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Monday, 4 July 2016

A Surprise Hen Party in York

One of my oldest school friends is getting married in less than 2 weeks! EXCITING! Although we have had our ups and downs through the years, my memories with Claire are always filled with laughter and silliness. Whether this be the time we decided to go out dressed as playboy bunnies for Claire and Jo's 22nd birthday and pretended we were celebrating their 21st birthday to see how many free drinks we could get (naughty but it worked!) or spending many a Friday afternoon skipping class in sixth form to head to the Blagdon and play pool instead (far more appealing - esp when Claire would drive us there in her Citroen Saxo) or sharing lots of happy times together, Claire is definitely one of my most fun friends and there's never a dull moment when she's around. 

Claire's two sisters and best friend had been given the task of organising Claire's hen weekend and were under strict instructions that everything had to be top secret. 

My journey started at Cramlington train station - although we only have one train per hour, I love catching the train to town as it's super speedy at around 12 minutes and only £1 more than the bus. I met a few of the party at Central Station and we boarded a Virgin East Coasts train to our mystery destination. Obviously, we had a fair few glasses of Prosecco and Claire's itinerary was finally revealed. I forgot that it only takes about an hour to travel to York by train from Newcastle and we were there in no time. 


There were 13 of us in total and we stayed in Peter Warehouse Apartments which although basic, were clean and had everything we needed. The main reason for booking these apartments I think was because we were absolutely slap bang in the centre of York - just 30 seconds from the main high street, bars and restaurants. Despite it's central location it was still nice and quiet too. Being in the city centre is ideal when you are part of a big group as you don't need to mess about organising taxis home ect.... when people are ready to come home - it's all within walking distance. My only negative would be the one bathroom between the 8 of us in our apartment which resulted in queues all morning!

As is common during hen parties, it's often the first time you meet a lot of people and I have to say Claire's work colleagues and sisters are all lovely and we all got on well. Someone had made us all our own glass for the weekend which had been personalised with our names as well as personalised bunting to decorate the apartment. Everyone chipped in and brought LOTS of food and alcohol to share. The highlight being Jo's contribution of two double magnum's (is that a technical term??) of Prosecco which went down a treat. 

Friday night was spent chilling out with a surprise Ann Summer's party & Claire received some gorgeous gifts and a jar of good luck messages from all the lovely ladies in her life. Yes there were a few tears! 

MORE Prosecco was consumed and the night ended with lots of random games most which I won't go into detail about but lets just say I don't think any of us will be eating a creme egg anytime soon. We all fell into bed at 2am ish.

The next day another of Claire's colleagues cooked us all a big batch of bacon and sausage sarnies before everyone went off to do their own thing. Jo and I had a nice little wander around York and reminisced about many a night out/shopping trip before heading to the Pitcher and Piano for a liquid lunch. 

We re-grouped after lunch and headed to our surprise activity - Pole Dancing! A cab whipped us across to Pole Position Fitness in York Eco Business Centre. Group lessons cost between £20-£30 pp and I have to say I was VERY apprehensive but went in with an open mind.

Wow it turns out I actually enjoyed pole dancing. It wasn't serious at all and there was no pressure - our instructor was patient and lots of fun keeping the whole afternoon light hearted. We played a few games and learned a short routine which we all performed at the end in our heels. Then Claire (who is a bit of an exhibitionist) took centre stage and provided all her hens with a private performance which was FANTASTIC. Go Claire and Go Us! 

We did suffer with aching arms and legs the next day too so obviously this 'work out' meant we could have a few extra cocktails later! 

We headed back to our apartments for a quick change and more Prosecco before heading upstairs for a quick game of Mr & Mrs. 

Mr & Mrs is a pretty standard hen party game but Claire's sister had went all out and actually recorded the Groom's answers so it was like he was in the room with us. I have to say Claire was pretty spot on with most of her answers and through lots of giggles a few truths were revealed alongside the forfeit of downing a few drinks. 

It was around a 5 minute walk to Jamie's Italian where we were booked for an evening meal. As one of us was a gold card holder we were all treated to a complimentary tomato salad and a glass of wine. We ordered more wine on top (obvs) and our meal worked out at £23 per head inc tip which I think was pretty good value considering we were there for 2 hours. The food was delicious (although some of the portions were on the small side) and we were very well looked after. I am a big fan of Jamie's house red and would recommend ordering a bottle if you ever visit. 

I always have to order Polenta Chips at Jamies! 

There was no real plan for where to head into York and we were soon stuck with a few bars not letting us in as we were a hen party. BOOOOOO! The other bars made us take off our sashes before we were allowed in.

First up was Macumba Cocktail bar (which had no restrictions). There is an outdoor terrace and cocktails were cheap at only £5 each. If you are lucky they are BOGOF during happy hour too. This bar was very lively and the DJ played a mix of music from 80's, 00's and now - we all had a good dance and the party had really started.

We tried to get in a few more bars with no luck........

However we did head to the Biltmore where we picked up these rather special Zombie Princess Cocktails (yes that is fire!) and then onto Turtle Bay for a bit of reggae and more BOGOF cocktails. It was midnight at this point and some of us headed home whilst the others headed to the Slug and Lettuce for a few more drinks and dancing before joining us back at the apartments in the early hours of the morning. 

All of bars we visited were nice and lively and perfect for cocktails, champagne and dancing hens. It was a different side to York's night life that I've seen but I liked it!  

We headed to bed (well actually it was another few hours before we'd go to sleep) after cuppas and more chatter. Yes, this is what happens during hen parties in your 30's! Cups of tea/coffee are compulsory.

The next morning everyone woke up nice and fresh faced and we enjoyed one last breakfast together before a browse around the shops and catching our afternoon train home. Thanks for having us York - definitely a perfect spot for a girly weekend (minus the few bars that didn't let us in of course).

I'll be blogging Claire's wedding over on North East Family Fun at the gorgeous Doxford Hall in a few weeks so look out for that post coming soon.


1 comment

  1. I love the personalised glasses! I'm in my 20s and we always end a hen party with a cup of tea, peppermint tea for me! I'm so rock n roll!! Can't wait to read about the wedding. Katie x


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