Traditional hen dos can be a bit of a cringefest. An expensive, guilt-ridden cringefest. Neon coloured alcohol. L-plates. Strippers. And £200 (at least) for the pleasure of combining all of the above for one night to prove your friendship to another woman, just because she is getting married. It’s all a bit much.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! For you non-traditional ladies, there are plenty of options for female bonding which don’t involve any tutus or tequila. Or wangs in your face. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then get down with your bad self, but if you fancy something a little different, then read on…

Time for Tea

Hen Do Ideas - Afternoon Tea


Who doesn’t love afternoon tea? No one, that’s who. Tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Cakes covered in cream. Bubbles. It’s just darling. Traditional afternoon tea is a lovely way to while away the day with your best gal pals, especially if you’ve got a crowd of mixed ages, and chances are there is somewhere near you that puts on a lovely spread.

If you fancy something a bit different, however, there are plenty of places doing twists on the classic. The BB Bakery offer afternoon tea on a London bus, which takes you around a tour of the sights as you sample their array of tasty treats – is there anything more British than that? For those who fancy a little whimsy alongside their tea & scones, The Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea might be for you,whilst chocoholics will love the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed afternoon tea at The Chesterfield. It doesn’t have to be all prim and proper, either – you can add a little debauchery to your afternoon with tea at Volupte lounge, where you’ll be treated to a burlesque show whilst you snack on your sandwiches.

Go Glamping

As the most non-outsdoorsy person ever, it came as a surprise to me that a glamping hen do can actually be a whole lot of fun. If you fancy something low-key then grab your wellies and head to the wilds; Britain has some of the most stunning countryside and a pitcher of Pimms will always taste better outside. Also, there is no one in the world who will turn down a marshmallow toasted over a real wood fire. You probably don’t have to travel all that far to be at one with nature – there are sites all over the country. Try these for starters:

Pour a Drink

Hen Do Ideas - Wine Tasting

If you’re planning a boozy hen do, then wine or spirit tasting is the perfect activity. It feels a lot less ‘enforced’ than other organised fun, and if there are no teetotallers in your group then everyone is bound to love it! It’s basically an excuse to get slightly sozzled on an afternoon and, you never know, you might learn something along the way!

Get Your Craft On

A growing trend for hen dos is crafting afternoons and I, for one, can definitely get on board with that. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or an advanced crafter, there’s something to suit everyone and even if the finished article isn’t perfect, you’ll have a blast making it! There are plenty of different crafts to try out – how about helping out your wedding DIYs by making some custom bunting with your hens? If you’re feeling a bit cheeky you can also try out making lingerie or customising garters. Foodies can satisfy their sweet tooth by trying their hand at chocolate-making or cupcake decorating. The options are endless! 

See a Show

Dinner and a show is a tried-and-tested formula for a good night out – and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t work for hen dos, too! There are shows to suit everyone’s preference and price range – gigs for music lovers, stand up comedy for those looking for a giggle, burlesque for those with a saucy side and, of course, musicals for those who can’t get enough of show tunes. Some theatres give discounts for group bookings, so it’s worth asking if you’ve got a lot of hens.

What’s your idea of a good, alternative hen do?

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