At the end of April we kicked off the season with a double hen weekender. We had Ellie at our Effingham location and Emma at Top Field near Petworth. Both groups had gone with the festival vibe, resulting coincidentally in an Emfest and an Elfest.
For Ellie and her 17 hens, Bay Lily had already put up 3 pretty pastel tents and a Chinese Pagoda on the Friday. Saturday was a busy couple of hours for us all setting everything up. We provided the girls with firepit, haybales and blankets, camping lights on shepherd’s crooks, dispensers for the girls’ cocktails along with ice buckets and plenty of ice of course.
The girls busied themselves setting up their treasure hunt, dressing up their pagoda tent with decorations and our hanging lanterns and setting up a funky selfie booth under a nearby tree in the bluebells. All as Ellie was making her way from Essex, slightly freaking as to what awaiting her. This was a complete surprise for her and she was greeted by the sun, fizz, a beautiful little glamping site and her fab friends. Apparently she was bowled over by the effort.
“I had such a special time - Joanne and the girls really did the most incredible job, I couldn't believe my eyes when I arrived! It was an amazing surprise.
The location itself was stunning - such a beautiful setting with the bluebells and woods, I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it to others as well. I’ve been told you were a dream to work with so big thank you for all your efforts. The beds in the bell tents were super comfy too!”
I popped back at 7pm to drop off our BBQ hamper including burgers and sausages - for the girls to cook on our BBQ - salads and ice creams. The party was in full swing and the girls looked totally glam with their festival face paints and beautiful head dresses from Fumbalinas.
From the pics and the comments from the hens below. I think it’s clear what an awesome time they had.
“Well done Betty and Jo that was incred, dream team”
“Hen party of the century well done ladies smashed it”
“Coachella eat your heart out”
And to finish a lovely review from Joanne...
"Thanks so much for your help, it was fantastic working with you – you answered all my weird and wonderful requests quickly and were really accommodating! Everything was taken care of and the location was absolutely gorgeous! I felt very assured throughout the whole process and would and already have recommended you to anyone that will listen! Just wish we could do it all again!"
Next to Top Field where we had Emma and her bride tribe. Again it was a Saturday morning set up, putting finishing touches to the site. We had 24 glampers here so Bay Lily had put up 4 of their gorgeous tents and the girls had decided to provide their own pagodas. We were there early to set up all our gear, same set up as for Ellie but with a shower and posh loo trailer and generator as the girls were staying two nights.
The girls arrived at 3 and got straight down to pimping their prosecco, putting on the festival face paints and hippy chick headbands and playing hen games. Dinner was served up by Darren of Catch a Fire, with tasty pizzas served from his wood fired pizza oven and tray bakes for pud. As the temperatures dropped, out came the onesies, the firepit was lit and the girls partied away.
Sunday started with the girls carrying out some repair work on their pagodas, which were struggling a bit. We delivered a breakfast of yoghurts, cereals, fruit, pastries, and smoothies. While the hens were getting busy with breakfast and tidying up the empties from the night before, Inflata Challenge were preparing the mornings’ activity.
As rain threatened the girls donned their coloured capes and masks for some superhero team fun. After two hours of scrabbling round in the dark disco dome, looking for coloured balls crystal dome stylee, bungee running and obstacle course it was victory for the Bride's red team.
Time for a quick shower (of the non-rain variety), crack open the prosecco and it was time for lunch. A delectable afternoon tea served up by Dani from Icing on the Cake. Unfortunately the pagodas were no more and the rain that had been threatening arrived. The girls weren’t about to let rain get between them and cake and scones, so up went the brollies and the afternoon tea felt even more British.
Sadly for the girls there was no sign of the rain easing up, so landowner Peter came up with a great solution for cover for the evening caterer and band, his open sided truck. The girls rigged up a great little makeshift tent and they were sorted, cosy, but sorted.
As I sat at home in the warm I was really concerned that the girls would be miserable out in the elements so Jess was kind enough to send me a little clip of the girls singing and cheering happily in their self-constructed pagoda, I needn’t have worried.
Darren arrived and set up in Peter’s truck, this evening on the menu was Italian antipasti platters to start followed by big pan jerk chicken. The Lone Pepper guitar duo arrived at 9pm and were very excited with their stage in the back of the truck. They had the girls up dancing all night and were still playing at 1am. I guess the ratio of 2 guys to 24 girls is pretty appealing. The rain had been on and off all the day but the girls didn’t let it dampen their spirits and they spent the evening dancing out in the rain.
Monday's breakfast delivery was sausages, bacon, rolls and juice so after fuelling up, the girls were soon packed up and on their way, probably exhausted but I’m sure having made some fantastic memories.
Here’s some of the lovely feedback we received from Jess, chief hen organiser.
"Everyone had such a fab weekend and the weather really didn't get the better of us, to be honest Peter coming to rescue with his van for Darren to cook in and the duo to play was amazing. It was almost like a little mini stage.
Peter and Annabel (the landowner) were so friendly and helpful, the same goes for every supplier. My sister sent me such a long, grateful lovely message saying how much she loved every minute of it. She added lots of comments about all the suppliers 'the tea lady had the most beautiful crockery and stunning cakes, the lemon cake couldn't have been beaten. ... the tents were so pretty and the colours really brightened up the field....the landowner was so friendly and helpful saving the day with his lorry... all the food was so good, the jerk chicken and antipasta was our favourite from Catch a Fire, so yummy...breakfasts were so good too, so much choice, the band were just amazing, more then happy to pop on a flower headband and matching ponchos to ours, they read the group so well and involved everyone, we all loved them and they were such great fun..' her favourite line so far to me has just been 'you smashed it'.
So, thank you for helping me bring it all together, your choice of suppliers, help and information leading up to the event and also for everything you brought along for the weekend, camping gear, blankets, kitchen kit, endless supplies of water ice etc.
It was an amazing weekend from start to finish".
40 happy hens, that's music to our ears.