Thursday, 7 April 2011


On Saturday I had my very exciting surprising hen-day, as organised by the lovely Amy.
All I knew when I turned up at Amy's house on Saturday morning was who would be attending, I didn't know where we were going or what we were doing.. and Amy wouldn't tell me :)

I arrived at Amy's at 9 am, we wandered out to the bus-stop and only when we got on the bus (though there aren't that many destinations..) did I find out we were off to the train station. When we arrived there Amy was very sneaky and sent me off while she got our tickets from the machine, so I couldn't see where we were going! I went to fetch some coffees while she did this, and we then sat and waited for the rest of the Oxford contingent to arrive.

At about 10.30 am it was revealed that our destination on the train was London (which they had to tell me really, as we were getting on the train..). I still had no idea what our destination within London was though..

Our first stop once we got to Paddington turned out to be The Cumberland Hotel by Marble Arch, where we were due to meet Zoe, who'd travelled down from the north-west in order to be there! This would be our home for the night, and a very swanky home it was too!

This was the bathroom in the hotel room, shiny ne?

Once we'd collected Zoe we hot-footed it across town to Islington, where it turned out we were going for lunch (which was just as well, as we'd been racing round on foot due to a lack of central line and had all worked up an appetite). Our lunch venue was the lovely Candid Arts café, where half of the options on the menu were veggie (always a welcome sight for me).

Here we are, sat around the enormous table that Amy had booked for us.

Once we had ordered, and were waiting for our food, there was some muttering between Amy and Liz and then everyone began pulling gifts from their bags! It turned out that we were to have a Yankee Swap. As the hen I was allowed to choose a gift from the pile to unwrap. The next person around the table (and it follows on like this) can either choose to steal an item that has already been unwrapped, or to unwrap a new item. If someone is stolen from then they get to either steal a different item from someone else (not what was stolen from them) or unwrap a new gift. This can go on for a little while, and in our swap there was a very popular little monkey tea strainer, who moved about a bit. As the hen I was given the option at the end of stealing any gift I liked, and so ended up with a monkey tea strainer of my very own :)

We then ate our lunch, which was quite tasty, and headed on to our next mystery (for me, not anyone else) destination..
As mentioned in Liz's blog our next destination was the MakeLounge, where we were to enjoy an afternoon of crafty goodness making our own bath and body products..

Here's the fabulous spread of food and drink that everyone brought to share while we made our beauty products

Firstly we had introductions to essential oils, leading to a spirited discussion of whether essential oils are of use to the plant or not, I'm on the side of them being extremely useful to the plant as a defence mechanism (against pests and germs) and for attracting pollinators.

Then we began making our massage bars:-
 Heating the mix of beeswax, shea butter, and cocoa butter...

Pouring the melted mixture over the essential oil mixes we'd picked out.

Next we made bath bombs! There were dried petals available for us to use to decorate our bombs, and colouring to make them pretty.

Not sure why Cat is looking so angry and possessive of her bath bomb mix.. maybe we mocked her weighing skills?

The first of my garish blue bath bombs.. as demonstrated by Jennifer, our instructor for the day.

Next we made lip balms (which are really quite nice to use). Here's Claudia stirring away over the hotplate:-

And here are Janina and Anna showing off their finished lipbalms!

Lastly we made body scrub, which also works quite well! It was simple to make, and the only small flaw in it is quite how water repellent you are after using it in the shower! (it's a little oily).

After we had completed our crafty tasks we headed back to the hotel to change and headed out to dinner. I was also presented with another lovely surprise! everyone had contributed towards a recipe book for me, and the entries were beautifully decorated. A few entries are shown below.

Amy had found a really nice South Indian restaurant called Woodlands for dinner, and all the food was vegetarian! as always happens in this sort of situation, I took forever to choose my food. I had puri with my meal, a puffy fried bread that you don't often see, they were delicious.. Several of us had paneer with date chutney as a starter which was excellent! and quite filling.. my main course was vegetable kofta in a tomato-based sauce, which was delicious but a little too spicy for my palate, so by the end of my meal I couldn't taste the flavours anymore!

After the meal several of us went for drinks, and then out clubbing, we ended up in one place which was largely populated with superheroes! but sadly I didn't get any pictures of this part of the hen-day so you'll just have to imagine a whole dance-floor of superheroes boogieing away...

Here's a picture of all of my homemade goodies, once i'd extracted the bath bombs from their heart-shaped container - I recommend you try making your own, it's good fun and would make a great present!

Many thanks to everyone who contributed toward, came along to and organised such a lovely day! 

No comments:

Post a Comment