Although my sister’s wedding is now less than one week away, I’m only just finding the time to write all about her hen party celebrations that took place back in June.
For the hen celebrations, we’d booked a pre-paid hen party package at The Village Hotel in Nottingham. For £100, we got a two night stay, including a meal on the Friday, a spa day on Saturday, taxi into Nottingham on the Saturday evening and breakfast on both mornings.
My other sister, Kirsty (yes, there are two of them) and I arrived at the hotel at about 4pm on the Friday afternoon with the intention of decorating the bedrooms before Kim arrived. Unfortunately there was a slight delay due to some mix-up with the booking. The receptionist could only find 3 of our 4 booked rooms on they system, but thankfully it turned out to be a simple miscommunication issue and was resolved pretty quickly.
A few of us had brought a whole boatload of decorations to transform the room, including balloons, banners, fairylights and even a glitter curtain. We finished setting up moments before Kim arrived at the hotel, and it looked rather amazing if I do say so myself.
The first item on the itinerary for the weekend was arrival drinks in the bar area. These were complimentary as part of the hen package and they even prepared a non-alcoholic version for my very pregnant best friend.
After drinks we popped back upstairs for a quick freshen up before heading back down for dinner. If you book on a night with an event at the hotel you can get an evening of entertainment including a tribute act and three-course meal. There was no event planned on the night we were booked in, so we just got a two-course meal as part of our package. I do find it odd that you get fewer courses than on the party nights, but hey, what do I know?
Before the hen weekend we were asked to each choose a main course and dessert from the menu provided. I picked the grilled chicken followed by the sticky toffee pudding and I was really happy with both of my choices. All of the food was very nicely presented and was absolutely delicious.
There was (yet another) mixup with the food order, where they brought out the wrong dessert for some of the guests. Bizarrely, the situation ended with one of the guests just agreeing to have the dessert that she hadn’t ordered, rather than the restaurant offering to change it.
We also each ordered a cocktail from their Tiki drinks menu as they were all on 2-4-1 during happy hour, meaning we paid £3.50 per cocktail rather than £7. We also ordered a mocktail for the expectant mother and I think we were all pretty shocked when that cost £6.50 all by itself! Definitely more than I’d expect to pay for some fruit juice!
After dinner, we all headed back to the bride’s hotel room for pampering, games and generally silliness. I played my first ever game of Cards Against Humanity, which I did find quite funny but not nearly as good as all of the hype I’d heard.
At about 12.30am we decided it might be time to get to bed and try to get a good night’s sleep as we had another busy day planned for the Saturday,
On Saturday morning we all woke up bright and early, about 7.30am, in order to go downstairs and enjoy the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet which is always my favourite part of staying at The Village Hotel.
At breakfast you can choose from a selection of hot breakfast foods, as well as cereal, fruit, yoghurt and pastries. There is also the choice of tea, coffee and a variety of fruit juices. It is the breakfast of champions and I made sure to get the day off to a really good start with at least 3 courses of breakfast!
After breakfast, it was time for us to head down to the spa and leisure facilities for our spa day portion of the weekend.
The facilities consisted of the hotel pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Unfortunately, for most of the morning the pool was taken up with children’s swimming lessons so it didn’t really lend itself to a peaceful, relaxing environment. It might have been nice if we’d been given an itinerary for the day, informing us of things like this so that we could plan our day a bit better. (For a start, we could probably have had a bit longer in bed!)
As part of the hen package, we were all invited to choose one 30-minute beauty treatment. There was once again a little miscommunication of who should go for their treatments at which times, but then miscommunication between different departments seemed to be something of a theme for the weekend.
Luckily it was all resolved pretty quickly and I got to go for my facial, which was sublime. I felt so relaxed and my skin felt amazing – I could have happily laid there all day. We were also all big fans of the relaxation where you could chill out after the treatment. It was so comfortable and inviting that we had to be dragged out of there.
After our treatments we headed back to the pool for a little bit of a swim and steam, but to honest there’s only so long I can hang around a pool before I’ve just had enough. After an hour or so, a group of us decided to pop to the Starbucks located in the hotel lobby for a coffee and a bite to eat before heading back to the room to get ready for our night out.
Rather than wearing full fancy dress, we decided it might be cool to each wear an outfit inspired by a Disney character (the wedding incorporates some Disney themes). I chose to be inspired by the Evil Queen from Snow White, wearing a purple bodycon dress, leather jacket, red heart pendant and, of course, a crown.
Other guests dressed as Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Cruella De Ville, Peter Pan and Jessie from Toy Story, amongst others.
Before heading into town, we stopped in at the pub (The Corn Mill) across the road for some dinner ( I was going to need something to soak up the impending alcohol consumption) I decided to skip a main course and instead filled up on starters including Halloumi fries and cheesy garlic bread.
After yet another mix-up with the timings of the taxi to take us in Nottingham, we were off on the slightly messier portion of the hen weekend. We started in Revolution in Hockley and went for a bit of a pub crawl around the city centre.
Along the way we had fun completing a scavenger hunt with items including getting a free drink and getting someone to give you a piggy big. It was a lot of innocent (well, almost) fun and we all had a great time.
A few of us caught a taxi back to the hotel about 1am, while the hardcore party-goers were in McDonalds at 3am.
The next morning, luckily not feeling too fragile, we all sat down for one last breakfast together before going our separate ways.
Overall, I think we all had a fantastic weekend, with great company and lots of giggles. Would I recommend the hen party package The Village Hotel? It’s definitely great value for money but even if I’m getting a bargain I still expect to get what I paid for. There were far too many mix-ups and miscommunications for me to fully trust them again. While I might be willing to rebook in the future, I would definitely be keeping on top of them to make sure everything ran smoothly.