My Hen Party - A Perfect Weekend Away in Kent

Everyone must say this countless times in the run up to their wedding day, I just can't believe how quickly the time has gone. Last June, whilst we were visiting Budapest for his birthday, Simon proposed to me. We had just arrived at our apartment and unpacked but Simon was acting a little strangely. He suggested that I go sit down on the sofa as he had something to give to me, I asked if it was chocolate, it wasn't chocolate. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.

Just over a year later I'm in a car driving to a mystery destination for my hen party weekend. I am constantly surprised by people. You think you know them and love them as much as you're able but then they do something that increases that love even more. I thought I had reached the limit of trust, appreciation and respect I had for these wonderful women but this trip proved me wrong. I want to say thank you to them for showing me what real sisterhood means, not only during this trip but for the entirety of our friendships.



In the car I had realised we were aiming for Kent but I had no idea where we were headed in particular, and then I'm asked to close my eyes for the last ten minutes of the journey. Angela is joking around saying things like "Is this the campsite?" and "it's not what I expected!". Naturally, I'm hoping for a nice country house but it's never a good idea to assume these things. We pull up in a driveway and the rest of the group come out to greet me and guide me, blindfolded, into wherever the heck we are. I can tell it's a nice country house at this point, they nailed it.

It turns out it's a very nice country house. I'm lead into a room and my blindfold is removed to reveal a master bedroom with the most beautiful walls I have ever seen. Paramour Grange was built during the 1400s when it started life as a hall house. My bedroom walls were painted in 1603 and feature incredible patterns, illustrations and religious quotes. My maids chose Paramour specifically because they know how much I adore Elizabethan history, they really couldn't have chosen a more beautiful place to stay. I took some photos of my favourite rooms in the house which I'll show you now.





My bedroom and the gorgeous hand painted walls.












After I'd been given the guided tour of the house and the gardens, which were both beautiful and absolutely huge, we all sat down to a big pot of vegan chilli and many bottles of prosecco. That night we played a few party games and popped on the karaoke machine. It's a good job we had no neighbours as I'm sure our renditions of 90's pop hits we're pretty epic(ly loud)!






We spent the morning sat outside chatting and eating classic English breakfast food, I love toast when it's been done on an Aga! At around noon I got bundled into a car for the first surprise of the day. We arrived at a beautiful beach called Botany Bay and were each handed a check list of hen party themed activities that we had to complete. As quite a shy person I mainly focussed on the tasks suited to introverts like, "gather flowers to make a wedding bouquet for Nancy" and "Nancy's favourite colour is yellow, see how many yellow things you can collect". Some of the more daring tasks were "get a stranger to propose to you" and "find a Simon doppelganger and take a photo together". The group definitely divided into the quiet flower picking types and the get as many kisses or proposals as you can types!






The London based girls and I always watch the Great British Bake Off together and one of my bridesmaids, Victoria, had embroidered my initial onto the back of a bomber jacket to perfectly honour Mary Berry's epic jackets during her years on GBBO. The second game was GBBO themed too, the group split into two and each team had to create a fabulous three tiered wedding cake to be judged by me. It was hilarious watching them all run around the beach collecting seaweed and shells. There were professional bakers on each team, so it got pretty heated.




After a few hours messing around on the beach, it was time for surprise number two. I was taken to Broadstairs to sample the sundaes at Morelli's Gelato, boy was it good. Mary Berry also happened to visit Morelli's on her tv show "Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites", are you sensing a theme here? We're all obsessed with Mary Berry. You watch her eat a Knickerbocker Glory at Morelli's if you love her as much as I do.

The ice cream parlour looked like it was from a Wes Anderson set at the same time as being absolutely unaware of how cool and awesome it was. Pretty much everything was pink, even the floor was pink marble, there were Lloyd Loom chairs and there was even a shell fountain. Who doesn't want one of those?



We grabbed some fish and chips and headed down to the sea front to eat them but we were quickly attacked by seagulls. They are much bigger up close! After lunch it was time to head back to the house for yet another surprise, we arrived to greet a lovely masseuse who had been booked to give me an incredible back massage. I think every bride to be should have a massage on their hen.

I was banned from entering one end of the house and I could hear everyone rushing about so I decided to steer well clear until it was time to get ready for dinner. After an hour or so of relaxing, I was lead up to my room to discover that they had laid out a special medieval "lady of the manor" outfit for me, complete with a crown and beautiful copper tumblers for my cocktails!


The girls had whipped up a few gin based cocktails and nibbles out on the terrace. I decided to snap a few photos of them, we had an impromptu photo shoot in the garden as they all looked so blooming gorgeous. As we were sat around the table outside it was announced that they had all written poems, short stories or haikus about me and they were going to read them out before dinner.

I'm pretty sure I didn't stop crying from this point on for the rest of the night. I was so touched that they would do something so special and unique for me, I'm sure they felt so nervous to read their poetry out loud in front of each other. They all know how much I enjoy reading, and I dabble in writing my own short stories and poems so it meant so much that they all created their own personal way to tell me how happy they were for me. I think I cried at every single one. I can't really articulate how beautifully written and thoughtful each reading was, I felt so loved and looked after by them all. My heart is still full of emotion thinking about that moment, even now. Because of what they said in those poems I was left feeling truly loved, and that no matter what I may think about myself I'm actually a good person afterall.





For the rest of the evening, we drank, played games and talked. They had prepared so much amazing food, including my favourite roast pork and courgettes. I'm pretty sure they spent the whole afternoon rushing around making it all, they even spray painted wine bottles gold to house our gathered flowers.

The next morning we sat out in the sun drinking bucks fizz and eating the left over pork with fried eggs and homemade garlic sauce in white bloomer buns. I may have been one of the best breakfasts I've had. I cried pretty hard when it was time to leave, and a few of the others did too. I was sad that is was over but now I'm excited to help plan an equally beautiful trip for the next lucky lady. Now, whenever there's a big birthday, wedding or baby I'm going to suggest that we all go away together to another beautiful country home. I'm pretty sure my hen could never be bested, even if that is my very biased opinion.



Thank you to my utterly gorgeous friends for organising my perfect weekend away. You each worked so hard to make sure that I had the hen party of my dreams, you made all my hopes a reality. All eight of you bring something so unique and special to the group, I love you all very much. You're kind, funny, weird, thoughtful, sympathetic and so unbelievably generous of spirit. 

2 comments

  1. Firstly, I'd just like to say how happy I am to have found your blog! I found it through your youtube video on blogging basics and I had a little glimpse of what your blog was about and now I am so in love! It reminds me very much of frankie magazine - you have a wonderful magazine style structure to your blog. Also, congratulations on your wedding! Your hen party looked awesome!! (p.s my blog is www.dizzledoo.blogspot.com if you would be interested in checking it out!) xx

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  2. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I love Frankie magazine :) Really happy to hear that you enjoy reading my blog and I will definitely have a look at yours.

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