lemonade, mix with Prosecco. Classy and boozy.
  • 1 part Pimms
  • 3 parts lemonade
  • Fresh fruit slices to serve

Sea Breeze
A classic drink - again, not my favourite (I hate grapefruit!) but it's super easy and popular.
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • 1 shot Grapefruit
  • Cranberry Juice, to taste

Tequila Sunrise
Grenadine makes drinks look fancy, but is really inexpensive. Even though this has tequila in it (source of many a terrible hangover), this is quite a refreshing fruity drink. Well. Depending on how much tequila you use.
  • 2 shots tequila
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Orange Juice, to taste

Sex on the Beach
Oh, this takes me back to Lloret de Mar, 2001. Archers. Never again.
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • 1 shot Archers
  • Equal parts Orange and Cranberry Juice, to serve

Kir Royale
Champagne cocktails seem posh, but can be pretty reasonably priced - let's face it, we really mean Cava or Prosecco when we say champagne, don't we?
  • 1 shot Cassis
  • Champagne, to taste

Gin Buck
Mmmmm, gin. Ginger ale is super warming - good for a winter hen!
  • 2 shots gin
  • Ginger Ale, to taste

Jäger bombs
I hear this drink is popular with the kids. I haven't tried it - I KNOW. But I don't like Jager or Red Bull, I feel I am not its target audience.
  • 1 shot Jagermeister
  • Red Bull, to taste

So, you've got a random collection of booze... and juice. Throw it together, call it punch. WIN.

Why not ask all your hens to bring a different spirit and mixer so you don’t get any doubles? Then hold your own cocktail event. You can even take it in turns making up jugs of cocktails and passing them around – an excellent way to spend an evening, don’t you think?

Friday 6 September 2013

Location Spotlight: A Brighton Hen Do

Welcome to the first in my Location Spotlight series. There are tons of places all over the UK (and the rest of the world) that are perfect for hen dos, and so the aim of this monthly feature is to give you some tips on holding hens all over the shop based on my own experience and that of my friends.

First up is Brighton. I went to a hen do there a couple of weeks ago, which is actually what inspired me to start this blog! Brighton is MADE for hen dos. You can't move for pink cowboy hats. For real. We ran into several when we were out and about - including a group in awesomely hideous 80s bridesmaid dresses. LOVE that idea!

I think Brighton is so popular because it's a very liberal city. It's also very easy to get to - around an hour on the train from London (and Gatwick is on the same line). The only downside is that it's pricey - London prices for drinks and reasonably priced hotels/apartments are hard to find. It's doable though - and because it's such a vibrant place, you don't necessarily need to spend as much on activities as there is tons to do.

Where to stay
Brighton is very popular and so accommodation books up fast. In the summer you're looking at a 2 night minimum stay pretty much everywhere and even the shabby B&Bs are £100 a night. Book in advance, if you can! Here are some options, though...

Self catering: We stayed here - it sleeps 10 and was just off the main high street. It was perfect, I highly recommend. From £60 a weekend, based on 10 sharing.
Another friend is staying here which looks awesome. From £70 a weekend, based on 17 sharing.

Hotels: The Hilton is lovely (amazing breakfast!) and right on the seafront. From £94 a night.
On a smaller budget, Travelodge is just off the seafront and is from only £23 a night (depending when you book) and the Premier Travel Inn is from £53 a night.

Where to eat
There are tons of restaurants in Brighton, but these are some of my favourites:
Smokey's - BBQ is having a moment, but who can complain when it's this good? Huge portions, hen friendly!
Foodilic - An awesome buffet of tasty salady bits - amazing if you need some goodness after boozy badness.
Lucky Beach - mindblowing pulled pork, incredible burgers
JB's Diner - amazing diner food and boozy milkshakes
Fish & Chips on the beach - you can't not, can you?

What to do
Head to the pier for old fashioned seaside fun. There's a huge arcade on the pier and loads of rides. Or just go for a paddle, if the weather is good.

Pole dancing classes are super popular for hens now. I did it once - in Brighton - and was shockingly bad at it. No upper body strength, you see. You can do it at Bar 76 (more on that below) or book through here. But do a google - there are loads of places that offer it. It's a lot of fun, even if you're rubbish like me.

Bar 76 is a bar that seems to be designed for hen dos. They do activities such as dance classes, cocktail making and themed movie nights. We did the Coyote Ugly dance class, which is a 2 hour lesson in the day, then VIP treatment back at the bar in the evening before performing the dance ON THE BAR in front of everyone. One for the more confident of hens, but even the shyer ones amongst us loved it.

Cabaret & Strippers - A friend of mine is going to a hen do at Adonis Cabaret soon. If you want to go full on tacky and traditional, this looks PERFECT. Strippers are way more acceptable since Magic Mike, right?

Shop - Brighton is AMAZING for shopping. The Lanes are full of awesome independent shops, but if you venture towards Churchill Square you'll also find high street heaven. I don't think I've ever left Brighton without a new dress.

Best bars
Riki Tik - Reggae and cocktails
Bar 76 - Hen do heaven
The Black Dove - Great decor and yet more awesome cocktails
The Bee’s Mouth - Amazing live music
Twisted Lemon - Cheap & cheerful
Oceana - It's not big, it's not clever. But it does have a light up dancefloor!

If you have any questions about Brighton or any more suggestions, let me know in the comments!