How to plan a Hen Do in Bath

How To Plan The Perfect Hen Weekend In Bath

Recently, I helped plan a hen weekend for my best friend whose getting married next weekend. I’m Maid of Honour, but I had ALOT of help from the two amazing bridesmaids. If you are looking at planning a hen weekend, my first piece of advice would be to enlist help.

We decided on Bath as a perfect hen location for our bride as our remit was: ‘country walks, but somewhere we can also get dressed up and have a night out’. Bath did not disappoint. So let me break down the steps we took to create the perfect Hen weekend. I’ve added links in each section to locations and purchases etc.

Number of hens: 13
Cost per hen: approx £300. Our bookings and accommodation were £170 upfront, and then it depended on what each girl ordered and how much they spent on drinks etc. So call it £300 but with savvy meal selections and light drinking it would be less.

Accommodation:

We booked two of the properties on New Leaf Farm. It’s about a 6 minute drive from Bath and, since Bath has Uber, this was very straight forward. The accommodation was beautiful – we booked one property that slept 10 and one which slept 4. Very high spec, and perfect for hosting large groups. When we weren’t out we did all our own cooking, and the kitchen was stocked with everything we could need.

 

Afternoon Tea:

We began the weekend with an afternoon tea. Many had travelled far and we wanted to welcome them with food and drink. We put on a spread of sandwiches and cakes which catered to vegans and veggies alike. (Let me know in the comments if you’d like a post about what we served). We also created a ‘pimp my prosecco bar’ with cordials and fruits. Finally we borrowed some vintage china and brought some pretty napkins. It made for a beautiful spread which went down really well with hungry weary travellers.

 

Goody Bags:

Also on display upon arrival were the goody bags we created. These were really important for creating a sense of belonging amongst people who’d not all met each other before.

The bags contained:
A badge
A face mask
Team bride temporary tattoo
A detox tea (for the hangover the following morning)
A paper straw
A personalised T-shirt.

I used Team Shirts to create each personalised T-shirt. They had the name on the front – very handy when trying to get to know 13 people, and a slogan on the back from the Bride to Be’s favourite TV show Rupaul’s Drag Race. Both the goody bags and badges came from Not on the High Street – they do a wonderful range of Hen Party Goodies.

 

Decoration:

Almost all our decorations came from Tigerlilly. We got cheap, tissue thin bunting, but it was so effective and made the house look really jolly.

 

Saturday Night Out:

For our night out, we booked Ubers to take us to Great Pulteney Street where we’d booked a private dining room at No15 Great Pulteney. This was such a great experience. The room was beautiful and the food and service really good.

 

We then had a room at the Opium Bar. It was hard to make this reservation since they don’t reserve past 9pm. Thankfully they phoned me and agreed to keep it a little longer – a few of us dashed off to hold the room while the others finished coffee. It was well worth it. The room at the back for private groups had low down coffee tables and floor cushions to sit on, the room was plastered in paintings on the walls and ceilings and had incense burning in the corner. Very Bohemian and great for adding the wow factor.

Use their tour feature to have a look around this unique bar:

http://www.opiumbars.com/tour/

Sunday:

After a lie in, and a home made brunch, we walked along the canal path into Bath. This was a lovely walk. We didn’t then stay in bath, but got the boat straight back to Bathhampton, where we were staying, as we had a Sunday Lunch booking, but this could easily be adapted to include some shopping and leisure time in Bath.

 

The boat back to Bathhampton moors at the pub, Bathampton Mill where we’d booked a Sunday Lunch for 3pm. The food here was fantastic, I’d highly highly recommend it. The boat was £5 one way or £10 for a round ticket.

 

On the Monday we then all packed up and got Ubers back into Bath, some left to get the train home, while others stuck around for a spot of shopping. All in all it was a fantastic weekend.

I hope you find some of these ideas useful, even if not for a Hen, but just for a visit to Bath.

Spring Lookbook

What to wear for Spring and Summer Weddings this Season

Hi loves, I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful long weekend. For this look book I want to share the items I’ve found for the Spring/Summer hen parties and weddings I have coming up. I have 4 weddings to go to this year! For one I’m a maid of honour, and for that I’m wearing the green Jenny Yoo dress. Each picture is a link to the item, however, the Blue shoes are the closest I can find to the one’s I’m actually wearing which are Reiss from a few seasons ago – mine aren’t slingbacks.

I spent months trying to find something suitable for the country weddings I’m going to, many of which are in the beautiful Cotswolds, in garden settings and I have to say I’ve been saved by the return of the Midi Dress!

Warehouse Yellow Midi DressUrban Outfitters DressshoePhase 8Jenny Yoo Bridesmaidoffice shoes

Urban Outfitters Hoop Earings

Where To See Bluebells in Oxfordshire

Top spots for seeing Bluebells in Oxfordshire

Thinking of getting out and about to see some Bluebells this Bank Holiday? Carpets of Bluebells are one of England’s treasures, and I’ve got two top spots in Oxfordshire to share with you. They’re at opposite ends of the county so hopefully there’s one that will be in good reach for you.

Badbury Clumps

Officially named Badbury Hill, but the locals call it Badbury Clumps. It has an iron age hill fort hidden amongst beech tress, as well as beautiful views across the Thames basin. In late April and early May the beech trees contain a hidden treasure – a carpet of Bluebells. Click the image below to find out more about Badbury Clumps and how to get there.

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Greys Court

At the other end of the county, near Henley lies Greys Court. I’ve done a blog post about it’s wonderful gardens, click here to view. But it’s Bluebell wood deserves a post all of it’s own. Perhaps even more spectacular than Badbury Clumps, hidden below the carpark and accessed from a field with sweeping Oxfordshire views, these Bluebells are one of the county’s hidden gems.

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Click the image below to find out more about visiting Greys Court

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And don’t forget to find me on Instagram for regular country living Posts.

OCL

Spring Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Review – Would I Re-purchase?

As winter came to an end, I decided my makeup needed a Spring re-vamp. I simultaneously ran out of moisturiser, cleanser and foundation, so I decided I might as well take the plunge and spend some coin to re-stock. I wanted high quality makeup that would last, and I was seeing Charlotte Tilbury everywhere, all over my favourite Youtube channels and Instagram.

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I went to the Charlotte Tilbury stand in the Oxford John Lewis in the Westgate Shopping Centre. I usually absolutely hate going to stalls – the staff are so quick to jump on you ‘CAN I HELP?!’ – no, go away. But the staff here were really good, they left me to browse in peace, and only asked if they could help once I had the foundation I wanted in my hands.

And there it began – ‘do you already have makeup on’ she asked. I did. Before I knew it, I was on a stool having my makeup removed by their new cleanser. Next came moisturiser, then eye cream, primer, and foundation. Once on, it needed setting, of course, but not before a bit of concealer was added. I was sold, I confess I bought it all.  My skin had never looked better, and the lady who did my make up was professional and informative – she didn’t pressure me to buy the products, the makeup spoke for itself. It was a great experience – and this from someone who hates small talk so much they will even avoid even the hairdressers at all costs.

So lets get into the products – in total I spent £179 and I’ve been using them for over 3 months now; there are some which are now holy grail items to me, but others I would not re-purchase. So if you’re thinking of investing in some Charlotte Tilbury makeup, but want the low down before you splash the cash, here’s all you need to know about her face products.

Cleanser

I purchased the new Goddess Skin Cleansing Ritual Kit. I was really impressed with the price – at £32.50 you get a 2 step kit and muslin face cloth. Step one is the citrus oil radiance cleanse, and step 2 a purifying charcoal cleanse. The oil cleanse I used morning and night and lasted 3 months, the charcoal I’ve only been using in the evenings and still has loads left. They were really good for the price, however, I didn’t like the smell of either, and the charcoal facial cleanse was very drying and stings a little bit in application. I wouldn’t recommend for sensitive skin. I’ve not noticed any big difference to my skin. However, they, combined with the moisturiser, did completely get rid of the flaking skin I had above my eyebrows and on my cheeks.

For me personally, with sensitive, combination, acne prone skin: 3 stars.

Magic Cream Moisturiser

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This is held up as THE product, as you can tell by the name. At £49 for the smaller pot this stuff is expensive. I have to say I don’t like it at all. It’s very thick but takes loads of product to actually sink into the skin.I don’t like the smell either. It leaves a thick layer on the skin in a way that feels clogging. It has definitely helped my dry skin, all the flakiness which had developed over winter is now gone. But overall this isn’t for me at all.

I wonder if it might suit more mature skin, I feel like I need something lighter for now: 2 stars

Magic Eye Rescue

The eye cream cost £40 –  put on at night, or before makeup. I LOVE this! It sinks right into my skin and turns it soft and supple. If I put it on the night before I wake with a noticeably brighter eye area and a lovely dewy effect. I will definitely re-purchase when I run out, but I’m pleased to say this product is lasting a really long time.

Magic: 5 stars

Brightening Youth Glow Primer

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I’ve never really been one for primer, and I don’t use this one consistently. Costing £38.50 it has slight glitters in it which I don’t really like, but it has a good tackiness for holding foundation in place. Somehow it magically reduces redness, which I love. I find that the Magic Foundation doesn’t sink into the skin so naturally with the primer on underneath, but it does last longer. I have quite bad skin, but if my skin wasn’t prone to redness and blemishes I’d use this primer by itself just with some concealer.

Beautiful glowy effect and redness reducing, however the magic foundation will work beautifully without it too: 4 stars

Magic Foundation

LOVE LOVE LOVE – this is THE best foundation I’ve ever used. Firstly, it is actually my shade –  Hallelujah – I have very pale skin and finding a light shade with the right tones is a struggle. This foundation is full coverage but leaves a beautiful dewy finish – to the extent that I almost hate to set it. But I do tend to set it for work, when I want it to last all day. At £32 I also think the price is reasonable, there are plenty out there which cost more and this one is showing no signs or running out yet.

This foundation leaves my skin looking smooth and even: 5 stars

Retouch Concealer

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This is also fantastic – concealer is another thing I’ve struggled with in the past. Firstly getting a light enough shade, and secondly finding something that doesn’t break down and go all flaky looking. This concealer is excellent – at £25 it provides a good, brightening coverage, but without looking cakey – it’s very natural looking. Great for under eyes and also thick enough to cover blemishes.

Natural, with good coverage: 5 stars

Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

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This powder. It’s actually magical. It really does airbrush your skin. Pores just absolutely disappear. I’m really really impressed with this and will certainly be re-purchasing. It’s £34 and worth every penny. The only downside is that it’s completely matifying so it will undo all the dewiness of the Magic Foundation. A good way to use it is to just apply it to set particularly oily areas and under eyes. For me though it’s worth it – I need a product which will effectively set my makeup and have it last all day.

Holy Grail Powder: 5 stars

Conclusion: The make up products were really excellent and I will continue to re-purchase, but the skin care, on the whole did not do it for me. (I’m thinking of trying Drunk Elephant next – let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a review on that)

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Watch a video overview of this review on my Youtube Channel here

Where To Go To See Spring In Full Bloom

Greys Court – A Fairy Tale Garden.

Spring is my absolute favourite season. It’s the most joyful thing in the world to see blossoms and blooms after months of barren cold landscape. Seeing life come back to the countryside and hearing the birds sing again is an incredibly uplifting experience and one of the best places to experience this, is in an English country garden.

One of Oxfordshire’s gems is Greys Court. Greys combines the fairy tale ruins of a 14th Century medieval tower with a 16th century manor and walled gardens. The gardens are a series of compartmentalised sections, accessed through wooden gates, and secret archways each leading to a new and beautiful zone.

In April the trees are in blossom and the daffodils nod happily in the breeze, in the centre of the gardens is a small orchard and meadow with views back to the medieval tower. One of the most quintessentially English scenes you’ll ever see.

Most spectacular of all is the Bluebell display which bursts into life late April, early May. Its the most vivid display I’ve ever seen, and well worth an annual pilgrimage to revel in their beauty.

If you time it right, the 100+ year old Wisteria will have bloomed as well, making a canopy of lilac. Grey’s court is truly a location fit for a fairy tale.

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To find out more about Greys Court, click the image below. Have you been before? Share your experience in a comment.
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And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for regular country living posts

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