A long time ago, when my sister and I were first talking about hen parties, I specifically said that I didn’t want “just a night out on the town” (I can do that whenever, and honestly, clubbing in my home town is rubbish – I miss my uni town for that), and that there were to be no giant inflatable penises, or penis straws, or L plates, or general hen party tat (no offence to those who have thoroughly enjoyed hen parties like that, but it’s just not for me).
Yesterday marked three weeks to my wedding, and therefore, my hen party (or my bachelorette party to any Americans out there). I knew a couple of very small details in the run up – that it was going to take place on or past Haldon Hill, and that there were cocktails at some point. I had been told to bring gloves, wear boots with an ankle support, and dress as if we were going to Dartmoor.
At 9:30am, my sister appeared with her two best friends, picking up me and N. When we were in the car and belted up, I was provided with a clue. I’m not very good at clues – I’m a better logic thinker than an abstract thinker.
We turned off up Haldon Hill, and my immediate thought was that we were going to Go Ape!, which is effectively an aerial assault course. I’ve done it before and loved it, but thought it was probably a bit chilly at this time of year. Well, it turns out it wasn’t that anyway. As we waited for the rest of the party to arrive, we all togged up and then when everyone else came, we headed over to Segway!! It was AMAZING!! Segways move depending on your weight distribution – lean forward to go forward, lean back to stop and/or move backwards, and stand still to stand still. Do you know how hard it is to actually stand perfectly straight AND still? It’s quite hard to start off with. I found the initial training quite hard, and definitely settled more into it when we went around the forest.
Time flew by when we were on these and before I knew it, we were heading back to base to grab some lunch. Lunch was a picnic on the murky peak of Haldon Hill, but the weather did nothing to dampen our spirits.
From there, it was off on a treasure hunt around Exeter. In teams of three we set off, each starting at different points around the course. N, H, and I are all surprisingly competitive, so took it very seriously and started powering our way around the city looking for the clues, determined to get the answers right and be the first back to base.
With a handful of questions to go, we spotted my sister and her two friends in the distance. We made some fairly shoddy attempts at hiding from them, but they eventually spotted us and it turned into a race of two teams.
Sadly, we weren’t the first team back – my sister’s team did actually beat us home. However, once the team of my friends appeared and the marking of the answer booklets was done, it turned out that we had won! Our prize? Truffles. They were gorgeous!
From Exeter, it was a mad dash home to get ready for the next part. At this point, I still didn’t know what we were doing, but I was told we needed to wear nice clothes, so I changed into my jeans, a blue top and my wedding shoes (they need breaking in!). It was quite a rush getting ready, but we managed it. H knew where to take me, so off we toddled. We met the majority of the party outside Spoken, a cafe bar. It was time to make cocktails! We had a long table, lined up with Collins and Martini glasses, with spirits, mixers and other ingredients at one end.
George, the manager at Spoken, went on to show us how to make a Cosmopolitan, a Tom Collins and a Vanilla Alexander. We made one, drank it, and then got shown the next. I will admit that the cocktails were strong with a capital S, and it became a challenge to remember what went into the cocktails, especially the last one – the Vanilla Alexander.
At this point, it was getting increasingly important to get some food to soak up some of the cocktails. We were a little late appearing at the Mexican, but they were very good with us despite our lateness. The food was plentiful and delicious (even through my drunken fug). and I left feeling a bit more sober than when I arrived, despite my friend topping up my Malibu and lemonade with white wine…
My sister organised the whole thing, and I am so grateful to her. She did such a good job – there was something for everyone, but everything for me and it was the best day I have had in such a long time. I feel very touch to have such good friends and family, and I feel honoured to have a sister like P. She rocks. Thank you P 🙂