a city bride’s escape to the country

You’d be forgiven for thinking that we brides at notonthehighstreet.com like to do as much as possible at the same time as each other: my hen do was also last weekend, the same as Cora’s.

The proceedings started with a message on Thursday telling me to arrive at Balham station for 7pm that evening. No more detail than that. After a few incessant texts to my sister I had deduced that it didn’t matter what clothes I turned up in, as suitable attire would be provided. Super.

This is going to be a very long post if I include all the little details so I’ll just say that I turned up, was rushed to a pub to use their loo, was handed items including a very perculiar looking pair of trousers and immerged as something that might possibly be described as Princess Jasmine (Aladdin’s girlfriend – remember my declaration of my love for Disney a while back?)

After that I was rushed to the next venue, up the stairs to a room at the back and pushed through a curtain to the cheers of SURPRISE from all my merry hens dressed (in varying degrees) as characters from Aladdin. Prizes go to the magic carpet, the Rajar the tiger and Abu the monkey!

We then had a delicious meal, followed by a montage of photos of yours truly through the years. Was hilarious and tear jerking in equal measures.

After that it was up to the cinema for our very own private viewing of, of course, Aladdin – complete with sing along sheets!

Friday morning came and I received instructions to pack a bag for two nights – we were on the road to an unknown destination! Or at least until my Mum, sitting in the front, with youngest sister Amy driving, completely innocently, wondered out loud how long it might take to drive to Bristol? So now I knew that, they decided to let me know a little more detail; we were on our way to a beautiful cottage somewhere in the countryside between Bristol and Bath.

When we arrived, little country cottage it was not – it was huge! We were the first car to arrive and I ran from room to room squealing and generally getting over-excited – the conservatory! The bunk beds!

As everyone started arriving, we poured the champagne and decorated with homemade bunting and balloons. Someone also sneakily put pictures of me all over the cottage, even on loo seats!

From there began one of the best weekends of my life – it’s not often you get all your favourite girls – all 19 of them – in one place for a whole 48 hours. I asked my lovely sister Hazel, who organised my hen from where she lives in Australia (amazing that she is) to send me the itinerary so that I could let you know all the details in the most succinct way possible. Here it is:


Arrive at cottage

Deluxe Buffet – delivered to our cottage with bucket loads of wine. Big dinner once everyone arrived.

£5 present guessing game – I had to guess who bought me what, with a penalty vodka shot if I got it wrong (actually I was quite good at this so got away quite lightly!)

Taboo, films, popcorn and wine. (We also watched the montage again, for those who missed it on Thursday!)


Big Breakfast

Pampering – two lovely professionals came to our cottage and set up a salon in the conservatory and provided either a manicure, pedicure or facial to each of us, was heavenly!

Lunch and Pimms in the garden (the sun came out literally just in time for us!)

Everyone get ready for a night out in Bristol, strict deadline to be ready and on the sofa with glass in hand by 7pm!


Pass the parcel – new rules: It doesn’t matter who it lands on, Louise always gets the truth or dare (think my mum learned a few things she didn’t know about me that evening!)

Mr and Mrs Quiz – unknown to me, questions had been sent to my fiancé, Ant, in advance and he had video-ed his answers! This was one of my favourite moments from the whole weekend – the rules were, if I got the answer wrong, I drink, if I get it right, everyone else drinks – Ant and I got so many of the questions right that everyone else was well on their way by the end – payback for pass the parcel!

Minibus pick up for a night out in Bristol!


Big Champagne Breakfast

Anecdotes about Lou – this was the weepiest moment of all, everyone had each, very sweetly, written a little note remembering specific times they had spent with me. It was the loveliest trip down memory lane, and a perfect end to the weekend, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!

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