I'm Organising a Hen Do! Where do I start?

So there were tears, champagne and air kisses all round when your girlfriend asked you to be her maid of honour – but now you feel the pressure and have got a bit of a sinking feeling because there are a group of girls waiting for you to put on the hen weekend of all hen weekends!

A hen weekend is a mouth-watering weekend for so many reasons, spending special time with your best friends on earth, reminiscing of old times and all those laughs ….its important to get it right!

Organising the hen weekend is one of the most important pre‐wedding tasks, and you’ll want to give the bride a proper send‐off. Today’s hen weekends are less about strippers and L‐plates (unless that’s what you want) and more about originality and style.

You don’t need to head overseas to enjoy a fabulous hen weekend, heading to a great city or the coast offers something for everyone. Those looking for a fabulous celebration should book their own private house. There’s lots of options available to you when you have your own place for the weekend such as Private in-house dinning, Spa pampering at your leisure, Yoga in privacy, Wine and Cheese tasting, Dance Class, Cocktail Making, Life art drawing and even Butlers in the buff!

Combine this special time with friends along with walks on the beach and a spot of shopping. For those looking for something livelier, Brighton has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife; fun hen weekend activities, great meals out, and the possibility of a cheeky cocktail or two ‐‐ guaranteed there will never be a dull moment.

The most important things are Location and Property, if you’ve booked a Vallance Residence in Brighton then you are on the right track and everything else will fall into place! We even offer the opportunity to book all of your activities for you!

Take a deep breath and start at the top:


Before you get carried away with L plates, Live art drawing and butlers in the buff, you’ve got to get a whole lot of logistics, numbers and money together while working to a deadline.

A hen weekend staycatation is probably the easiest to organise. The best thing to remember is the whole point of a hen weekend is for the bride’s girlfriends to gather round her before the most important day of her life. The point isn’t to pressure those girlfriends into a 3 day no expenses spared extravaganza.

Arrange to talk with the key people – closest friends, the hen herself and the girl who is deemed the most fun. Decide how much money you’re likely to have and how to make it stretch into the most fun possible. This will determine which locations will give you the best value for money.

Once you’ve sorted dates and have an idea of a locations, you need to get them to show you the money!  This is probably the worst part of the job but also the most important. Give strict and punishable deadlines!

Some of the more organised hen party’s even set up a standing order or a kitty for when they’re out on the weekend. This means that you’ll never get stuck with a hundred pound round no matter how much champagne you’ve had!

Hotel, B&B or Private House?

One of the most important things is where you stay! A cheap B&B down the back streets, larger chain of soulless hotel where you will be mixing with other hens and stags (Yuck) and more than likely in small cramped rooms on different floors! Just will not do!

When you book your own private property, you can have breakfast at your leisure, share the whole house without interruptions and spend that all important time together. In the long run it will save you money and time trying to find somewhere to sit for breakfast, moving tables to accommodate your group – even an afternoon coffee or a bite to eat can be a challenge in a small B&B!

Make sure you book a property that offers you the space and privacy you need. You need light and space, space to sit and chat with a coffee, space to eat, room for your activities, a place to party and dance if you want too! Definitely need lots of bedrooms, you don’t want to share beds, definitely no bunk beds! Lots of bathrooms, plug sockets for hairdryers and curling tongues! Soft towels and clean white cotton sheets (don’t worry about the self tan!) plus plenty of mirrors!

Try and book as early as possible as lots of the best places can go a year in advance. Try and secure a private residence close too but not in the centre of a great city but within a short taxi ride to the night life. You don’t really want to be in the middle of nowhere paying out all your money on cabs.
Send out emails to your potential hen crew and put strict deadlines for responses. Then book with your definite numbers. It’s a lot easier to add a few to your group than wait and try to book for a big group later.

Remember the earlier you book the better your choices.

Its estimated that once the accommodation is booked you have between 4 and 6 months to sort out a great hen do. However most good properties get booked up quick!

48 Hours in Brighton & Hove

A great place for a Hen Weekend break. Once you have the accommodation booked then check out our suggestions of what to do with 48 Hours in Brighton & Hove:

Day One

Friday late afternoon

Welcome your guests with champagne upon arrival and then have your personal chef prepare a delicious 4 course meal or alternatively try one of Hove’s variety of restaurants, afterwards have a night in and view pictures of great memories of the bride to be on the big screen followed by your favourite film or catch a performance at one of the areas independent entertainment venues. The programmes on offer includes live music, great theatre and innovative comedy.

Day Two


Enjoy a cooked breakfast in the comforts of your own residence. No fighting over the toaster or struggling with a stag do. Enjoy the privacy and intimacy of time together with your best friends.

Stay in at your private residence and have the entertainment and activities brought to you! After all you have the space and you’ve paid for it! Choose between Spa treatments, Dance Class, Yoga, Life Art Drawing, Butlers in the Buff, Wine and Cheese tasting challenge, cocktail making or even a laughter lab!

If you like to shop then take a taxi to Trafalgar Street, near Brighton Station and stroll through the vibrant North Laine, full of independent shops selling anything & everything. This is a particularly good spot for fans of vintage shopping as well as fantastic street art.


Have lunch at Cote Restaurant or a Pizza at Fato Mano either accommodates large groups; then follow the North Laine as it leads into the Cultural Quarter home to the exotic Royal Pavilion, a must-see on any trip to Brighton. The palace looks like a mini Taj Mahal on the outside but once inside you will be transported to The Orient.

Across the Regency styled Pavilion Gardens you will find the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, home to a range of fantastic displays including local history; art deco furniture and fashion through the ages. They also host a regular programme of temporary exhibitions so make sure you check the local What’s On listings to see what’s coming up.

After the museum, cross North Street and head into The Lanes. The famous twisting alleyways were once home to the sleepy fishing village of Brighthelmstone. Today you will find jewellers, antiques and designer boutiques plus many great watering holes for a late afternoon tipple! Prebook the Witches Kitchen a private room at the world famous Choccywoccydoodah and indulge in 2 hours for a chocoholic’s dream starting at 10am, 2:45pm and 5:30pm – perfect for a late afternoon sugar rush (champagne optional!) £30 per person.


After returning to your private residence for a delicious dinner and a refresh then why not return to the Cultural Quarter to take in some live comedy at Komedia or a show at the Theatre Royal Brighton or the Brighton Dome. The Theatre Royal hosts big theatrical productions including pre-West End shows. Brighton Dome has an eclectic programme of classical & contemporary music; comedy and dance. If you really want to party then book a private VIP table and booth in one of Brighton’s Super Clubs!

Day Three


Yesterday you explored the city so today has to be about the sea! After a night catching up with friends take the 4 minute walk to the sea front and head east past the cute and colourful beach huts along the wide seafront promenade, its a great vantage point to admire the stunning architecture of Hove including the regency splendour of both Palmeria Square and Brunswick Square. You will know when you have cross the boundary into Brighton as the seafront railings change from dark green to turquoise. Stop off by the modernist Embassy Court at the Meeting place café right on the beach and take in the sea air whilst enjoying a great coffee and a sausage and egg sandwich!


Just a 100m further east you can take flight with the British Airways i360. The city’s newest attraction takes visitors over 135 metres into the air for spectacular panoramic views of the city, the sea and the countryside. Back on solid ground stop for brunch or a cocktail at the Bell Vue Bar and enjoy the view, then carry on heading east towards the iconic Brighton Pier play arcade games, ride the funfair rides, sing karaoke in Haratios bar and eat some fish ‘n’ chips, although watch out for the seagulls! Top Tip: Be sure to have a go at the Dolphin Derby.

Head back to your private residence in time for late checkout and have a hearty Sunday lunch and one last get together before you all head your separate ways until the big day. Try one of Hove’s great gastro pubs including, The Connaught , The Better Half , Hove Place The Forager or The Urchin – all just a 5 minute walk away.

Some guests at Vallance Lodge enjoy it so much that they decide to make their group get together an annual affair! There’s always more to see and do in Brighton and Hove.

hen experiences