Finally I have recovered after all the fun and excitement of THE Hen Weekend to come on and update everyone as to how it went. On Friday lunchtime I met Birls at the station and, a very excited pair, we set off for the Cotswolds, Thankfully a really smooth drive over meant that we arrived at Lane House Farm at exactly 4pm, just in time to take charge of the keys and set up the house ready for the Hen herself. So, we had a good nosey round the fab 6 bedroom farmhouse, put on the Aga, unloaded our provisions, lit the fire and opened a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauv to get us started. Everything was so wonderful, the Hen and her car full arrived at 6, closely followed by Shell, Pooj, Emma P, Sam and Claire. We had such a giggle over the entire weekend, we headed out for supper at the Shaven Crown (brilliant name) that evening and really got the party underway, terrifying the locals and making a lot of noise - of course everyone overcooked it on the first night and it ended up with much singing, dancing, drunken articulate and a 3.30am clearing of Birls' vomit from the bathroom floor by yours truly! Was so so funny though that I forgave her.
The next morning saw a few sore heads but extremely high spirits so we set off in search of some fresh air and hangover food in the nearby Chipping Norton. We met Davina and Shell, Pooj, Birls, Dee and I headed to the Crown and Cushion for quite honestly one of the most hilarious lunches I have had in a long time, one of the highlights was when the waiter (after a 20 minute wait for our drinks) brought Birls over a straw for her coke on a plate presented on 2 napkins! I can't really tell you what we talked about it to make the whole thing so amusing but by the end of lunch my face and sides hurt from laughing so much and when the waiter asked the elderly couple at the table next to us whether they had enjoyed their lunch, the lady replied, 'oh yes thank you, and I think we enjoyed the entertainment more..!' with a nod in our direction! So, hangovers satiated we returned to the cottage and rallied the hens around to bring all the gifts and bring them in to the lounge - it was time, now that everyone was here, to spoil our gorgeous Bride To Be and open the fizzy. We handed out presents, including the photobook that I had put together from us all, and told amusing stories, before Pooj whisked her upstairs to change in to her bollywood outfit! Cue much more laughter and 2 fantastic routines led by Pooj and Kate - and some excellent involvement from all of us in scarves and bhindis. Next it was time for more fizzy and to enjoy the fantastic array of cakes that all of the hens had contributed before heading upstairs to get glammed up.. At 6pm everyone came through in to the kitchen to find that guys from Shaken and Stirred had set up a fantastic cocktail bar for us and we spent the next few hours concocting our own cocktails in our teams before the final judging, we (the Hen's team, consisting of Kate, Vic S and I) won the competition with our Maldive Sunset, a revolting mixture of gin, mango and lychee - god I felt so sorry for Tom and Paul having to taste them all - and it was then a free for all as we carried on making and consuming vast amounts of cocktails! at 9.30pm (an hour and a half longer than the guys usually stay!) we all sat down to my homemade chilli (veggie and steak) with baked nachos, jacket potatoes done in the Aga and a large salad followed by Fi's choc and Guinness cake, Tattinger Champagne and a very funny and tear jerking Mr & Mrs Quiz that the lovely Groom had helped me with. It was such a brilliant night and I was so very relieved that everyone had such a great time, especially my darling Kates and when we fell in to bed at 3am I was hugely relieved!
Sunday morning saw us head out to the beautiful village of Burford for brunch at Maison Blanc before saying our goodbyes and heading back home, all light of heart and looking forward to the Big Day. It is now time for me to get out running and sew my mouth up so that I can look halfway decent in my dress, because believe me, the Bride is going to look so stunning, I am going to be one huge bag of emotional goo on the 21st January, that is for sure.