Three Low-Key London Hen Do Ideas

23 May 2024

London hen do

Basically, for the last few months, a job interview and a hen do have been taking up most of my headspace. I don’t have much else to talk about. And I assume you’re not that bothered about hearing about my interview prep? 

My sister is getting married in the near future, and when she asked me to organise her hen do, the brief was essentially – one afternoon/evening, central London, low key, not too expensive. My final plan was: three activities in the afternoon and then dinner & drinks in the evening. 

We had a mix of people, and I am loathe to force people out of their comfort zones or push too much organised ‘fun’ because I have been there, done that and did not enjoy the t-shirt. (Just to give you an idea of how low my tolerance is, my blood runs cold when someone suggests we play a board game, much to the exasperation of some of my friends.) So, making sure my sister had the best time and appealing to everyone else as much as possible were my main priorities. Here’s what we got up to:

Afternoon Tea @ Brigit’s Bakery, Covent Garden 

I gotta say, I had medium expectations for Brigit’s Bakery and found myself happily surprised. My main reason for settling on this spot for afternoon tea was it was the only place I found that ticked all my criteria: central location, decent vegan options and a private space that did not cost a fortune (it actually didn’t cost anything extra in fact, we just had to pay a 50% deposit up front). I was a little worried it was going to be too touristy – one of their main attractions is that they do afternoon tea tours on London buses – but their main bakery only really hints at this. Our private space was tucked away downstairs, simple but cosy, and allowed us to have our own area so I could decorate the table with funny photos of my sister (she did not thank me for this) and play a couple of bridal-themed quizzes (I was not expecting the levels of competitiveness that emerged!) without disturbing anyone else. 

Also, I was pretty impressed with the food itself. I have had a lot of overpriced and disappointing afternoon teas in recent years; the amount of places that serve you two dry sandwiches, two boring cakes and then, weirdly, about five scones and then charge you half your monthly wage for the privilege…  but anyway, that’s a rant for another day. The point is, this wasn’t like that at all. It was tasty and interesting and actually had some variety. I liked that there was more savoury options than the usual cucumber sandwich, including a salmon pretzel roll, mini quiche and a feta & red pepper muffin. Sweets included a Biscoff choux, chocolate & pistachio tart and lemon sable. Also, the scone came out as a separate course and was the perfect little size after eating all the above. It was just all really good. 

London hen do

London hen do

London hen do

London hen do

London hen do

Candle Making Workshop @ Yougi, Shoreditch 

This was just too cute, and I would highly recommend as an easy crafty group activity that can appeal to anyone, even if they are not a crafty person. Obviously, my main motivation behind this was because my sister really likes candles, but I also felt it would be a relatively easy win because I predicted most people in the group would probably be more than happy to go home with a new candle. The space was very zen; it smelt amazing, the host was friendly and informative and we were all served little cups of peppermint tea on arrival. 

It turns out making candles is surprisingly easy? It was fun smelling all the aromatherapy oils and seeing the difference in everyone’s sense of smell. We each got to mix the wax with our chosen oils and pour our own candles, and then take them home with us. It was a cute and relaxing activity and worked for everyone – even if it wasn’t someone’s natural first choice, everyone could take part easily. 

Electric Shuffleboard @ London Bridge 

So I had never done electric shuffleboard before and, quite frankly, couldn’t really tell you what it involved even as I booked it but my sister had mentioned really enjoying it in the past and it looked like a game that everyone could enjoy without it being high pressured. I was right; even I can get on board with electric shuffleboard. It’s low-key, you can play it whilst still holding a glass of prosecco and discussing Baby Reindeer, and it easily gets people bonding and having a laugh. I would definitely go back. 

Our evening was dinner, drinks at a rooftop bar, a game of bride or groom (including masks of their faces which sufficiently freaked my sister out) and then I left where they went onto next up to the more youthful members of the party because I was happily tucked up in my Premier Inn hotel room by 11pm obvs. Oh how times have changed (hangovers with a toddler are just not worth it and every parent knows it).