Put away the willy straws, these hen party getaways make for the ideal sophisticated weekend away if you’re looking to plan something a little more chic for your bride. From stylish European city breaks to glamping with the girls, here are #teamcoco’s top 6 getaways for a high-end hen do.
1. Bordeaux: For the wine-loving bride
The heart of French grape-growing country, Bordeaux is the ideal hen do destination for any wine-loving bride-to-be. Flights from London airports are some of the most inexpensive to be had in Europe, but there’s nothing low-market about this pretty part of South West France. Bordeaux city makes for a great night out with its buzzy bars and restaurants, but the real draw here is are the quaint little villages and vine striped scenery that make up the surrounding French countryside. You can either head east, following the banks of the Dordogne towards Bergerac, stopping for a wine tour in St. Emillion, or west to the coast at Cap Ferret, where French seaside chic meets The Hamptons coastal cool, and you might even bump into Leonardo DiCaprio at one of the low-key day drinking spots.
2. Ibiza, Santa Gertrudis: For the Boho bride
We know what you’re thinking – Ibiza isn’t exactly what you think of when it comes to a sophisticated hen getaway, but hear us out. This may be the clubbing capital of Europe, but head beyond the bright lights of the San Antonio strip, and into the centre of the island and you’ll discover a magic side to the White Isle that has so captivated bohemian types since the 70s. A chic little village in the centre of the island, Santa Gertrudis is home to a cosmopolitan set of city escapees, artists and musicians. Often called Ibiza’s ‘Notting Hill’ – its upmarket eclecticism is reflected in the art and boutique shopping, as well as the village’s reputation as the island’s culinary capital (we like the garden setting at Finca La Plaza and cute Italian La Mesa Escondida for a meal out). Stay at the Scandi-chic villa Ses Palmeres, a 6 bedroom villa with a sweeping pool and grounds, within easy walking distance of the town centre.
3. Skiing in Val D’Isere: For the fun-loving bride
Could there be anything more fun than a group of hens hitting the slopes? #teamcoco thinks not. It’s less expensive to rent a fully catered chalet per person than getting a hotel, so if there is a big group of you, this can work out well for a long weekend in the mountains – plus, catered chalets often include house wine (win). Whatever standard your group is, make sure you choose a resort where the après scene is easily accessible, even for beginner skiers. One of our favourites has to be Val D’Isere, where you’ll find the epicentre of slopeside debauchery, La Follie Douce, just at the top of the cable car.
4. Provence: For the laid-back bride
For a pre-wedding chillout, you can’t beat the rolling rural hills of Provence. Just an hour’s drive from Marseille’s easily accessible airport, which boasts inexpensive flights from multiple European capitals – Provence is a great solution if you have hens arriving from different destinations. This is South of France chic without the Riviera price tag, a land of #Roseallday, dreamy hilltop villages and lavender fields. With a host of Airbnb’s to choose from, hole up in a pretty Provencal villa with your hens, hire a chef and enjoy cheap local wine poolside. Bliss.
5: Porto: For the arty bride
No longer content to dwell in the shadow of its sister Lisbon, Portugal’s second city has seen a resurgence in the last decade, its restored historic city centre now filled with quirky cafes, cool wine bars and design concept stores, all frequented by a hip young crowd breathing life back into the city. With colourful facades stacked across the landscape, the blue and white tiled azulejos for which the city is so renowned make the perfect backdrop for wandering the cobbled streets, just soaking up the city’s rambling medieval architecture. Come the evening, grab a white port and tonic at one of the bars and cafes in one of the squares and drink it out in the streets with the locals, before heading to the hub of Porto’s nightlife, the Galeria de Paris e Rua de Cândido dos Reis. With drinks so affordable, it’s a good job that the city’s most famous food – the francesinha is the ultimate hangover cure. A sort of suped-up spicy Croque-monsieur, hungover hens should head to cult Cafe Santiago for the city’s best.
6: Glamping: Wriggly Tin Huts, South Downs, UK – for the countryside bride
There’s something so effortlessly sophisticated about the good old English countryside, and how better to immerse yourself in it than with a glamping hen-do. There are some great spots all over the country (we like using Canopy and Stars to find the best), but if you’re looking for somewhere within relatively easy reach of London, hidden away in the heart of the South Downs National Park near Hambledon, this cute-as-can-be campsite makes an ideal country getaway. Set in a secluded meadow, surrounded by ancient bluebell woodland, Wriggly Tin is made up of 6 shepherds huts, sleeping a total of 16 hens. There may not be any electricity, but the huts are cleverly designed, with wood-burning stoves for cooking and keeping warm, lovely lanterns, plush duvets and vintage details. Hen do’s have to take all 6 of the huts but can have the run of the campsite, including a wood-fired hot tub. While it may seem low-key, gathering around the campfire with your girls is all you really need for the perfect hen getaway.