Six Sophisticated Hen Party Getaways

Six Sophisticated Hen Party Getaways

parties of yesteryear have consisted of prosecco-fuelled
mishaps featuring L-plates, sashes and garters galore, all in the
name of (organised) “fun”. But with many of us settling down later
in life, we’re leaving wild weekends of debauchery and embracing
the sophisticated
. Whether your bride-to-be is a bohemian beach lover or
worldly gourmand, here are six thoughtful hen party destinations
with not a penis straw in sight (unless you bring them).


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Not just about Ferris wheels, fish and chips and flamboyance –
though that does sound like an excellent combination for a party –
Brighton is a hub of creativity,
perfect for those looking for a getaway that’s high on experience
but relatively low budget. Take advantage of the roster of classes
put on by local artists – be it pottery, terrarium making or
painting (we particularly like The Paint Club) – before checking out the cosmopolitan
restaurant scene, with eateries like Silo and Plateau giving London a run for
its money. Drinks should be slurped at The
(helpfully over the road from Plateau), and if you
can’t resist hitting the strip afterwards, so be it.

To stay? It’s got to be the Artist Residence, a boutique hotel
(there are also branches in London and Bristol) that got its
eccentric style when the owner published an advertisement offering
artists free board in return for their creations. Needless to say,
each room is a riot of quirky artwork and local character. Finish
your weekend with some shopping at the Lanes – bonus points for tracking
down a vintage “something blue”.



There’s a reason that Lisbon has remained one of the most
popular city breaks for a good few years now. A culinary capital to
rival Barcelona and Copenhagen, the city is a
labyrinth of traditional rustic cooking, where hole-in-the-wall
restaurants jostle for space along inventive fine-dining
establishments, all fuelled by an infinite supply of pasteis de

Go stylishly minimal with a stay at Flora Chiado Apartments, where gorgeous Portuguese
tiling and spacious kitchens create the perfect backdrop for
cooking “com a familia”. Visit the Rua Augusta to stock up on local
produce before whipping up your own hen party feast. If you need a
bit of guidance, let Taste of Lisboa show you around
with a market tour and cooking class. Come summer, the city’s many
rooftop bars are where you’ll want to be sipping in the sun.



The Hungarian capital may have a debauched reputation for being
stag-party central, but bypass the packed beer halls and make your
way to the old Jewish Quarter – the current hotspot of Budapest – for a weekend that ticks
all the boxes. During the day, wander between hip cafés, designer
stores and interesting restaurants; come night-time, the area’s
plethora of bars fill to capacity with locals and tourists alike
(though we promise not the rowdy variety). Be sure to also check
out the Palace Quarter, described by Hungarians as “the new cool
part”, while a trip to the baths means you’ll get your spa
treatment in too.

Stay at Brody House, a beautifully
eclectic unusual hotel full of contemporary art. Ideally located
overlooking the Palace Quarter, guests get free entry to Brody
Studios, a sought-after private club operated by the hotel



‘s balmy air, bougainvillea-wrapped riads and baking
hammams are just the ticket for soothing frazzled pre-wedding
nerves while getting a bit of sun. Stay at Riad
Jardin Secret
, a cornucopia of gorgeous tiling and artisan
furniture crowned by a cactus-strewn pink roof terrace serving
vegetarian fare. Leave plenty of space in your suitcase for a haul
of hand-woven rugs, Berber blankets and glittering trinkets from
the souks – no matter how many times you visit Moroccan capital,
there are always more treasures to be found.

After a couple of days navigating the maze-like medinas, escape
to the Atlas
. Tap into your inner zen as you ride camels through
burnt-ochre peaks and hike through
before falling asleep under the stars at a luxury
desert camp, such as Agafay. Heart to heart around
the campfire optional.


United Kingdom

If the soon to be newlywed life is wild at heart, Edinburgh
will give you the opportunity to relive your student partying days
but with slightly more adult aplomb. Drop your bags at your hotel –
we’re looking at 94DR – and head for Panda & Sons, a Prohibition-esque
with a penchant for pandas. Enter through the barbershop
and order a round of Banamans (bourbon, sherry and Angostura
bitters infused with banana chips) for the group. Continue the
night on the city’s famous Royal Mile. Notorious for its nightlife,
you and the rest of the bonnie lasses can dance the night away.

When you resurface the following morning, head to Stockbridge
Market (open on Sundays) to feed that hangover – we’re making a
beeline for the curry stalls. Or, if you can’t muster the strength
to eat until after 5pm, hold out for Chaophraya‘s Asian-fusion fare before readying
yourself for round two on the city-facing terrace. Planning your
trip for the summer? Line up your dates with the Fringe for raucous
drag shows and an unrivalled party atmosphere around town. Just
make sure you arrange accommodation well in advance.

And if only Ibiza will do…

Santa Gertrudis


Ibiza‘s reputation as a party
island is being countered by its formerly revered calmer side,
where you’re more likely to be saluting the sun than raving until
it rises. A popular hippie-chic haunt in the 60s and 70s, Santa
Gertrudis is a tranquil village of orchards and olive groves, where
offbeat bars join restaurants serving off-the-boat seafood, earning
it the moniker the “Notting
of the White Isle”.

Stay at Cas Gasi, a peaceful retreat hidden in the
rolling hills, or head to Gatzara, the epitome of laid-back,
whitewashed luxury. Gitano restaurant is the place to
knock back mezcal cocktails with a side of sushi.

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