Not being one for typical hen celebrations, we’d decided that my hen weekend should be a quite low-key and relaxing with a small group of some of my favourite people, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. I had the most amazing and memorable hen weekend with good friends and plenty of fun and fizz, and here are some of the details:
Venue and Location
We chose the town of Matlock purely because we wanted somewhere within 2 hours drive of Manchester, and then we found our ideal house there. We could have ended up anywhere really, but Matlock Holiday House turned out to be the perfect place to stay. Matlock is also a great base for visits to the Peak District, if you get the time (we didn’t!)
The house itself was a lovely old town house, expensively furnished and decorated with space to sleep 13, a games room and sauna, an amazing covered hot tub in the garden and a huge kitchen which would be perfect for our planned activities. It was also situated right in the middle of pretty Matlock and within walking distance of shops, cafes and bars.
Activity 1: Hot Tub and Takeaway
One of our main venue requirements was a hot tub, and it turned out to be the best decision! What does a bride need a month before her wedding more than relaxation in a hot tub with friends and a glass (or several) of prosecco? This was the perfect addition to the weekend, and one we made full use of. In fact, because we enjoyed it so much, we ended up scrapping one of our Saturday afternoon activities in favour of more hot tubbing! (Worth it). And as always on the first night of “moving in” somewhere, we ordered takeaway.
Activity 2: Escape Room
We’re an Escape Room type of group, and we added this into our Saturday morning schedule at the last minute when we found out Deception Escape Rooms was right around the corner from the house. I’ve written a separate review of the escape room here.
Activity 3: Fairytale Themed “Crafternoon Tea”
I like crafting and I like afternoon tea, so we combined them into one lovely “crafternoon tea”. It was fairytale themed to tie in with the evening’s big event, with cute storybook cupcakes provided by Little Joy Emporium, and a fairytale photo booth prop making session, which I’ve written about here.
Activity 4: Games and Pampering
We actually spent a lot of the weekend playing games, and this was the general vibe of the weekend! And of course we found plenty of time to pamper ourselves with facemasks and drink prosecco in the hot tub.
Activty 5: Murder Mystery Dinner
And finally, the weekend’s main event was a fairytale themed murder mystery, with various storybook characters coming together to discuss murders, disappearances and poor book sales(!) in Fairytaleland. My and my sister had decided on a murder mystery night rather than dining out, and then found a range of great themed print-at-home game at printablemysterygames.com. Being a huge Disney fan we decided to go with the fairytale theme, and I was Little Red Riding Hood, in a costume almost entirely made of items I surprisingly already owned!
Dinner was provided by our amazing chef from Dine Indulge, who cooked us a 3 course meal of French Onion Soup, Coq au Vin with Smokey Bacon Mash, and Chocolate Mousse, all from the kitchen in our house! It felt like real luxury to have a 3 course dinner cooked for us at home, and not dining out also meant that we could go to town on our character costumes! If you have budget available for something like this, I’d definitely recommend hiring a chef to cook for your dinner party!
(Not Forgetting Activity 0: The Treasure Trail that we never got around to doing)
Sometimes you plan to do too much in a weekend, and so it was that the Matlock Treasure Trail that we’d printed out never got played. It’s a shame as the town looked lovely and it would have been nice to explore more. Even so, I’m including it in my post as I’m a big fan of Treasure Trails and I genuinely enjoy them.